The Sacramento Kings have been Western Conference doormats in recent seasons, frankly, but they are pretty hot these days and as a result the LA Clippers will need to be up for the challenge Sunday afternoon in another matinee game at Staples Center.
LA are coming off a somewhat chastening home loss to the Boston Celtics Friday night at home, in which the Clippers rolled for two and a half quarters before their shooting touch ran cold, and the Celtics got hot down the stretch, Jayson Tatum putting together a stellar performance to snatch a win out of the Clips’ hands.
When: Sunday, Feb. 7 at 12:00 p.m. PT
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles
How to watch/listen: Prime Ticket, AM 570 Radio
Opposing perspective: Sactown Royalty
Projected Starting Lineups:
Clippers (17-7): Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Kawhi Leonard, Nicolas Batum, Serge Ibaka
Kings (11-11): De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Richaun Holmes, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III
Clippers: Paul George (foot), Patrick Beverley (knee), Jay Scrubb (foot) — OUT
Kings: DaQuan Jeffries (ankle) — OUT; Jabari Parker (medical protocols) — QUESTIONABLE
One of the subplots of Friday’s loss for LA was Paul George being a scratch due to a foot injury, Ty Lue noncommittal on how long he expected the star man to be out. Luke Kennard got the start in George’s place, and played very well in the first half, before he faded down the stretch along with the rest of his team.
The Clippers are hosting a Sacramento side that have won six of their last seven games, a better record than even LA has posted in that stretch. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton has been a terrific addition to the team, and the Kings are coming off a 119-114 win over the Denver Nuggets in Sacramento Saturday. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic buried 50 points in the game, but a balanced attack from the Kings outperformed their opponent, four players in total (Harrison Barnes, De’Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes and Haliburton) scoring at least 20 points.
Still, the Clippers are 2-for-2 so far this season against the Kings, and will have a day of rest compared to Sacramento’s quick trip to wrap up a back-to-back, on very short rest. You never know, this could turn out to be a pretty close game based on how these teams are playing right now.