NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 29th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (9-19) at San Antonio Spurs (23-7), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs have lost two of their last three games in the friendly confines of the AT&T Center and hope to regain their dominant form at home Sunday versus the Sacramento Kings.
The Spurs will begin a four-game stay in the Alamo City versus Sacramento, Brooklyn, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers, and are 10-4 as the host.
However, San Antonio has alternated wins and losses in the past five games and handed the Dallas Mavericks a 116-107 setback on Thursday in Big D. Tony Parker scored 23 points and Tim Duncan added 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs, who bounced back from a home loss to Houston to win for the eighth time in the last 11 games.
Danny Green finished with 22 points off the bench, while Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.
"We're very happy to win the game. Any win in the NBA is a good win. When you do on the road on a back-to-back against a good team feels even better. We're thrilled to get out of here with a win," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs have one of the top defenses in the league and are allowing an average of 96.4 points per game. They have scored 103.6 ppg and are making 39.8 percent of shots beyond the arc.
Sacramento is the worst at defending the 3-point line (39.9) and is second to last in opponents' scoring (103.6).
However, the Kings knocked off the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, 108-103, in overtime on Friday thanks to DeMarcus Cousins, who registered 27 points and 17 rebounds. Rudy Gay scored 26 points and Isaiah Thomas recorded 22 points and 11 assists in the win.
The Kings trailed 23-6 to start the game and later grabbed a 72-69 edge thanks to an 18-5 run late in the third quarter. They lost the lead later on and Gay made it 89-89 on a turnaround jumper with 1:02 remaining in regulation. Sacramento took an eight-point lead at one moment in OT and fended off a furious rally by LeBron James and the Heat.
"Our defense was pretty good down the stretch -- got some big stops, made some big plays and got a good win," said Cousins, who has scored 20 or more points in 12 of his last 14 games.
Thomas has impressed this season and is posting 20 or more points in nine of his past 11 contests. In his last 10 starts he is averaging 21.0 ppg.
Sacramento will close out its tough three-game stretch against Houston on Tuesday and has lost four of the last five road games. It is 3-8 outside of Sleep Train Arena.
San Antonio took all four meetings with Sacramento last season, has won six straight, 18 of 19 and 23 of the last 25 matchups in this series. The Spurs have also dominated this matchup in California's capital, winning 10 in a row and 17 of the past 20 trips there.
The Kings and Spurs will meet again Feb. 1 and March 21. The Spurs lead the all-time series, 103-54.
12/29 10:19:00 ET