NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 5th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (13-20) at Brooklyn Nets (18-15), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Brooklyn Nets will look to continue their strong play under new coach P.J. Carlesimo Saturday night when they host the Sacramento Kings.
The Nets are 4-1 since parting ways with Avery Johnson. Their last two victories came on the road, starting with a 110-93 drubbing of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the team with the best record in the NBA on Wednesday.
But, this is a funny league.
On Friday, the Nets needed double-overtime to beat the Washington Wizards, the team with the worst record in the NBA, 115-113. Joe Johnson drained the go- ahead jumper with less than a second to go in the second extra frame to give the Nets the victory.
"In that situation, man, I'd seen the double team coming and I just took one hard dribble and pulled up for a jumper," Johnson said.
Brook Lopez led the way for the Nets with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Deron Williams had a double-double with 24 points and 10 assists and Andray Blatche also had one off the bench with 13 points and 12 boards.
Johnson finished with 18 points in a little over 47 minutes.
Brooklyn welcomes a Kings team to the Barclays Center which has won four of five and their last two on the road.
Saturday's game is the finale of a four-game eastern trip. The Kings are 2-1 thus far with wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and an impressive 105-96 victory over the red-hot Toronto Raptors on Friday.
DeMarcus Cousins was a beast against the depleted frontline of the Raptors. He scored a season-high 31 points and grabbed career-tying-high 20 rebounds. It marked the third time in the last 25 years a Kings player scored 30-plus points and posted 20 rebounds.
"I kept out with the mindset tonight to come out and dominate," Cousins told NBA TV.
With his team-mandated suspension behind him, Cousins has been incredible on the road trip. He's averaged 23.3 ppg and 16.6 rpg as he may be headed to a Western Conference Player of the Week honor.
It would be pretty remarkable since the Kings suspended Cousins for a game because his behavior became too much.
"I was kind of in a bad place," admitted Cousins. "I'm just trying to keep it positive."
The Nets beat the Kings, 99-90 on Nov. 18 in Sacramento. The last time the Kings won on the road in this series was Dec. 18, 2007 when the Nets played in New Jersey.
01/05 10:23:48 ET