Both of these teams are coming into this matchup off losses, and they were critical ones. Sacramento fell against Philadelphia by 18 points on Thursday, unable to slow down Tobias Harris and the short-handed 76ers.
Still though, they have an outside shot at a playoff appearance, thanks to the unconventional decision to start bringing Buddy Hield off the bench while giving Kent Bazemore the super-sixth-man role. Bazemore, Bogdan, and Hield all get huge SG/SF minutes, and they’re making it work well.
Portland, on the other hand, just could not stop Aron Baynes on Friday night. He dropped 37 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, having the absolute performance of his life. Hassan Whiteside did not have any answers for him, and thus, they took a loss in a game that they surely could not afford to take.
Now that Dame and CJ are both back, they really cannot be making any other excuses. Jusuf Nurkic is finally going to return to the lineup next Sunday after missing nearly a year, and perhaps they’ll even Zach Collins back prior to the season’s conclusion.
Portland is a three-point favorite in this one, with the over/under set at 230.
Kings looking for big road win
Buddy Hield has played well as the sixth man, despite his overall minutes falling into the mid-20s. While it is leading them to some additional wins now, it could mean they have to trade him elsewhere this summer, a move they’ll likely grow to eventually regret.
Back to the present, this is a critical game for them. A victory in this one could put them directly into the #9 spot and right behind the Memphis Grizzlies. That team got destroyed by Dallas on Friday night, showing their inconsistencies once more. This Kings team is still dealing with several injuries but has plenty of potential that they can still achieve. There is a lot more that can happen with them this season.
They have got plenty of scoring options between Barnes, Bogdan, Fox, Hield and Nemanja Bjelica. Kent Bazemore took a while to learn the system, but he is now thriving for them on both sides of the ball as he faces the team he opened the year with.
Blazers looking to play spoiler and stay alive
They need every game they can get, considering the inconsistencies they continue to show. Despite having two dynamic scorers in the backcourt and two fantastic defenders up front, their lack of bench depth is continuing to hurt them.
Rodney Hood got hurt early on after they had already lost Zach Collins. It hasn’t helped with Nurkic being out, nor Dame and CJ both suffering injuries. And while Carmelo Anthony has rediscovered his basketball ability and scoring prowess, that has also not been enough for them.
Gary Trent and Anfernee Simons can only do so much. The other guys on the bench have to add something positive. They really do.
Kings win a nailbiter
Make sure to wager on Sacramento! They are going to win a fun game between two desperate teams.
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