NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 23rd (All times eastern)
Milwaukee Bucks (11-16) at Sacramento Kings (5-21), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The struggling Sacramento Kings hope to end a six-game slide tonight, when they resume a five-game homestand versus the Milwaukee Bucks from ARCO Arena.
The Kings have dropped three in a row in California's capital and fell to 0-2 on the residency following Tuesday's 117-109 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors. Golden State outscored the opposition, 15-7, in the extra period and erased an 84-70 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter.
Beno Udrih led the Kings with a career-high 34 points, while reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for Sacramento, which led by as many as 16 points and is a miserable 5-21 on the season. Sacramento owns a 3-12 home record in 2010-11.
"There's a line in this league when you think you can't get any lower, it gets lower," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said.
Carl Landry tied a season high with 22 points and snatched 10 rebounds off the bench in a losing cause. Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, as Sacramento pulled down a season-best 56 rebounds but committed 19 turnovers. The Kings are ranked second in the NBA with 13.4 offensive rebounds per game and will also host the Clippers and Grizzlies on the homestand.
Cousins is averaging 12.3 rpg in the last three contests, and Landry is posting 14.0 points and 6.0 boards in the previous five.
Milwaukee will wrap up a three-game road trip Thursday and has split the first two tests on the trek. It is coming off an improbable 98-79 victory over the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, as Earl Boykins scored a season-high 22 points off the bench to help the Bucks end a three- game slide and win for the fourth time in seven tries.
The Bucks were able to rebound from Monday's 106-80 loss in Portland.
"Yesterday, I didn't shoot well," Boykins said after the win over LA. "My legs were stronger today and I got into a rhythm. Last night, we were embarrassed. We came out with energy tonight."
John Salmons added 20 points and six assists, while Ersan Ilyasova registered 17 points and 11 rebounds in a winning effort. Milwaukee is only 4-10 away from the Bradley Center this season and has held eight of the last nine opponents under 100 points, going 5-4 in that stretch.
Salmons, a former King, is averaging 16.6 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds over his previous five outings. Andrew Bogut, who had 15 points in the win over the Lakers, has notched a double-double in five of the last nine games and has team-highs in points (17.6), rebounds (11.9) and blocks (3.0) in that time.
Bucks forward Drew Gooden (foot) is doubtful for tonight and forward Corey Maggette is questionable with concussion-like symptoms.
Sacramento and Milwaukee split a home-and-home series a season ago, with each team prevailing as the guest. The Kings are 13-5 in the past 18 encounters with the Bucks, losers in six of their last nine visits to ARCO Arena.
12/23 10:39:08 ET