NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 31st (All times eastern)
Sacramento Kings (6-14) at Golden State Warriors (6-12), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of Pacific Division cellar also-rans collide this evening in Oakland, when Keith Smart and his Sacramento Kings pay a visit to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
Smart will face his former team for the first time on Tuesday. After spending seven seasons as an assistant in Oakland, the Indiana product took over for Don Nelson in September 2010 and led the Warriors to a 36-46 record.
Smart's new team is currently last in the division -- one game behind Golden State -- and have lost four straight and seven of their last nine games. The losing ways continued for the Kings with Saturday's 96-93 loss at Utah, as rookie Jimmer Fredette finished with 14 points and missed a deep shot from the right side that could have given the Kings a one-point lead.
Fredette's shot was contested by a rushing Earl Watson and the former BYU star thought he might have been fouled.
"I caught it, shot it, possibly contact, maybe not. But the ball didn't go in and that's what happens," said Fredette, who is averaging 16.5 ppg in the last four games. "It was a tough loss for us."
Tyreke Evans scored 31 points to lead Sacramento, which shot 46.3 percent and fell to 2-10 on the road this season. The Kings have lost three in a row away from California's capital. Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins both had 14 points in a losing cause. Cousins has recorded double-doubles in five in the last six games and is averaging 15.2 ppg and 11.6 rpg in the last 13 contests.
Golden State has lost four of its last five games, including Friday's 120-109 loss versus Oklahoma City in the continuation of a six game homestand (1-3).
Dorell Wright drained six shots from beyond the arc en route to a season-high 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Golden State, which got 19 points from David Lee and 15 points and six assists out of Stephen Curry. Monta Ellis added 13 points on 5-of-17 shooting.
"[The Thunder] scored 28 points in the last 5 1/2 minutes basically," Warriors first-year head coach Mark Jackson said. "They have a different motor. They're a different animal. We have to learn how to do that. We don't have the luxury to be able to turn it on when we want to. It's a good lesson for us."
Jackson's squad will close out the homestand Thursday versus Utah and is 4-7 in Oakland this season. Wright is averaging 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds 1.4 assists and 1.11 steals in his last nine games.
The Warriors are just 1-7 against the Western Conference this season and split four meetings with Sacramento a season ago. Golden State has won four of seven and six of the last 10 meetings with the Kings, who have lost 12 of their last 16 matchups as the guest in this series.
01/31 10:43:09 ET