NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 27th (All times eastern)
Sacramento Kings (18-24) at Boston Celtics (17-25), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Sacramento Kings may have Ron Artest in the lineup this evening when they continue a six-game road trip against the Boston Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden.
The Kings finally acquired the volatile forward from the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday for Peja Stojakovic. Originally the deal had been agreed upon on Tuesday, but Artest reportedly balked at going to Sacramento.
However, after meeting with Pacers' brass on Wednesday, Artest accepted the deal.
Sacramento is getting one of, if not the best, defenders in the league in Artest. They are also inheriting a whole lot of trouble, as the 2004 NBA Defensive Player of the Year made headlines last season when he charged into the crowd after fans after getting hit with debris during a game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace. Commissioner David Stern showed no mercy, as he suspended Artest for the final 73 games of the season.
Artest averaged 19.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in 16 games this season for Indiana before blasting the organization in early December and requesting a trade. He has been inactive ever since.
Sacramento, meanwhile, comes in on a winning note after Mike Bibby had 35 points and 10 assists to lead the Kings past the New York Knicks, 106-102, in overtime, on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Miller contributed 25 points and a season-high 15 rebounds and Kevin Martin scored 21 points for Sacramento, which snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Kings, who will close their trek in Toronto on Sunday, are 6-13 away from home this season.
Boston enters tonight's tilt on a sour note after falling to the Washington Wizards, 89-87, at home on Wednesday.
Paul Pierce scored 25 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out six assists and Ricky Davis added 13 points in defeat. Pierce did miss five straight free throws in the second half and finished 5-of-13 from the charity stripe on the night.
Mark Blount tallied 11 points and Delonte West compiled 10 points and nine assists, as the Celtics have dropped two of their last three contests.
Boston, which will be concluding a three-game homestand tonight, is 13-9 in its arena this season.
Sacramento defeated the Celtics earlier in the season and has won four straight and 10 of the last 11 meetings. The Kings have also won four of their last five in Boston.
01/27 10:38:44 ET