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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, January 22nd (All times eastern)

New Jersey Nets (20-20) at Sacramento Kings (15-23), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Nets start a five-game road trip, as they visit the Sacramento Kings tonight at ARCO Arena.

The Nets enter the game on a four-game winning streak. All-Star Vince Carter poured in a game-high 27 points and pulled down five rebounds as New Jersey put forth a dominating second half en route to a 101-94victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday at Continental Airlines Arena.

Carter finished 10-of-23 from the field and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the victory. Richard Jefferson and Eddie House both scored 17 points for the Nets, who have won eight of their last 10 games overall.

Jason Kidd netted 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists against the Magic for New Jersey, which shot 42 percent from the floor.

The Nets will be without Jefferson, who elected to havearthroscopic surgery on his right ankle. Jefferson is averaging 16.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season.

New Jersey is 7-10 on the road this season. The Nets will also visit Golden State, the Clippers, Denver and Utah on the swing.

Sacramento returns home after going 1-3 on a road trip. On Saturday, Richard Hamilton led a balanced attack with 19 points, and the Pistons used strong defense to post a 91-74 victory over the Kings in Ron Artest's return to The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The controversial Artest was a member of the Indiana Pacers when the infamous brawl took place on November 19, 2004. That contest turned into an out-of- control melee. NBA Commissioner David Stern showed no mercy as he suspended Artest for the remainder of the 2004-05 campaign for his part in the brawl and also penalized other key figures in the incident for a significant amount of time.

Artest ended with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Kings, who have dropped eight of their last nine games overall. Corliss Williamson had 17 points to lead Sacramento, which was held to just 35.5 percent from the field.

The Kings are 10-11 at home this season. They will host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday at ARCO Arena.

This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. The Nets are scheduled to host the Kings on February 23rd at Continental Airlines Arena.

New Jersey has lost seven straight and nine of its last 10 at Sacramento. The Kings have won two in a row in the series.

01/22 10:50:36 ET

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