Preview: Kings at Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs look to bounce back from a rare home loss and maintain their narrow lead atop the Western Conference when they host the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Phoenix snapped the Spurs' 18-game home winning streak on Wednesday when San Antonio missed all 10 of its shots in overtime and the Suns escaped with a 105-101 victory. The defeat left the Spurs one game ahead of Oklahoma City in the loss column for first place in the West. Sacramento, which is aiming to win two straight road games for the second time this season, ended a season-worst six-game losing streak with a 125-101 rout of Orlando on Wednesday. The Kings have lost 21 of their last 23 games against the Spurs, including the first two meetings this season. They're concluding a five-game road trip that included a 141-129 double-overtime loss to Miami on Tuesday. Sacramento is 1-3 on the eight-day trip and 6-26 overall on the road.TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, News10 (Sacramento), Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio)ABOUT THE KINGS (20-39): John Salmons doesn't figure in the Kings' long-range plans, but the 33-year-old guard has provided a spark while averaging 18 points and shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 81.3 percent from beyond the arc over the past three games. Tyreke Evans, averaging 19 points over the past seven games, scored 20 points in a 108-102 loss to San Antonio on Feb. 19. Forward Patrick Patterson has come off the bench in three games since being acquired from Houston and the Kings are hoping he can help improve the team's poor outside shooting. He'll likely continue to serve as a backup to Jason Thompson (10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds).ABOUT THE SPURS (45-14): After missing one game with a triceps injury, point guard Tony Parker returned Wednesday and had 22 points and eight assists in 39 minutes. Parker has averaged 27 points in his last eight games, and he ranks fourth among starting point guards in assist-to-turnover ratio. The loss to the Suns was San Antonio's first at home since Nov. 19. San Antonio plays 16 of its final 23 games at the AT&T Center, where the Spurs are 22-3. Tim Duncan had a double-double against the Suns with 19 points and 11 boards in 35 minutes and became the 11th player in NBA history with 20,000 points and 13,000 rebounds.BUZZER BEATERS1. Kings G Marcus Thornton is averaging 22.7 points while shooting 55.3 percent from the field in the last three games.2. San Antonio is shooting 41.9 percent from the field in its last three games, including 26.8 percent (15-of-56) from beyond the arc.3. The Kings are shooting 53.3 percent (48-of-90) from 3-point range in the last four games.PREDICTION: Spurs 108, Kings 95
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