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Preview: Indiana At Sacramento
When: 10:30 PM ET, Saturday, January 23, 2016
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California
DeMarcus Cousins is in the midst of a torrid stretch and the Sacramento Kings aim to increase their season-best winning streak to five games when they host the Indiana Pacers on Saturday. Cousins has posted double-doubles in nine consecutive games and is averaging 30.9 points and 13.8 rebounds in January.
Cousins, who has seven 30-point outings this month, contributed 24 points and 15 rebounds Thursday as the Kings halted a 15-game losing streak against the Atlanta Hawks with a 91-88 victory. Point guard Rajon Rondo posted a triple-double against the Hawks with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds and has recorded double digits in assists in each of his past 10 games. Indiana has dropped four of its last five games and was outclassed 122-110 by the Golden State Warriors on Friday. Pacers rookie forward Myles Turner scored a season-best 31 points and is averaging 23.7 points on 30-of-41 shooting during the past three games.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, CSN California (Sacramento)
ABOUT THE PACERS (23-20): All-Star small forward Paul George is mired in a three-game funk and had just 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting against the Warriors. George is averaging 16.7 points in the past three games — nearly seven points below his season average — after scoring 20 or more points in eight of the previous nine contests. Backup point guard Rodney Stuckey (foot) is expected to miss his sixth straight game, and his absence has provided an opportunity for rookie guard Joseph Young, who is averaging 14 points during the last three games and recorded season highs of 16 points and eight assists against Golden State.
ABOUT THE KINGS (19-23): Starting small forward Rudy Gay missed the Atlanta contest with a left heel injury and is questionable to play against the Pacers. Gay ranks second on Sacramento in scoring (17.9) but has also proven to be more than capable when guarding the opposition this season. “Rudy’s actually, I think, been playing at a really good level defensively,” Kings coach George Karl told reporters. “The last 10, 15 games, he’s done a really good job of focusing and improving his defense.”
1. The Kings have won the past three meetings, including a 108-106 road victory Dec. 23.
2. Indiana PG George Hill is expected back after a three-game absence related to the premature birth of his son.
3. Sacramento rookie C Willie Cauley-Stein has back-to-back double-doubles — the first two of his career.
PREDICTION: Kings 101, Pacers 95