The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings hope to return to the winning track when they play against each other Wednesday night in the California capital.
Lakers won two games in a row before starting a three-day two-game trip without LeBron James and absorbing a 130-104 drowned in Phoenix under the Sun’s hand on Monday night.
At the same time, the Kings, also looking for a third straight win but doing so at their home turf, saw the Charlotte Hornets arrive in town and walk away with a 125-119 victory.
LA and Sacramento have met once earlier this season, with the Kings winning 120-114 on the road in November in a game where the Lakers were also absent from James.
This time, they will be without Anthony Davis, who injured his right leg in home win 126-108 against Denver Nuggets on Friday.
James had 33 points after 37 minutes when his partner was absent from the match 119-117 home win over Washington Wizards on Sunday, then sidelined on the second night of back-to-back in Phoenix.
He is expected to return Wednesday at a venue where he has had more success in his career, 7-3 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, 2 -1 against the Miami Heat and most recently 2 -1 against the Lakers.
James scored at least 30 points six times in those 16 games, including a 51-point burst for the 2009 Cavaliers.
Lakers not sure when davis will be able to return, so James concedes the current gathering of healthy bodies must rally together and win as often as possible to keep the club close enough in the Western playoff race. . Hopefully running late can take the team into the post-season and towards another championship.
“A small setback before a big comeback,” he said of Davis’ injury. “We will try to keep the fort as long as possible until we get our #1 guy back. I hope he has a clear mind, takes his time and understands that it is only temporary.”
Like last year, when the Lakers (11th) and Kings (12th) were only three games apart and both nearly missed out on the Western play-in, both clubs are now in a tight fight at the bottom of the table of the playoff picture. Sacramento will play against the Lakers 3 1/2 games, who are currently outside 10 Western teams after the season.
Domantas Sabonis (21 points, 10 rebounds) and De’Aaron Fox (32 points, 12 assists) both scored doubles in their previous win in Los Angeles, and both came off the bench in the gruesome loss to the Hornets. on Monday.
Sabonis has 28 points and 23 rebounds against Charlotte, and Fox has a top 37 of the game, but that didn’t stop a disappointing opening to six home games.
Kings coach Mike Brown, who once coached James in Cleveland, took time after Monday’s defeat to push Sabonis to win a spot on the Western All-Star team.
“He’s just a very special player,” the Kings first-year coach insisted. “There aren’t many people with the skill set that he has in the league in that position.”
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