It’s going to be a tough task for Luke Walton’s squad against the Western Conference leaders.
Sacramento is coming off an impressive 113-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Although the Kings are all but eliminated from the play-in race, it was encouraging to see the team come together without leader De’Aaron Fox.
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
When: Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: SLC Dunk
Projected Starting Lineups
Kings (25-36): Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless, Richaun Holmes
Jazz (44-17): Mike Conley Jr, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert
Kings: Marvin Bagley III (hand), Robert Woodard II (low back soreness) — OUT
Jazz: Donovan Mitchell (ankle) — OUT
Tyrese Haliburton has looked great over the past two games without Fox in the lineup. The rookie has stepped up as the team’s primary playmaker and is averaging 19 points, nine assists and four rebounds, with Fox missing the last two games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Head coach Luke Walton is also mixing up his rotations. The newer Sacramento players (Moe Harkless, Terence Davis and Delon Wright) have all been meaningful contributors over recent weeks as they try to make an impression on general manager Monte McNair.
The Jazz have been without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell for the previous six games. Mitchell will miss at least another week due to an ankle injury. Utah initially won three of four games without Mitchell but wound up losing back-to-back games to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.
Still, it will be a tough test for the Kings. The Jazz have the best point-differential of any NBA team and give up the fourth-fewest points in the league.
With only 11 games left on the schedule, Sacramento remains mathematically alive in the play-in race, but it will need a miracle to get in. The Kings are four games up on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it seems unlikely Sacramento ends up in the top-six in terms of lottery odds.
This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Jazz beat Sacramento 128-112 on April 10.