Neither the Milwaukee Bucks nor Sacramento Kings have much tangible to aim for as they play out the remainders of disappointing seasons.
The Milwaukee Bucks may be a little more motivated, however, assuming they want to avoid finishing with the worst record in franchise history.
Milwaukee tries to snap a six-game skid Sunday when it visits Sacramento in a matchup of struggling franchises.
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The Bucks (13-56), who own the league’s worst record, will miss out on the post season for the sixth time in eight seasons. They’ll have to win at least eight of their final 13 contests to avoid matching the club’s all-time worst mark of 20-62 set in 1993-94. Seven of their remaining games are on the road, where they’ve lost 17 of 18, and eight of their remaining opponents are above .500.
Milwaukee lost another starter to injury in Thursday’s 115-110 loss at Golden State with Nate Wolters breaking his left hand while trying to get around a screen in the first half. Wolters, who was making his 24th straight start, is done for the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to start in his place, but the rookie is averaging just 5.3 points on 29.8 percent shooting over his last 11 contests.
Coach Larry Drew already confirmed before the game that Larry Sanders – who hasn’t played since Feb. 8 due to a broken orbital bone – will not return this season.
The Kings (24-45) will miss out on postseason play for the eighth straight season and come off their lowest point total of the season after a 99-79 home loss to San Antonio on Friday. Sacramento shot marginally better, hitting 40.0 percent of its shots compared to 38.7 percent by the Spurs, but committed 15 turnovers to San Antonio’s nine.
"If you had told me going into tonight’s game that we hold the Spurs to 99 points, 38 percent from the field, and 20 percent from three-point, I would’ve said we were going to win the game," coach Michael Malone said.
DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points and 13 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double and ninth in 10 games, but the Kings were outscored 44-28 in the paint. Sacramento also recorded just 17 assists and has posted a 0.86 assist-to-turnover ratio over the last eight games. The Kings’ 1.22 overall ratio is the NBA’s worst.
"I don’t think we moved the ball enough," Cousins said. "We came down and got quick shots. That kind of hurt us. If we moved the ball a lot better we would’ve had a chance at this game."
Cousins was one of three Kings scoring 21-plus in a 116-102 win at Milwaukee on March 5, as Isaiah Thomas led Sacramento with 25. Brandon Knight, who is averaging 20.6 points over his last 15 contests, scored 15 for Milwaukee. His 19.8 points per game in five career matchups with the Kings is his highest scoring average against any opponent.
The Kings have lost four of five to the Bucks in Sacramento.