National Basketball Association
Kings-Knicks Preview
National Basketball Association

Kings-Knicks Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 10:07 p.m. ET

Dysfunction has been the story for the New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings, who have been dismal since the All-Star break.

Only two teams have worse records than these clubs in that span but one of them will win when they meet Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

Sacramento (26-42) is 4-11 since the break and New York (28-42) is 5-10. Only the Los Angeles Lakers at 3-11 and Philadelphia at 1-15 have been worse. The Kings will finish with their 10th straight losing season and the Knicks their third in a row.

These teams are similarly built around superstars that many basketball observers believe are flawed in New York's Carmelo Anthony and Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins. Anthony, who said earlier this week he was unsure about his future with the Knicks, was evaluated for migraines after he scored 20 in Saturday's 99-89 loss at Washington.


Cousins has repeatedly clashed with coach George Karl, who is rumored to be fired. The Knicks have already fired Derek Fisher and replaced him with interim coach Kurt Rambis.

Hope for the future is based on 7-foot rookies selected two picks apart in the draft in the Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis and the Kings' Willie Cauley-Stein. Both are showing signs of the drain of the long season.

Porzingis is shooting 39.3 percent overall and 28.0 percent on 3-pointers in his 14 games playing under Rambis. He shot 42.3 percent and 34.9 percent in 53 games under Fisher.

Cauley-Stein sat out Friday's 115-108 loss at Detroit with an illness. He has been disappointing lately, failing to score at least 10 points in nine of his previous 11 games.

Cousins had 31 points and 10 rebounds Friday in Sacramento's 11th loss in 13 games. The Kings trailed 39-25 after one quarter before rallying to get back into the contest only to get outscored 18-12 over the final 6:36.

''Slow start, slow end,'' said forward Rudy Gay, who scored 19. ''We've just got to put together a whole game of good basketball.''

Rajon Rondo, averaging an NBA-high 11.9 assists, returned with 10 points and 13 assists after missing a game with a variety of injuries.

The Kings have a major edge with an average of 49.7 points in the paint to rank second in the NBA while the Knicks rank last at 36.5.

Sacramento enjoyed a 62-26 advantage in that category in a 99-97 home win Dec. 10. Cousins had 27 points and 11 boards and Anthony had 23 and 14, although he missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

New York blew an 18-point lead in its 20th loss in 26 games Saturday. Porzingis scored 20 for the Knicks, who shot 39.5 percent.

Point guard Jose Calderon was seen limping during the game. His status was in doubt due to a calf injury that he plans to test out Sunday.

"That it is the plan, that is the plan, going out tomorrow, get treatment in the morning, get treatment before the game," he said. "Hopefully it won't get a big swelling or something, so hopefully everything is good."

The Knicks are 7-8 in the second half of back-to-back sets.


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