Preview: Bucks at Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings carry positive momentum into their Tuesday night matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings (6-14) are fresh off their best victory this season, and perhaps several seasons, a 110-106 road decision over the Golden State Warriors on Monday. Sacramento scored the game's final eight points and reached the 110-point figure for only the third time all season in becoming the first Pacific Conference team in 33 games to win in Oakland.
"It's good for confidence," Kings coach Dave Joerger said after the game. "They don't lose here very often, no matter what. ... It's a feather in (the players') hat for sure."
The Kings did not face a fully healthy Warriors team, but they won on the road against Golden State for the first time since 2013 by containing two of the champions' stars. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were held to a combined 11-for-35 shooting and only 35 points.
The Kings average only 95.1 points per game, but they have tallied an average of 106 over their past three games. The speed of guards D'Aaron Fox and Frank Mason showed up in the three contests.
"De'Aaron and Frank have set the tone for us playing faster," Joerger said.
Sacramento center Willie Cauley-Stein has provided a boost off the bench with 54 points and 20 rebounds over the past three games.
The Bucks (9-9) were expected to spring from the gate and be among those setting the pace in the Eastern Conference, but they have yet to gain their footing. Milwaukee has dropped three of four after a season-best four-game winning streak.
Antetokounmpo, 22, has mostly lived up to his billing as one of the league's best young talents. He leads the Bucks in scoring (29.5 points per game) and rebounding (10.5) and is third among the regulars in assists (4.4).
He also downplayed the notion that he has grown frustrated with Milwaukee's inconsistency, although he swore at assistant coach Sean Sweeney on Saturday during the Bucks' 121-108 loss to the Jazz in Utah.
Cameras caught the confrontation during a timeout late in the third quarter.
"That's what me and Sweeney do," Antetokounmpo said after the game in which he scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. "You always fight with your brothers. It's something common. Me and Sweeney, we're so tight. He always speaks the truth to me, and I always speak the truth to him. We've done this in the past, just this time it was caught on national TV. ... We fight, we argue, but at the end of the day, we both want to win."
Milwaukee wins mostly with defense. The Bucks rank fourth in opponents' scoring, allowing 105.6 points per contest.
Guard Eric Bledsoe, acquired from the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 7, is playing 31 minutes a game for Milwaukee and has averaged 15.1 points and 5.1 assists per game in eight contests. The Bucks were held below 100 points in five of those games.