Sacramento looks to continue its recent strong play over the Knicks in New York and snap an 11-game road losing streak Tuesday night.
The Kings opened a three-game trip Sunday afternoon and lost 115-104 to Toronto, falling to 3-22 away from home with their sixth straight defeat overall. Sacramento has dropped 20 of 23 since being a surprising one game under .500 in late December.
Against the Raptors, Sacramento (16-34) led by three heading into the fourth quarter before being outscored 31-17 in the final 12 minutes.
“We couldn’t finish the deal and it’s primarily because we couldn’t get the stops we needed,” coach Paul Westphal said. “It was about 42 or 44 minutes of really good basketball for us. The four to six minutes that wasn’t gives us a loss.”
The Kings have been outscored 57-38 in the fourth quarter of their last two road losses.
“That’s when our problem is,” rookie guard Tyreke Evans(notes) said. “Coach always comes into the locker room and says, ‘We’re almost there.’ That’s not going to get us where we want to be. We’ve got to find a way to work hard and pull together down the stretch.”
One bright spot for the Kings on Sunday was the play of Kevin Martin(notes), who scored 24 points on 7-for-18 shooting. Martin, averaging 20.7 points while playing in just 18 games due to a left wrist injury, had scored 16.3 points and shot 35.6 percent in his previous 12 contests.
Martin scored a game-high 30 in Sacramento’s last visit to MSG, a 121-94 win March 20. It was the Kings’ fourth victory in five games at New York after dropping 20 of their previous 21 trips.
New York was also playing unexpectedly well earlier this season, going 12-6 from Dec. 1-Jan. 7 before dropping 11 of its last 15.
Despite that poor stretch, the Knicks remain just 4 1/2 games behind the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“We’ll just try to get back to where we were a month ago,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We have the ability to be able to fight and scrap … so the rest of the way out, starting Tuesday, we have to get back to what we do.”