Gameday: Kevin Love is a bad matchup for the Kings

James Ham
NBC Sports BayArea
<p>Kevin Love is averaging 19.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season. Who is going to guard him tonight in Cleveland?</p>

Gameday: Kevin Love is a bad matchup for the Kings

Kevin Love is averaging 19.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season. Who is going to guard him tonight in Cleveland?

Lost on the road. The Sacramento Kings try to improve on their 3-10 record away from Golden 1 Center when they travel to Cleveland to face the Cavs on Wednesday evening. They'll face a Cleveland team that's won 12 straight and are the hottest team in the league.

Sacramento dropped a tough one in Milwaukee on Saturday by a final of 109-104. Zach Randolph stuffed the stat sheet, scoring a team-high 22 points for the Kings, but he wasn't alone. Buddy Hield dropped in 19 off the bench and De'Aaron Fox added 14 points and six rebounds.

At nearly 33 years old, LeBron James continues to put up huge numbers. The 13-time All-Star is averaging 28 points, 8.5 assists and 7.9 rebounds in 37 minutes a night for Tyronn Lue. James anchors a veteran team that is expecting another deep playoff run in Cleveland and trails only the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings.


Cavs by 12.5


Kevin Love vs. ??? -- Willie Cauley-Stein is on the shelf with a back injury and Skal Labissiere is in Reno wondering what just happened. Sacramento will likely turn to big men Zach Randolph and Kosta Koufos, neither of which known for their perimeter defense. Love knocks down 38.3 percent from behind the arc and he takes five triples per game. Dave Joerger will likely turn to two-way players Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson to fill the void in minutes, but Love is one of a couple of bad matchups for the Kings.


Kings: 7-16, fifth place in Pacific

Cavs: 17-7, first place in Central


Kings: C Willie Cauley-Stein (lower back strain) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January. Justin Jackson, Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere have been assigned to the Reno Bighorns.

Cavs: PG Isaiah Thomas (hip) out, PG Derrick Rose (ankle) out, PF/C Tristan Thompson (calf) out, SF Iman Shumpert (knee) out, Channing Frye (finger) questionable.


Veteran Mix -- Sampson and Cooley might not be big name additions to the roster, but they know their roles on a basketball court. Sampson will play minutes against LeBron James and Cooley will battle the Cavs bigs and do the dirty work. Missing Cauley-Stein and Labissiere hurts, but the new guys might be able to fill in gaps that the two young bigs can't.

More From Hill -- George Hill turned to social media to voice his anger with the results of Saturday's loss in Milwaukee. He blamed his own poor play, personal issues and the struggles of the team for his outburst. Hill hasn't played well all season long. Sacramento needs the veteran to revert back to the player he was last season in Utah.

Better Starts -- Falling behind 14-0 to start the game, like the Kings did against the Bucks, is a recipe for disaster. It's not the first time the starters have been dominated, but the Cavs are rolling. If Sacramento falls behind early, this game could get out of control before halftime hits.


These two teams split the season series 1-1 last year, with each team beating the other on their home floor. The Cavs hold a slight 58-57 lead in the all-time series and 38-23 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

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