Kings-Wizards gameday live: Playoff race; Huerter, Lyles injury updates; Porzingis out
The Kings are striding toward the playoffs with an opportunity to take another big step Saturday night in Washington, D.C.
Sacramento has won 10 of 12 since the All-Star break, including back-to-back wins over the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and Thursday to open a four-game road trip.
The Kings (42-27) are tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for second in the Western Conference going into Saturday’s game against the Wizards (32-38) at Capital One Arena. Memphis rallied from a 29-point deficit to match Sacramento’s record with an overtime victory against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, but the Kings still hold the applicable tiebreaker by virtue of their conference record.
The Phoenix Suns (38-32) are 4 ½ games back in fourth followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (37-33). The Dallas Mavericks (36-35) and Golden State Warriors (36-35) are tied for sixth. Sacramento’s magic number to clinch an automatic playoff bid is six, meaning the Kings can secure a top six seed with any combination of six wins or losses by the Mavericks or Warriors.
The Wizards (32-38) will be on the second night of a road-home back-to-back after suffering a 117-94 loss in Cleveland on Friday. They’ve lost four of five and eight of 12 since the All-Star break despite some big games from Bradley Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma.
Sacramento’s depth could be tested on the third game of the road trip with multiple players appearing on the team’s injury report. Kings guard Kevin Huerter is questionable with a right popliteus strain. Forward Trey Lyles is questionable due to right shoulder soreness. Center Richaun Holmes is questionable with a non-COVID-19 illness.
The Kings announced Friday that an MRI revealed a strain to the popliteus muscle behind Huerter’s knee, but no hamstring injury. He is considered day-to-day as the Kings close out their road trip against the Wizards on Saturday and Utah Jazz on Monday with a big showdown looming against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday in Sacramento.
Huerter and Lyles have been ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Wizards. Holmes is still listed as questionable.
The Wizards announced that Porzingis has been ruled out for Saturday’s game against the Kings due to a non-COVID-19 illness. Porzingis, a 7-foot-3 center, is averaging 22.8 points and 8.5 rebounds.
Kings at Wizards
When: 5 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140
Odds: Kings -2.5
Kings: QUESTIONABLE — Richaun Holmes (non-COVID illness); Kevin Huerter (knee); Trey Lyles (shoulder); Neemias Queta (G League).
Wizards: Not yet submitted.
March 18 at Washington Wizards
March 20 at Utah Jazz
March 21 vs. Boston Celtics
March 24 vs. Phoenix Suns
March 25 vs. Utah Jazz