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Game 68 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards

The Washington Wizards visit the capital city for the one and only time this year.

John Wall looks to make a move against Aaron Brooks. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)

Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (23-44)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Derrick Williams
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Washington Wizards Projected Starters (35-31)

PG: John Wall
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Trevor Booker
C: Marcin Gortat

What to watch

1. Wizards backcourt vs. Kings backcourt

The Wizards have a dynamic backcourt duo in John Wall and Bradley Beal.  Wall is fresh off his first career All-Star appearance and is currently averaging 19.8 points and 8.7 assists per contest.  Beal is coming into his own as well.  In his second NBA campaign, Beal is averaging 17 points per contest while shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point distance.  Isaiah Thomas typically plays some of his best basketball against upper echelon point guards like Wall, but what can the Kings expect out of rookie Ben McLemore?  He could be in for another long night against one of the up-and-coming shooting guards in the NBA.

2. DeMarcus Cousins vs. Marcin Gortat

The Kings starting center did not play in Sacramento’s loss in Minneapolis because of right knee tendinitis.  Cousins will likely return to the Kings lineup tonight against the Wizards and Gortat.  The Wizards big man has proven to be a tough match-up for Cousins in their previous meetings.  In their last outing against each other, Gortat scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds against Cousins.  The Kings starting center, meanwhile, posted an inefficient double-double: 14 points on 3-of-16 shooting and 12 rebounds.

3. Which bench big comes up big in tonight’s match-up?

Playing on a few 10-day contracts, Drew Gooden has found new life as a member of the Wizards.  Over the course of eight games, the 32-year-old power forward has averaged 8.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.6 minutes a night.  Since Gooden’s signing, the Wizards have posted a 5-3 record.  The Kings have two forwards capable of matching Gooden’s production in Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson.  Williams could be due for another big game.  He is coming off a 26-point, 11-rebound performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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