NBA Gameday: Rudy Gay 'a go' vs Clippers; Chris Paul likely to play

NBA Gameday: Rudy Gay 'a go' vs Clippers; Chris Paul likely to play

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings return to their home floor trying to wash the taste of Wednesday’s embarrassing 107-102 loss to an injury riddled Miami Heat team. They face a Clippers team that is struggling with injury woes as well, but they are hoping for the return of All-Star Chris Paul after a four-game absence.

Los Angeles is without All-Star power forward Blake Griffin for a few more weeks after another injury setback. Griffin has missed 10 straight after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-December and the Clippers have struggled to a 4-6 record without him.

Veteran forward Rudy Gay has missed four straight and 10-of-11 games with a right hip flexor strain, but it appears he’s ready to make a return to the court.

“I’m going today, I’m a go,” Gay told CSN California as he left the floor and headed back to the team’s locker room.

Gay, 30, has played in 24 of the Kings’ 35 games this season, posting 18.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 33.6 minutes a night.

OPENING LINE

Clippers by 3

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Kings shooting guards vs. J.J. Redick -- Redick is a nice complimentary player against most teams, but he seems to find a way to hurt the Kings every time these two teams play. Ben McLemore has started 14 of the last 15 games for Dave Joerger at the shooting guard position, but he’s scored in double figures just once over that stretch and he was benched during the second half of the Kings loss to Miami. Afflalo has had a nice resurgence over the last two games, but the answer might be veteran Garrett Temple who is the best defender of the lot. If Redick gets loose, this could be a long night for Sacramento.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 15-20, fourth place in Pacific

Clippers: 24-14, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SF Rudy Gay (right hip flexor) listed as questionable, but he told CSN California that he intends to play.

Clippers: PG Chris Paul (hamstring) is likely to play, PF Blake Griffin (knee) out,  F Brice Johnson (back) out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Clippers lead the season series 1-0 after dispatching the Kings 121-115 at Golden 1 Center on Nov. 18. During the Sacramento-era, the Kings hold a 69-64 advantage and they lead the Clippers 113-87 all-time.

QUOTE

“I’m very disappointed, the most disappointed I’ve been this season. This is a game we have to win. After a big game in Denver to get that eight seed and then come in here against a decimated Miami Heat team that’s coming on a back-to-back as well - so that’s no excuse. This is a game we have to get. We’ve just got to get it. We can’t lose games like this. I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite us.” - Garrett Temple following the Kings’ loss to the Heat

Report: Kings finally give up hope on long lost prospect

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AP

Report: Kings finally give up hope on long lost prospect

SACRAMENTO -- The one that got away.

News broke Friday afternoon of another player move from the Sacramento Kings. A transaction 22 years in the making was finally completed when according to a published report, the Kings renounced the rights to 6-foot-7 Serbian, Dejan Bodiroga.

The now 44-year-old wing has been retired since 2007. He’s known around the basketball circles as one of the greatest European players to never to come to the NBA.

Drafted by Geoff Petrie with the 51st overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft, Sacramento tried multiple times to get the sharpshooter to come to the states. It was always a longshot, but after selecting Corliss Williamson and Tyus Edney with his first two selections, Petrie took a late-round gamble. 

Bodiroga has a trophy case full of awards, including a Spanish League MVP, a FIBA World Cup MVP and a Greek League MVP. He also won championships in the Italian, Greek and Spanish Leagues, as well as silver medal in the 1996 Olympic games.

He is also on the list of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors along with fellow Serbian and current Sacramento Kings General Manager, Vlade Divac.   

Kings fans reacted on Twitter to the news in standard fashion:

Kings preseason schedule: Circle Oct. 8 on your calendars

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USATI

Kings preseason schedule: Circle Oct. 8 on your calendars

SACRAMENTO -- The season is still months away, but the slow buildup has started. Thursday afternoon the Sacramento Kings announced their preseason schedule for the 2017-18 season and there is plenty of intrigue to look forward to.

The Kings open their preseason schedule on Oct. 2 at the Golden 1 Center against the San Antonio Spurs. Under head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs won 61 games last season before falling to the Golden State Warriors in four games during the Western Conference Finals. They didn’t land Chris Paul, like early rumors suggested, but they roll into Sacramento with former King Rudy Gay and a team chalked full of veterans.

Four days later, the Kings travel to the AT&T Center in San Antonio to face the Spurs again. San Antonio will start the season without point guard Tony Parker, who ruptured a quad tendon during the playoffs and is expected to sit out until January.

The Kings fly to Sin City on Oct. 8 for their annual matchup in Vegas against the Lakers. The game will certainly take on a more of a circus feel as the Lonzo Ball vs. De’Aaron Fox fanfare hits a fever pitch.

Following the Lakers game, the Kings travel back to Sacramento where the vaunted backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum await on the second night of a back-to-back. Portland took the season series 2-1 last year and come in with rookie Zach Collins, who Sacramento dealt away on draft night for opportunity to select Justin Jackson and Harry Giles at picks 15 and 20.

The Kings take on the new-look Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 12 at the Staples Center. The backcourt of Chris Paul and J.J. Reddick is no more and veteran sixth-man Jamal Crawford is now with the T-Wolves. The additions of Patrick Beverley, Danilo Gallinari and Milos Teodosic make the Clippers and intriguing watch.

Sacramento finishes out their preseason schedule Oct. 13 at Oracle Arena against the reigning world champs. The Warriors come back with most of their championship roster intact, but a few additions. Nick Young will come off the bench to add more offensive firepower and former Kings forward Omri Casspi will make his return to Sacramento after being traded away at the All-Star break last season.

Per NBA scheduling changes, the preseason and regular season have been moved up. Sacramento will finish their exhibition schedule five days ahead of last season’s schedule. With only two home games on the docket, plenty of Kings fans will have to wait until the regular season to get their first glimpse at the team’s five rookies and three free agent acquisitions.