Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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NBA Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (48-19) at Sacramento Kings (40-26)

The Sacramento Kings host the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, the second game of a three-game West Coast road trip, bringing together two of the best teams in the NBA.

The Bucks, who led the Eastern Conference going into their trip, had won 19 of their last 20 games. However, with Giannis Antetokounmpo, a former two-time MVP, out against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, another two-time MVP was the difference. Milwaukee lost the overtime game 125-116 to Golden State thanks to 36 points from Steph Curry late in the game.

The Bucks suffered their third defeat since Jan. 16. The last time they lost consecutive games, on Jan. 12 and 14, they travel to Sacramento for the game on Monday.

Bobby Portis’ 33rd double-double of the season contributed to Milwaukee’s comeback from a 13-point deficit in the second half against Golden State to advance to overtime. 19 points, five assists, and four steals were added by Khris Middleton.

After missing 43 games due to injuries, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer has remained cautious with Middleton’s usage, even though he played 34 minutes and shot 3 of 4 from three-point range.

After missing three games due to right hand soreness, Antetokounmpo, who averages 31.2 points per game and is second in the league in rebounds with 11.9, may be ready to play on Monday.

The Kings have won eight of their last nine games, including two straight against teams eligible for the playoffs, heading into Monday’s matchup. Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double of 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists in Sacramento’s 122-117 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday.

Sabonis, who leads the NBA with 12.3 rebounds per game, recorded his ninth triple-double of the season on Thursday. Since the All-Star break, it was his third triple-double performance.

On Saturday, Sabonis added 17 points and eight rebounds to his previous performance. He was one of four Rulers players to score something like 17 as Sacramento outperformed the Phoenix Suns 128-119.

De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk each scored 18 points in Sacramento’s road victory. Harrison Barnes scored 19 points.

Metu scored nine focuses and made three takes off the seat.

Sacramento has reached 40 wins for the first time since 2006, moving into a tie with Memphis for the best record in the Western Conference.

The hot teams haven’t played each other since Dec. 7, when the Bucks beat Milwaukee 126-113.

In that game, Antetokounmpo scored 35 points, and Jrue Holiday added 31. Throughout the season, Holiday has scored 30 or more points six times; Four of those have occurred since the year 2023.

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