December 20, 2017 / 3:17 AM / 2 months ago

Preview: Kings at 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers look to pull out of a damaging slump and should have their leading scorer back in the lineup when they host the struggling Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. The 76ers have dropped back-to-back contests - each by two points - and six of their last seven after suffering a 117-115 setback at Chicago on Monday without center Joel Embiid, who sat out the opener of the back-to-back set to help manage his workload.

Forward Dario Saric poured in 20 of his season-high 27 points in the second half of the loss for the 76ers, who turned over the ball 20 times and allowed 46.4 percent shooting from 3-point range. Philadelphia rookie Ben Simmons told reporters after the game, “We got to win tomorrow” as Sacramento comes in off two losses by a total of 38 points to start its road trip and has dropped five of its last seven contests. The Kings are last in the league in scoring (96.1 points) and have just one player averaging more than 12.3 points - veteran forward Zach Randolph (15.3), who was rested in Sunday’s 108-93 loss at Toronto. Randolph is expected back Tuesday, but rookie guard De’Aaron Fox (9.7 points) is questionable due to a quadriceps injury.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCSN California (Sacramento), NBCSN Philadelphia

ABOUT THE KINGS (9-20): Veteran point guard George Hill has raised his production level over the last three games, averaging 16.7 points, while shooting guard Buddy Hield has cooled off after a hot stretch with just 17 total points in his last two contests. Former first-round pick Willie Cauley-Stein is averaging 11.3 points over his last three games and Bogdan Bogdanovic registered 18 off the bench in Sunday’s setback. Guard Garrett Temple also posted 18 points in the loss to Toronto after totaling 10 in his previous five games.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (14-15): Embiid is averaging 24.1 points and 11 rebounds, and has scored at least 25 in four of the five games he has played this month while shooting 47.8 percent this month. Simmons had a huge night despite missing a late chance to tie the game, finishing with 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to support Saric’s efforts. Forward Trevor Booker, who has averaged 11.5 points in four games since being acquired from Brooklyn, is expected to miss his second straight contest due to a sprained left ankle.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Kings edged the 76ers 109-108 at home on Nov. 9 and have won three of the last four meetings.

2. Sacramento started the week fourth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage (38.5), with Hill leading the way at 47.9.

3. Philadelphia SG J.J. Redick is averaging 20.8 points over his last five games but was held to 12 on Monday on 4-of-11 shooting.

PREDICTION: 76ers 110, Kings 96

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