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News » Kings-SuperSonics Preview

Kings-SuperSonics Preview

Kings-SuperSonics Preview
The SuperSonics may have one last chance to end their struggles against the Sacramento Kings in Seattle.

Perhaps finishing off their last season in Seattle, the Sonics look to snap a four-game losing streak versus the Kings at KeyArena when the teams meet Sunday night.

The Sonics (17-56) haven't beaten the Kings (32-40) in Seattle since Nov. 20, 2005, when they won 106-104. This could be the Sonics' last chance to beat Sacramento at KeyArena because the team's new ownership, under Clay Bennett, is trying to set up a move to Oklahoma City, perhaps by next season.

Seattle, with the worst record in the Western Conference and losses in 13 of its last 15, doesn't seem to have much of a chance to end its skid against Sacramento.

Sonics star rookie Kevin Durant had 19 points, but shot just 5-for-20 from the field in Seattle's 104-98 loss to the Kings at KeyArena on Jan. 27. It was one of the worst shooting games of the season for Durant, averaging 19.8 points a contest.

Durant, who had scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games, had 18 in the Sonics' 96-93 loss to Charlotte on Friday night. Seattle has dropped two straight and seven of eight at home after winning five of its previous seven.

"Our main goal is to teach these guys to play hard," Sonics veteran forward Donyell Marshall said of the team's younger players. "We need to learn how to play hard and the wins will come. That's the most important thing."

Durant has had to shoulder more of the Sonics' scoring load with Chris Wilcox now out for the remainder of the season. Seattle announced Friday that Wilcox, who averaged 13.4 points per game, needs at least six weeks to heal a dislocated finger.

Nick Collison, averaging 11.0 points and 13.7 rebounds in his last four games, is starting in place of Wilcox at power forward. Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo also will play rookie Jeff Green at that position against small lineups.

Sacramento, meanwhile, has its own injury problems, with point guard Beno Udrih nursing a sore back and rookie center Spencer Hawes hobbled by a left ankle injury. Udrih has missed five of the Kings' last six games, and Hawes has left each of the past two after aggravating his ankle.

Sacramento has lost four of five after winning four of its previous five. After splitting their last two games at home, the Kings will try and snap a four-game road losing streak.

"We've got to keep playing," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "We've done well toward the end of this season. We've had some losses, but we've also come back and had some wins."

The Kings squandered a 16-point lead in a 114-108 loss to Washington on Friday night, allowing 110 points or more for the 11th time in their last 19 games.

Sacramento has struggled on defense despite boasting one of the league's top stoppers in Ron Artest, who has nine steals in his last two games.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 29, 2008


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