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Hello, Old Friend: Kings To Face Cauley-Stein, Warriors Tonight

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The 26 year-old center will be making his first appearance at Golden 1 Center as a Warrior

After dropping a heart-breaker to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, the Sacramento Kings will look to get back on track when the last-place Golden State Warriors come into town on Monday night.

Former Sacramento center Willie Cauley-Stein will make his return to Golden 1 Center after signing a two-year deal with the Warriors in the off-season. In his only career appearance against the Kings back on December 15 of this season, Cauley-Stein finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds during a 100-79 Sacramento win.

Over four seasons with the Kings, Cauley-Stein averaged 10.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 53-percent from the field.

While Sacramento handily beat the Warriors back in December, they have fallen on tough times since. After their win in San Francisco on December 15, the Kings have lost nine of their last ten games, dropping themselves to 13-23 on the season.

With a loss on Monday night, the Kings would fall to 11 games under .500 for the first time since December of 2017 when they held a 9-20 record to start the season.

Who’s Hot?

“Buddy Buckets” returns.

After a woeful stretch that saw Sacramento’s sharpshooter go through his worst shooting slump of his career, Buddy Hield has found his rhythm. Over his last five games, Hield has scored 20 points or more in each contest, averaging 22.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting 46-percent from beyond the three-point line.

The return of De’Aaron Fox has greatly benefited Hield, who had to create a lot of offense on his own when Fox was absent with a high-grade ankle sprain.

Harrison Barnes exploded for a 30-point showing against the Pelicans on Friday night, a season high for the Sacramento starting small-forward. After struggling for most of the season, Barnes has started knocking down shots as of late, as he is shooting 40-percent from three-point land over his last five games.

MVP?

The heartbeat of the Kings keeps on beating.

Richaun Holmes has been playing so well for Sacramento, that the chants of “M-V-P…M-V-P..” could be heard around Golden 1 Center during the Kings win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.

Since December 20, Holmes is averaging 17.2 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 67-percent from the field. Holmes ranks third in the entire NBA in field-goal percentage, only trailing Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks and Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Injury Update

After missing the past two games with ankle soreness and illness, Bogdan Bogdanovic will miss Monday’s game Golden State due to the flu, according to James Ham of NBC Sports.

With another game tomorrow against the Suns in Phoenix, expect Bogdanovic to be listed as questionable for Tuesday’s tilt.

Marvin Bagley III has missed Sacramento’s last five games after injuring his foot during a double-overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Bagley has been shooting and doing on-court work, but has no timetable for a return to the Kings’ lineup.

For Golden State, injuries have taken a toll.

The Warriors will be extremely shorthanded when they come to Golden 1 Center. Draymond Green (ankle), D’Angelo Russell (shoulder), Stephen Curry (hand), Kevon Looney (abdomen) and Klay Thompson (knee) are all out on Monday night in Sacramento.

Tune in to Sports 1140 KHTK for all of the action, starting with pregame coverage at 6:30pm and tip-off following at 7:00pm.