Cavs vs Kings – 4/4/19 NBA Pick, Odds, and Predictions
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Sacramento Kings NBA Basketball Thursday, April 4, 2019 (10:00pm et) Current Odds: Sacramento -9, Total Points 229.5
The Sacramento Kings badly want to end a streak of 12 consecutive losing seasons.
The task is getting harder with just four games remaining.
Sacramento (38-40) needs a 3-1 finishing kick to post a .500 record and looks to continue the pursuit when it hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday.
The Kings haven’t recorded a .500 or better record since the Rick Adelman-coached squad went 44-38 in 2005-06, which also is the last time the franchise participated in the playoffs.
Sacramento was recently eliminated from postseason contention and has set its sights on ending the .500 drought.
But the chore definitely got harder when the Kings were drubbed 130-105 by the visiting Houston Rockets on Tuesday.
Houston led by as many as 30 points, as Sacramento didn’t put up much fight.
“I just think our energy was bad, that’s all I can say,” Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield told reporters. “They’re a good team, but our energy was bad, and everyone was looking like they wanted the season to be done with. We have to do a better job finishing, closing out and competing.”
After the home game with Cleveland, Sacramento finishes the season this way: At Utah, home against New Orleans, at Portland.
With road games against playoff teams Utah and Portland on the slate, the game against the Cavaliers is a must-win affair to keep the .500 goal legitimately alive.
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Cleveland (19-59) is sputtering to the finish with six straight setbacks and is 0-3 on a five-game road swing.
The Cavaliers also will likely be without power forward Kevin Love (shoulder) for the third straight game.
Meanwhile, rookie point guard Collin Sexton is finishing the season with a flourish, having scored 20 or more points in 12 of the past 13 games. He had 18 points in the other contest.
Sexton is averaging 24.0 points and has made 37 of 79 3-point attempts during the span.
Sexton had 21 points in Monday’s 122-113 loss to the Phoenix Suns, a contest in which Cleveland trailed by 19 at halftime.
“We got down pretty big, and it’s hard to come back in the NBA because teams are too good, players are too good and coaches are really smart,” Sexton told reporters. “When we got down, it was tough for us to rev it back up.”
The Cavaliers are just 6-33 on the road, and coach Larry Drew is well aware that needs to change.
“One thing that I have put an emphasis on with this club is learning how to play on the road,” Drew told reporters. “When you do that, you don’t put yourself into a position like we put ourselves into (Monday night). But I can’t fault the effort. I can’t fault the fact they kept playing hard — they just came up short.”
Sacramento won the season’s previous meeting, 129-110 in Cleveland on Dec. 7. Point guard De’Aaron Fox recorded 30 points and 12 assists, and Hield added 25 points.
Backup guard Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points for the Cavaliers, and Sexton added 23.
The Kings will be without rookie big man Harry Giles III for the rest of the season with a thigh injury. Giles will ended up missing the season’s final 11 games.
“He’s got stiffness in his thigh that just isn’t changing, so we’d rather err on the side of caution and get to his therapy, rehab and workout regimen for the summer,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger told reporters. “Perhaps we’ll see him in summer league or something like that. That would be good.”
411Winners Pick and Prediction: Under 229.5