The Sacramento Kings look to build on recent success with a trip to Philadelphia for a contest against the 76ers. The Kings are on a back-to-back following an impressive 107-96 win against the Boston Celtics last night at TD Garden. It isn’t often that we see the Kings play defense, but they managed to turn it up a couple of notches in Boston. This was after a 121-119 win for the Kings in Washington against the Wizards on Wednesday night.
They’ve done a good job of turning this road trip around and not allowing a bad couple of games to snowball. The Kings opened on the road March 13 with a 121-106 loss against the Atlanta Hawks. They returned to the floor on March 15 in Charlotte and received a 122-116 loss against the Hornets. I don’t believe that anyone was impressed by the 121-119 win over a tanking Wizards team, but their effort in Boston last night did turn some heads.
It’s without a doubt that the Celtics could have played a much better brand of basketball. They were building a house with all of the bricks being thrown at the hoop against the Kings. Boston scored just 15 points in the fourth quarter, which in this day and age is pretty tough to do, especially against a defense like the Kings. That might be the biggest signal yet for the Celtics to do something at the trade deadline. I just don’t know what they can do to make them a contender over some of the top teams in the East, like the 76ers.
The 76ers are coming off a hard-fought 109-105 loss against the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime on Wednesday. They were on a six-game winning streak prior to that loss, so all is well in Philadelphia for the Sixers. Through 41 games this season, the 76ers lead the Eastern Conference with a record of 28-13. The Brooklyn Nets are a half game behind the 76ers going into Saturday. If the Big 3 was together in Brooklyn entering this season, there is a good case to be made that the Nets would be leading.
This is the biggest test yet for the Kings during this road trip. The win over the Celtics was nice and all, but the 76ers on a back-to-back on the road is going to be a tall mountain to climb tonight. The Kings will head to Cleveland to conclude this road trip against the Cavaliers on Monday, and then fly home for a Wednesday matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. Head below for our free Kings vs. 76ers pick on March 20, 2021.
Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers NBA Betting Odds:
Kings vs. 76ers Prediction:
The Kings’ defense had a rare night where they were able to take a bow against the Boston Celtics. They held the Celtics to just 96 points, and most impressively, only 15 points in the fourth quarter. That’s what the Detroit Pistons in the mid 2000’s used to do when they were breaking defensive records.
However, overall on the season, the Kings have been on a pace to break defensive records for all of the wrong reasons. They’ve conceded 119.4 points per game this season. Teams are shooting an incredible 48.9% and 39.2% from three-point land against the Kings. That’s the best field goal percentage for an opponent in the league against a defense.
The 76ers are still going to be without Joel Embiid, but they’ve been navigating pretty well without him. They need a healthy Embiid in the playoffs. However, the 76ers have been managing well in his absence. Through their last five games, they’ve netted an average of 118.4 points per game. Overall on the season, the 76ers are seventh in the NBA with 115.1 points per contest.
Having allowed 110 points per game, their defense is in the top-10 in the league as well. They’re fourth from the field, with teams shooting just 45% against the 76ers. The 76ers have been at their best at Wells Fargo Center. They’ve been incredibly efficient with a record of 18-4. Their fourth loss was in overtime against a very good Bucks squad, without Embiid and Seth Curry.
After putting in work against the Celtics and limiting them to 96 points, expect the Kings to regress in Philadelphia. It’s unlikely that they’re able to put together back-to-back performances like that on defense. This looks like a big letdown spot for the Kings after a win at TD Garden in Boston last night. Despite a less than 100% 76ers’ lineup, we likely see pull away from the Kings for a 124-113 win and cover.