Battle of Last Place Teams: Kings at SuperSonics Print
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Saturday, 10 February 2007 14:00
NBA Headline News

NBA Basketball: Sacramento Kings at Seattle SuperSonics - Kings Favored

Team Page: Sacramento :: Seattle

53% of Bets Placed on Sacramento -2 | Matchup | NBA Picks
The Sacramento Kings and the Seattle SuperSonics are both in last place in their respective divisions, but a string of victories has the Kings thinking about a playoff run.

Sacramento looks to extend its winning streak to a season-high five games when it visits the SuperSonics on Saturday in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Oddsmakers have made Sacramento -2 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 188 total

points (View NBA Sports Books).

The Kings (21-26) are last in the Pacific Division, but have moved closer to the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot. They have not missed the playoffs since 1997-98.

"We're always keeping our eye on the standings," said Kevin Martin, who is averaging 24.8 points and has gone 11-for-18 from 3-point range during the win streak. "We have a lot of veterans on this team that know how to play. We have some more games to play, we won't be thinking about the All-Star break until it comes."

Martin scored 29 points and the Kings won four straight for the first time since Nov. 6-15 with an 86-77 victory over Chicago on Thursday.

"Players are feeling good about themselves and where they are right now," said Kings coach Eric Musselman, who returned to the sidelines after serving a two-game suspension for driving under the influence.

Sacramento seeks its first five-game winning streak since March 6-14 of last season as it faces a Seattle (18-31) team it has had little trouble with lately. Martin had 35 points as the Kings beat the Sonics 109-100 on Nov. 24 at KeyArena to win for the fourth straight time in the series.

They are outscoring Seattle by an average of 10.7 points during the win streak, and the Sacramento franchise has not won five in a row over the Sonics since a seven-game run from Feb. 16, 1985-March 27, 1986.

Mike Bibby had 19 points in the win over Seattle in November and is averaging 23.5 points on 18-of-36 shooting from 3-point range during the win streak over the Sonics.

Seattle is in last place in the Northwest Division and in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight season. The Sonics, though, managed to snap a five-game overall skid and a 15-game road losing streak with a 103-102 victory over Indiana on Wednesday.

Seattle outscored the Pacers 11-3 in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game and Ray Allen scored 10 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter.

"I hate losing, I hate losing," Allen said. "It seems like so many emotions go through your head and winning makes life a lot better. We've been in positions to win in recent games, but just couldn't finish down the stretch."

Allen is averaging 32.4 points and 6.4 assists in his last five games, and has remained positive after finding out he wasn't named to the West All-Star team last week.

"Let me just say, I have a lot of people that are very supportive, especially of all of my accomplishments in my career," said Allen, a six-time All-Star who is averaging 26.9 points per game this season. "I'll just have another shot next year."

Allen looks to continue his recent scoring spree against the Kings, who held him to one of his worst shooting performances of the season when he made just 6-of-22 shots for 18 points in the November meeting.

These teams meet again at Arco Arena on Sunday.

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

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