News » Kings-Jazz Preview 2009-11-07

Kings-Jazz Preview 2009-11-07

Kings-Jazz Preview 2009-11-07The Sacramento Kings' attempt to stay competitive during their massive rebuilding effort just became considerably more difficult.

Kevin Martin could miss six to eight weeks with a fractured left wrist, and the Kings will begin life without their leading scorer Saturday night when they look to avoid a fifth consecutive road loss to the Utah Jazz.

Sacramento (1-4) played 31 games without Martin last season as the shooting guard dealt with a lingering left ankle injury, going 5-26 en route to a 17-65 record that was the league's worst.

Martin could miss about that many games again due to a hairline fracture in his wrist suffered in a collision Monday with Memphis' Allen Iverson. The league's third-leading scorer at 30.6 points per game, Martin finished with 48 in the Kings' 127-116 overtime win, then - not aware of the severity of the injury - scored 29 in a 113-105 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

An MRI Thursday afternoon revealed the extent of the damage, and Martin will undergo surgery Monday to have a screw inserted, keeping him sidelined possibly through the rest of 2009.

"You always get shocked about something like that," Martin said. "It's been hurting the past couple days but I didn't know it was hurt that bad."

Martin's injury isn't the only adversity surrounding the Kings. Forward Andres Nocioni was arrested early Thursday on suspicion of drunk driving, hours after finishing with 14 points and six rebounds against the Hawks in his first start of the season.

The team said it was disappointed in Nocioni's "poor judgment" and would wait for the league to decide on potential discipline.

Martin averaged 26.0 points in three games against Utah (2-3) last season, but wasn't able to lead Sacramento to a win. The Kings were swept in four games, and have lost all four at EnergySolutions Arena over the past two seasons by an average of 18.8 points.

The Jazz had balanced scoring in their four wins over Sacramento last season, getting 20.8 points per game from Mehmet Okur, 19.3 from Deron Williams and 18.5 from Ronnie Brewer.

Carlos Boozer missed all but one of those wins with various leg injuries that cost him 45 games in 2008-09, and the two-time All-Star was far from top form in the first four games this season, averaging 12.8 points on 35.2 percent shooting.

Boozer had his best game Thursday against San Antonio, though, finishing with 27 points and 14 rebounds in a 113-99 win.

Williams also had 27 points to go along with nine assists as Utah bounced back from two losses in which it had been outscored by an average of 20.0 points in the fourth quarter.

"We've got to finish off games like we did tonight," Boozer said. "We needed to play a full 48 minutes of basketball and that's what we got tonight. Prior to this game, we hadn't done that."

Boozer could have a tough time against Sacramento's talented young frontcourt of Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson, but Williams should certainly have the advantage at the point.

Kings rookie Tyreke Evans has averaged 11.2 points but is shooting 34.9 percent from the field - 29.4 percent over his past three games. He's averaging 3.6 assists while Williams is among the league leaders with 8.8 per game to go with his team-leading 23.2 scoring average.

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Added: November 7, 2009


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