Originally Posted by NBA.com
Kings Visit Celtics; Both Teams Look to End Losing Streak
By MIKE VOTTA, STATS Senior Writer
Posted Jan 19 2007 12:48PM
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2006-07 Stats at a GlanceThe Sacramento Kings are hoping they can take advantage of another slumping team and end their worst losing streak in nearly nine years Friday when they visit
the injury-plagued Boston Celtics.
Sacramento (14-22) lost 101-85 to Toronto on Wednesday for its seventh straight defeat, the team's longest skid since closing the 1997-98 season with seven consecutive losses. The Kings have not dropped eight in a row in a single season since a 12-game skid from March 9-April 3, 1998.
They have allowed an average of 109.0 points per game during their current slide, which includes three defeats on the road. Wednesday's game marked the second stop on a four-game trip for Sacramento, which is 4-11 on the road.
"They outplayed us in the fourth quarter, and the only way I know how to get through this thing is to continue to work and try to make progress throughout this losing streak we have," Sacramento coach Eric Musselman said.
The Celtics (12-25), meanwhile, have dropped five in a row, including Monday's 100-96 defeat in Atlanta. Boston was without Paul Pierce, Tony Allen, Delonte West, Brian Scalabrine and Wally Szczerbiak because of injuries.
However, coach Doc Rivers thinks the string of injuries "is a positive turn for our team in a strange way. We're obviously struggling getting wins, but everyone got experience.
"The thing I loved, everyone took the shots. If they made them, they made them. If they missed them they missed them. I didn't see one guy hesitate."
Pierce has missed 13 games with a left foot injury, Allen suffered a season-ending knee injury last week and Scalabrine has missed three contests with a bruised right knee. West, who has missed four games with a back injury, is expected to return against the Kings.
"We've got to go over some stuff, because we've changed some stuff without Tony and Paul," Rivers told the team's official Web site. "Some of the things don't fit right now. We're a post team and a pick and roll team now."
Szczerbiak, who has missed four games with ankle problems, is also hoping to return.
"I'm getting close. I ran the treadmill today, but no practice yet," Szczerbiak said Wednesday. "We're going to see how it goes tomorrow. If it looks good and doesn't swell up tomorrow, then I'm just day-to-day."
Gerald Green and Allan Ray each scored 22 points Monday for the Celtics, who have dropped 12 of 14. Al Jefferson added 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Mike Bibby scored 21 points and Ron Artest had 18 for the Kings in their most recent loss. Friday's game is Artest's last before he returns to Detroit on Saturday for his first game there since the infamous brawl.
Boston earned an 84-74 win on Jan. 27 last season in these teams' last meeting, ending a four-game losing streak in the series. The Kings have won 10 of the last 12 matchups.
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