Sports

Kings begin long road trip at MSG

(SportsNetwork.com) - For only the third time in the Sacramento era, the Kings will play eight straight road games, starting with Tuesday's matchup against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

This game was originally scheduled for Jan. 26, but severe weather conditions forced the NBA to postpone the event.

Sacramento's eight-game trek matches the longest in this era with the 1986-87 season (Feb. 16-Mar. 2) and the 1999-00 campaign. (Jan. 25-Feb. 6). The Kings are winless in their last four road games and 7-18 as the visitor, and will also make stops in San Antonio, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington.

The Kings went 1-2 on a recent homestand, which culminated with Sunday's 110-99 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Rudy Gay scored 24 points and Derrick Williams had 18 off the bench for the Kings, losers in eight of the last 11 games. A 13-4 run pulled the Kings within 89-88, but the Trail Blazers pulled away from there and were led by Damian Lillard's 31 points.

"We didn't have much going throughout the first couple quarters," said Kings coach George Karl, whose team was held to 50 points in the first half and trailed by 14 at the break. "They're a very good team."

Karl is 2-3 since taking over as coach during All-Star weekend.

Sacramento has been without star center DeMarcus Cousins because of ankle and hip issues, and he is questionable Tuesday. The Kings are 2-12 this season without Cousins in the lineup.

The lowly Knicks have pulled off back-to-back wins over Detroit and Toronto, and look to build on Saturday's 103-98 victory versus the Raptors.

Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Andrea Bargnani scored 22 and 19 points, respectively, and Alexey Shved ended with 15 points for New York, which has won two in a row after losing eight straight.

"He's buying into the system and that's what he has to do from here on out," said Hardaway about Shved. "When his name is called he knows to go out there and make a play."

The Knicks were playing with a heavy heart after learning that fan favorite Anthony Mason, who played in New York from 1991 until 1996, died at the age of 48. The 1995 Sixth Man of the Year suffered a massive heart attack earlier in the month and had been hospitalized since then.

New York is 8-21 at Madison Square Garden and will visit Indiana Wednesday.

Sacramento needed overtime to dispose of New York, 135-129, on Dec. 27 as Cousins scored nine of his season-high 39 points in overtime. Gay scored 29 points in that one for the Kings and Carmelo Anthony countered with 36 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Anthony (knee surgery) is done for the season.

The Knicks and Kings have slit the last six meetings.