Pacers, Kings hope to end slides in Sacramento

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Sacramento Kings were off to solid 9-5 start this season and are now riding a four-game losing streak.

The Kings will try to get back on track Friday versus the Indiana Pacers in the continuation of a five-game homestand.

Sacramento suffered a 117-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday and did not have leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins for a third straight game because of a viral infection. Cousins is averaging 23.5 points and 12.6 rebounds.

"DeMarcus is the anchor of our defense and he's a central figure for our defense," said Kings coach Michael Malone.

Cousins has posted double-doubles in each of the last eight games he played, and is not expected to return until next week.

Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, and Derrick Williams provided 18 off the bench. Ramon Sessions added 15 points and the Kings shot 52 percent from the field. The Kings had 16 turnovers, a season- best 28 assists and trailed 21-6 out of the gate before making a comeback.

Gay, who had a career-high 10 assists versus the Raptors, has picked up the scoring in Cousins' absence with three straight games of at least 20 points for Sacramento, which is in the midst of playing 10 of 11 games at home.

The Kings are 4-4 at home and will also host Orlando and Utah on the stay.

Indiana is 0-3 on a four-game road trip, which comes to a halt Friday.

The losing trend continued for the Pacers in Thursday's 88-82 setback against the Portland Trail Blazers, as Rodney Stuckey scored 16 points, Solomon Hill added 15 and David West collected 13 and eight rebounds.

Luis Scola rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points off the bench for the Pacers, who shot just 39.6 percent and have lost four in a row on the road. Indiana is 3-7 as the visitor this season. Portland scored 24 points off 17 Indiana turnovers.

Indiana played well defensively going against LaMarcus Aldridge (18 points) and Damian Lillard (23 points). The Blazers made just 39.8 percent.

"We had a better defensive performance," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "Strong defensive effort."

After visiting California's capital city, the Pacers will host the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana took both meetings with Sacramento last season and has won four straight and six of the past eight meetings between the teams.

The Pacers and Kings have split the past 12 matchups in Sactown.