Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks Pick & Prediction MARCH 12th 2024

Talented big men and rival guards will be the featured matchups when the Milwaukee Bucks conclude a four-game tour of California with a duel against the host Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

The Bucks rebounded from consecutive road defeats to the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers with a 124-117 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday afternoon. Damian Lillard scored 35 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 34 in the win.

A few hours later, the Kings saw a two-game winning streak get washed away with a 112-104 home loss to the Houston Rockets. Domantas Sabonis logged 25 points and 15 rebounds while De’Aaron Fox had 18 points and nine boards in the setback.

The Tuesday meeting is a rematch of one of the NBA’s most entertaining games of the season. On Jan. 14 in Milwaukee, Fox forced overtime with a layup in the final second of regulation before Lillard drilled a buzzer-beating 32-footer in the extra session for a 143-142 win.

Lillard finished with 29 points, while Antetokounmpo put up 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Meanwhile, Fox won his individual scoring battle with Lillard 32-29, while Sabonis matched Antetokounmpo’s triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists.

Dueling triple-doubles occurred for the first time in the 20-game history of the Antetokounmpo-Sabonis rivalry, and it was one of just two NBA games this season to feature multiple triple-doubles. Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics and Alperen Sengun of the Houston Rockets accomplished the feat on Jan. 21.

Sabonis’ triple-double was his second straight against Milwaukee, as he notched 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists when the Kings lost at home to the Bucks 133-124 last March. Antetokounmpo had 46 points in that one.

The Bucks star has a 3-2 head-to-head lead over Sabonis in triple-doubles, as well as advantages in wins (15-5), points per game (26.6-15.5), rebounds per game (11.8-9.8) and assists per game (5.9-5.2).

That rivalry dates back to Sabonis’ days with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers. Similarly, the 15 previous Lillard-Fox matchups include Lillard’s 11 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Lillard and Fox have each scored 20 or more points in their past six head-to-heads. Overall, Lillard has the edge in wins (10-5), points per game (29.1-20.1) and assists per game (7.5-6.4).

Lillard has averaged 27.7 points in the first three games of the Bucks’ trip, and he had 41 in a home win over the Clippers on March 4. He credits a developing pick-and-roll game with Antetokounmpo as the key.

“To start the season, I think a lot of people wanted it to just click and happen right away,” Lillard said. “But I think any time you put two guys together who’ve always been the decision-maker, always had their hands in the ball for years and years and years, it’s going to take time for us to learn how to play with each other.”

The Kings have lost four of their past seven to fall into the mix for play-in status in the Western Conference. Coach Mike Brown blamed lack of ball distribution — Fox had only one assist — for the Sunday downfall against the Rockets.

“We’re not doing a great job spraying the ball,” Brown said. “We’re holding onto it too long in the paint or we’re trying to score through traffic in the paint. We’ve got to get back to moving that ball and getting easy shots because easy shots and/or sprays for us lead to great threes.”

–Field Level Media

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