The first showdown between the two sides proved to be a thriller that went down to the wire. Miami Heat came out on top with a one-point victory. With both sides struggling in their most recent stretch, this matchup has the potential for a fiercely competitive game on Thursday night.
The visiting Miami Heat are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Warriors in their previous outing. Miami allowed a 19-point lead to evaporate as they fell 120-112 in an overtime loss to Golden State. The Heat had as many as seven players scoring in double digits but could not get a win. Jimmy Butler dropped another triple-double but had a slow night in the scoring department as he was able to register only 13 points.
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings dropped four straight games ahead of this matchup. The Kings have fallen out of the playoff picture and will need to do some damage control to fight their way back into the top eight teams in a stacked Western Conference.
The Sacramento Kings are coming off a loss in a high-scoring battle with the Brooklyn Nets at home. The Kings took advantage of the Nets' sub-par defense to post a massive 68 points in the paint. That said, they were overpowered on the three-point line, where Brooklyn registered 27 threes on an efficient 57% accuracy from the deep.
The Sacramento Kings saw all-around performances from the entire cast, with Buddy Hield, Cory Joseph, and Hassan Whiteside scoring above 20 points. However, they were no match for Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who combined for 69 points between them. The Kings will hope for better results when they take on the Miami Heat in their next matchup.
Miami Heat - Team News
Even with their star players returning to the fold, the Miami Heat continue to struggle this month and have dug themselves a deep hole to climb out of. With the arrival of the new-look Brooklyn Nets in the East, the Heat's chances of making it back to the NBA Finals look grim.
The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and Pat Riley might shake things up with a move that could help them weather the storm. Goran Dragic, who was on the sidelines for their matchup with the Warriors, could miss this game as well. But Erik Spoelstra will have most of his stars available and ready to rock the hardwood on Thursday night.
Sacramento Kings - Team News
Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings, who were looking primed to end their playoff drought this season, are in bad shape at the moment. They have the talent to turn things around but have been getting steamrolled in their recent stretch.
The Sacramento Kings have some worrying injury concerns going into this matchup as two of their starters will be on the sidelines. Richaun Holmes (knee) and Harrison Barnes (foot) have both been ruled out of this contest. Luke Walton will need another all-around performance from his team to hold down the fort against the Miami Heat.
At what time will the Miami Heat vs Sacramento Kings commence?
USA: February 18th, 2021, 10:00 PM (Eastern Time)
India: February 19th, 2021, 8:30 AM (Indian Standard Time)