The Sacramento Kings have made eight straight trips to the postseason, but their recent play has put that run in serious jeopardy.

The Kings hope to start snapping out of their slump when they host the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday in the first meeting between the teams this season.

Sacramento (24-32) has dropped six of eight games following a season-high five-game winning streak, falling to 12th place in the Western Conference.

The Kings finished a 1-3 road trip on Monday with an 89-82 loss to a Philadelphia 76ers team which has the league's third-worst record.

"Coach (Eric Musselman) is having a tough time with all these losses," said Kings forward Ron Artest, who scored 13 points after missing the previous game for personal reasons. "We'll come around. We felt confident tonight, but in the NBA, any team can beat any other team."

The Kings won't likely be able to beat too many teams if they continue their rebounding struggles. They have been outrebounded in eight straight games, including 55-40 on Monday, and 26 of their last 30.

"I'll take the blame for this one," said Musselman, who is going for his 100th career win. "I have to do a better job teaching rebounding. It's my fault. We need to get back to teaching."

Kings center Brad Miller didn't need much instruction Monday as he grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his 21 points. Sacramento leading scorer Kevin Martin had 23 points following a 35-point effort in a win over Indiana on Sunday.

Martin has averaged 25.0 points in his last three home games for the Kings, who have won six of seven at Arco Arena.

The Bobcats (22-35) have dropped five of six away from home, and opened their season-high six-game road trip with a 100-93 defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace, who spent his first three seasons with Sacramento, led five players in double figures with 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds after leaving Saturday's loss to Toronto in the third quarter with a strained groin.

Emeka Okafor strained his left calf in the same game and missed his first contest of the season on Monday. The Bobcats' leading rebounder is a game-time decision against the Kings.

"It has to be a team effort, because Emeka's such a big piece of our team," said Bobcats swingman Matt Carroll, who started in Okafor's place and had 19 points and nine rebounds. "Without his game underneath, blocking shots and getting almost 20 rebounds a game, all of us have to step up and start rebounding the ball."

Charlotte forwards Sean May and Othella Harrington have been sidelined with knee injuries for a month and aren't expected back Wednesday.

These teams have split four all-time meetings, including two last season as the home team won each contest.


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