The Sacramento Kings' struggles on the road have been a key reason they likely will miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

The Kings look to avoid a third straight road loss when they when they face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

After winning four of its previous five contests, Sacramento (31-37) lost 102-89 at San Antonio on Friday. The loss was the Kings' seventh in their last eight road contests, dropping them to 10-25 away from home as they began a three-game road stretch that concludes Monday at Houston.

"This is a game we could win. We've come in here and won before,'' said forward Ron Artest, who had 23 points against the Spurs. "At a certain point in the fourth quarter, we weren't playing for nothing.''

Sacramento, 11th in the West, is one of five teams in the conference with a losing record and more than 10 games back of the eighth and final playoff spot with 14 remaining. The Kings' 13-28 road mark in 2006-07 contributed to them missing the postseason for the first time since 1997-98. Sacramento hasn't recorded a winning record away from home since going 21-20 in 2003-04.

On Friday, leading scorer Kevin Martin added 20 points, but the Kings shot 38.7 percent, three days after shooting a season-best 58.0 in a 122-105 home win over Golden State.

Sacramento is averaging 105.1 points at home this season, but 98.5 on the road.

Martin, who averages 23.0 points per game, went 2-for-12 from the field Friday after scoring a combined 66 points while shooting 22-for-43 in his previous two games. He had 33 points in the Kings' 107-94 loss at Memphis on Feb. 12 in the teams' most recent meeting that evened the season series at one win apiece.

Sacramento has lost in four of its last five trips to Memphis.

The Grizzlies (17-51) won 120-106 at New York on Friday to snap an 18-game road losing streak and win for the second time in three games. Memphis hasn't won consecutive games overall since winning over Washington on Nov. 24 and at New Jersey three nights later.

"It's good to get the monkey off our back,'' Memphis rookie coach Marc Iavaroni said. "Obviously it was a problem with our self confidence on the road. (But the) guys came out to play.''

Mike Miller scored 24 of his 34 points in the first half as the Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead, then broke the game open again by outscoring the Knicks 28-16 in the fourth quarter.

Miller averages 17.0 points on the season and 22.8 on 56.9-percent shooting in his last four contests.

Rudy Gay, who added 24 points for Memphis on Friday, is averaging 26.0 points in the two games versus the Kings in 2007-08.

These teams conclude their season series on Wednesday in Sacramento.


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