The Sacramento Kings have been more than happy to welcome back Brad Miller. The Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, seem as if they can't get rid of Al Harrington soon enough.
The Warriors, playing without an injured and unhappy Harrington, look to bounce back from their latest loss when they visit Miller and the Kings on Sunday night.
After missing five games for violating the NBA's drug policy, Miller had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento (2-4) in a 121-109 win over Minnesota on Friday night.
It was a typical game for the savvy veteran, distributing on offense and providing the Kings with a force in the paint.
"It makes things easier on everybody," fellow Kings center Spencer Hawes said. "As another big playing with him it takes pressure off you. It takes pressure off everybody, the way that he can pass the ball, make plays and spaces the floor, it's just brilliant. It is like having another point guard out there."
With Miller back, Sacramento was able to win its second straight after losing its first four. Now, the Kings will be facing a banged-up Golden State team that has lost two of three.
Already without injured starting point guard Monta Ellis (ankle), the Warriors (2-4) were missing forwards Corey Maggette (hamstring) and Harrington (back) in a 109-104 loss to Memphis on Friday night.
Maggette's status is uncertain, and Harrington is seeking a second opinion. But Harrington, who has asked to be traded due to his ongoing feud with coach Don Nelson, probably wouldn't have started even if he was healthy.
"For the good of the franchise we have to anticipate that he won't be here and do what we have to do to not be all of a sudden totally surprised about a different lineup," Nelson said. "It's not that he's not going to play, he will play. But we've got to look to the future here. A guy shouldn't be in a place where he doesn't want to be. It's hard for him to give his best and his all. So it's a good thing for both parties at this point."
Brandan Wright started in place of Harrington, finishing with six points and two rebounds. With a Harrington trade expected, Nelson is ready to give Wright regular minutes.
Wright, who turned 21 last month, came to the Warriors in a draft-night trade in 2007 that sent Jason Richardson to Charlotte. Wright, the eighth overall pick in that draft, appeared in 38 games last season.
Wright may end up being matched up at times with Kings star Kevin Martin, who scored 26 points on a tender left ankle against the Timberwolves. Martin decided to play after seriously considering sitting out.
Martin said he told Kings coach Reggie Theus he wouldn't be playing following the morning shootaround, but he ended up shooting 9-of-23 from the field, 6-of-7 from the free-throw line and added five rebounds.
"No one is going to feel sorry for you once the game starts," Martin said.
Sacramento finally got a solid game from point guard Beno Udrih, who signed a multiyear contract in the offseason. The veteran finished with 15 points after averaging 7.0 points and shooting 39.5 percent in his first five games.
Golden State won three of the four meetings between these teams last season and is 6-2 in the series since the start of the 2006-07 season.
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