Next Stop: Sacramento

by Lauren Rosen

For the third stop on their four-game West Coast swing, the 76ers (37-25) will visit the Sacramento Kings (27-34) Thursday.

In the Sixers’ two outings on the road trip thus far, different players have risen to the occasion, putting up admirable fights against some of the league’s best.

Sunday against the Clippers, Shake Milton poured in a career-high 39 points. Tuesday against the Lakers, Glen Robinson III tied a career-high 25 points.

And while the Sixers took tough losses in both matchups, Brett Brown says there’s been plenty of opportunity to learn and grow while facing adversity.

“They really didn’t roll over,” Brown said after Tuesday’s game. “They still had fight in them. In general, I see more good than anything.”

A notable area of improvement for the squad has come from beyond the arc.

Robinson hit the first three 3-pointers of his second tenure as a 76er against the Lakers. Milton added seven threes against the Clippers.

The Sixers hit 40.0% of their shots from deep on Tuesday, after converting 48.8% of their threes Sunday. Those marks represent  progress, as the Sixers have shot 35.9% from long range this season (and 34.5% on the road).

With three of the Sixers’ starters sidelined, Milton and Robinson each rose to the occasion - and their coach appreciated the work.

“[Shake] did his G League duties, he comes in and sits on a bench and swings a towel, and now in March, he’s the starting point guard on a pretty good team and just had 39 points on national television,” Brown said of Milton Sunday. “It’s one hell of a story.” 

And just two days later:

“For Glenn to come in, and shoot that ball with confidence, and play with confidence, I hope, and it should, carry forward,” Brown said.

Similar opportunities loom for all the Sixers in Thursday’s matchup.

The Sixers took their first meeting with the Kings, 97-91, on Nov. 27.

Josh Richardson (concussion), Joel Embiid (left shoulder), and Ben Simmons (back) all remain sidelined. 

Thursday’s contest tips at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Opponent Outlook:

The Kings have won six of their seven games since the All-Star break. Point man De’Aaron Fox has scored 20-plus in each of his last six outings, most recently including a 31-point performance against the Wizards on Tuesday.

Fox leads his team in scoring and sharing this season, averaging 20.4 points and 6.7 assists per game. 

Buddy Hield, averaging 19.9 points per game, has shot 45.8% from long range over his last ten games.

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