The Miami Heat, who are an NBA-best 18-1 at home this season, will host the Sacramento Kings on Monday night in a game of opposites.
Sacramento has lost four straight games overall, and the Kings are 7-14 on the road.
Miami is coming off a 107-102 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio on Sunday afternoon and will be missing a few weapons in the second game of their back-to-back on Monday.
Rookie Tyler Herro, Miami's first-round pick and a sweet-shooting guard, was limited to eight minutes in the San Antonio game due to a bruised left knee. Starting forward Justise Winslow, who has played in just 11 games this season because of back and concussion issues, is expected to miss at least two more weeks.
Fortunately for the Heat, they have been able to count on shooting guard Jimmy Butler as well as versatile center Bam Adebayo and rookie guard Kendrick Nunn.
Butler, an eight-year veteran, leads the Heat in scoring (20.2 points), assists (6.4) and steals (1.9). He had a lot of praise for Nunn when asked about the rookie last week.
"He just works," Butler said of Nunn, who is averaging 23.3 points over his past four games. "He's constantly working on his game, which is why he will be in this league for a long time."
Adebayo, who had 21 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and a team-high-tying six assists on Sunday, has proved to be a revelation as a first-year, full-time starter in the NBA.
Another key for Miami is reserve point guard Goran Dragic, a former All-Star who is making a case for himself as the league's Sixth Man of the Year. He led all the bench scorers in the Spurs game with 19 points.
Meanwhile, the Kings were off on Sunday after Saturday's 123-101 loss to the Jazz in Utah.
"Sometimes we just don't communicate," said 6-11, 240-pound center Marvin Bagley III, who left Saturday's game after apparently aggravating a left foot injury. "If we keep allowing that to happen, we're going to get beat all game long like we did (at Utah)."
Bagley, the second overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, played 30 minutes on Saturday. He is fifth on the Kings in scoring (14.2 points) and second in rebounds (6.8). His status for Monday was unknown on Sunday.
Another injured King is 6-10, 240-pound power forward Richaun Holmes, who is having a career year. He has started 33 games and is averaging 13.1 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds. However, Holmes is out for at least two weeks due to a shoulder injury.
But point guard De'Aaron Fox said he is willing to shoulder the burden for the Kings. In eight games this month, he's averaging 23.8 points, 8.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds.
"It's stuff that I knew I could always do, it's just being more consistent," Fox said recently, per NBC Sports. "Continuing to make shots, get to the basket, get to the free throw line, things of that nature. Just trying to help my team win ball games."
--Field Level Media