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- Basketball will be secondary tonight, as Sacramento Kings fans file into Sleep Train arena for what might be the last NBA game ever in the capital of California. A decision on the fate of the franchise will not be known for a week or more, but with the 2012-13 regular season coming to close, an emotional sellout crowd is expected tonight. “I think our fans are going to push us to the next level and get this win tonight,” Kings coach Keith Smart said before the game.
- With an incredible amount of emotion expected tonight in Sacramento, former Kings player and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is looking forward to the crazy crowd. “I actually think it’s going to help us,” Del Negro told media members during his pregame conversation. “I do. I just think the energy in the building can be contagious. We’re coming on a back-to-back game, we know how significant it is. But we didn’t play particularly well up here the last time we played, so hopefully the loud and ruckus crowd will kick us in the butt early and get us in the game early.”
- The former second round pick was drafted by the Kings in 1988 out of North Carolina State and played his first two seasons in the capital city of California. “I played in the first game here (Sleep Train Arena) and maybe coaching the last game here,” Del Negro added. “It’s unfortunate. It’s a part of the business, but great city, great community support for a lot of years.”
- The Clippers are currently tied for the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoff race with the Memphis Grizzlies and need a win tonight to lock up home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
– James Ham