Wolves gameday


Preview: The Wolves (7-8) didn’t practice Thursday and flew to Sacramento in the afternoon to start a two-game California trip that ends with a Sunday matinée vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. PG Ricky Rubio (ankle) didn’t play down the stretch of Wednesday’s 99-95 victory over Atlanta and is questionable. So is F Nemanja Bjelica (left knee contusion), who has missed the past three games. … The Kings (6-10) ended a five-game Eastern trip 2-3 with Wednesday’s 129-118 victory over Milwaukee, a game which star C DeMarcus Cousins sat out (lower back strain). He is doubtful. … The Kings are 4-5 at home but have won their past three games there, beating Detroit, Brooklyn and Toronto. … This is the first of four regular-season meetings. The Kings swept the season series 3-0 last season.

Players to watch: The Kings signed Rajon Rondo to one-year, $9.5 million contract, challenging him to prove he’s worth that much and more. So far, the mercurial point guard has four triple-doubles — tied with Chris Webber for second most in a season since the franchise moved to Sacramento — and is leading the league in assists. He is averaging 12.6 points, 10.9 assists, 7.7 rebounds and two steals in 36.8 minutes per game. … Former Wolves C Kosta Koufos started in Cousins’ place at Milwaukee and had 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in 35 minutes. The Kings’ other option at center is rookie Willie Cauley-Stein, who played with Karl-Anthony Towns at Kentucky last season.

Injuries: Besides Bjelica and Rubio, Wolves C Nikola Pekovic (Achilles) is out. The Kings’ Cousins is doubtful and F Caron Butler (ankle) is questionable.