The NBA action arrives to the city of Sacramento as the Kings, members of the Western Conference with an overall record of 11-11 welcome the Houston Rockets (16-5), a team that is currently ranking 4th in the same conference.
The Kings had been on a three-game winning streak and 9-5 when they played the Rockets in Houston. They have lost six of eight games since that winning streak, but have a chance to turn things around. The game against the Rockets is the first of a five-game homestand and part of a stretch with 10 of 11 games at home. The Kings are 6-5 at home, but three of those losses are since Cousins went out.
The Kings have been without DeMarcus Cousins, who is out indefinitely with viral meningitis, for the past seven games, losing their past five. Reggie Evans has moved in as starting center, though Rudy Gay has picked up much of the slack, at least offensively. Gay has topped 20 points in six of the seven games Cousins has missed, pushing his scoring average to 21.6 points per game to go with 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
On the other hand, The Rockets knocked off the Kings 102-89 last month in the last game before DeMarcus Cousins went out. Though they were led by James Harden’s 26 points, the Rockets got huge lifts from Isaiah Canaan and Donatas Motiejunas who each scored their career high with 24 and 21 points, respectively.
Houston has done well in back-to-backs this season, going 4-1 in the second game of their first five sets of two games in as many night. Four of those back-to-backs also ended on the road where the Rockets were 8-1 going into Wednesday’s game at Golden State.
Here is a quick video on Houston´s latest hoops action: http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/400578616/gameId/400578616/houston-rockets-vs-golden-state-warriors
The Rockets’ injury situation does not appear likely to change for the second game of the road trip. The only possible player returning could be former Kings guard Francisco Garcia, who is doubtful with a right calf and Achilles strain. Isaiah Canaan (sprained left ankle) Kostas Papanikolaou (right knee strain) and Terrence Jones (nerve inflammation in his left leg) are all out. Although Dwight Howard is listed as doubtful (right knee strain), he said he is targeting Saturday for his return. source: http://blog.chron.com/
For those interested in doing some betting on this game, here are the most updated betting odds:
Houston Rockets +1 197 o -105
Sacramento Kings -1 197 u -105
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