Game 30 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets

Francisco Garcia fouls Travis Outlaw. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)
Gametime: 4:00 pm PST

Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Television)

Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (9-20)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Houston Rockets Projected Starters (21-12)

PG: Jeremy Lin
SG: James Harden
SF: Chandler Parsons
PF: Terrence Jones
C: Dwight Howard

What to watch

1. Dwight Howard vs. DeMarcus Cousins part II

The last time these two teams faced off, Cousins dominated one of the NBA’s best defensive players.  He won the battle of the bigs with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to Howard’s 13 points and 10 rebounds. If Cousins can win this matchup again, the Kings have a very good shot at finishing a wild 2013 with a win.

2. Can the Kings contain the Rockets’ wings?

Harden and Parsons combined to score 44 points the last time these teams met.  Harden got hot from the perimeter, before coming up lame and missing a good portion of the third quarter.  Parsons cut through the Kings’ defense with ease, finishing with a handful of power dunks.  If the Kings want to upset the Rockets at home, they are going to need to work together to slow these two talented players.

3. Does Sacramento learn anything from its loss to the Spurs on Sunday afternoon?

This season has been filled with ups and downs for the Kings, and the last week has been no different.  After beating the Miami Heat on Friday night, Sacramento gave the Spurs all they could handle on Sunday before falling apart late.  No one is expecting the Kings to turn around their season overnight, but if they want to improve, they have to look at their loss in San Antonio as a learning experience and not a defeat.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".