Game 80 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets

Francisco Garcia, Chuck Hayes and Terrence Jones fight for rebounding positioning following a free throw. (Photo: Ron Nabity)

Gametime: 4:00 pm PT

Where: Toyota Center, Houston, TX.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Rockets perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Red 94.

The book on the Rockets:  The Rockets have clinched their first playoff birth in four years and they’ve done so with one of the youngest rosters in the league.  The question now is where will they finish in the standings.  As of Saturday night, the Rockets are just a half game back of the Warriors for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

Did you know?  The Kings are 23-6 this season when they take a lead into the fourth quarter.  

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (28-51)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Houston Rockets Probable Starters (44-35)

PG: Jeremy Lin
SG: James Harden
SF: Francisco Garcia
PF: Greg Smith

C: Omer Asik

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 100.2
  • Offensive Rating: 106.3
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 104.8
  • Defensive Rating: 111.3
  • Pace: 93.5

Rockets

  • Points Per Game: 105.8
  • Offensive Rating: 109.8
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.3
  • Defensive Rating: 106.2
  • Pace: 96

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will Francisco Garcia do damage against his former team?

Chandler Parsons has been nursing a strained right calf and missed the Rockets’ last four games.  In his absence, Kevin McHale has entrusted the former Kings swingman with the starting small forward position.  Garcia has been effective for the Rockets, averaging 11 points while shooting 38 percent from three-point distance in his last four starts.  The Rockets veteran always plays the game with the same intensity whether it’s in big minutes or not.

2.  Will Patrick Patterson have strong outing in his first game back in Houston?

Patterson was not very effective in his return to the floor Friday.  The Kings power forward scored just eight points on eight shots and grabbed only three rebounds in his return.  He didn’t fare well in his first game against his old team either.  Patterson played just 16 minutes and scored two points in the Kings’ loss to the Rockets a week and a half ago.

3.  Will the bench be able to match its performance from Friday night against San Antonio?

The reserves sparked the Kings’ offense in the second quarter of what would’ve been a blowout loss to the Spurs.  They scored 49 points, which included double-digit efforts from Toney Douglas, Jimmer Fredette and Marcus Thornton.  The bench has been carried statistically by Thornton the last few weeks, but can it get production today from the other reserves as well?

comments

Tags

About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.