The road trip is almost over. After playing seven games over 11 nights away from Golden 1 Center, the Sacramento Kings finish up their season-long eight-game road trip Tuesday against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.
DeMarcus Cousins went off in the loss to the 76ers Monday night, scoring 46 points and grabbing 15 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. The three-time All-Star also handed out five assists, but his eight turnovers hurt the team, as did his absence during the stretch. Houston has no one to match up with Cousins, but the pace of the game might be too much for the star big after the impacted schedule.
The Rockets are just 4-7 over their previous 11 games. They have the firepower to run you off the court, but if you catch them on a bad shooting night, they are beatable. Unfortunately for Sacramento, the Rockets don’t usually have off night’s when these two teams match up. In two games this season, the Rockets have gone 43-for-93 (46.2 percent) from behind the arc. James Harden draws the defense in and Houston’s shooters light it up from long range.
Rockets by 11.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Garrett Temple vs. James Harden -- Temple has started the last seven games for Sacramento in place of Rudy Gay at the small forward spot. He is a defensive specialist that will do his best to slow Harden down, but he needs to make the star guard play on both ends of the floor. Harden continues to score in bunches while leading the league in assists. If Temple has any chance of limiting Harden, he has to do his best to keep him off the free throw line where he averages 10.6 attempts per game.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 19-29, third place in Pacific
Rockets: 35-16, second place in Southwest
Kings: F Omri Casspi (right calf strain) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.
Rockets: No injuries to report.
Houston hold a 2-0 advantage in the season series. The Rockets hold a 126-88 all-time lead over the Kings and an 85-42 advantage in the Sacramento-era.
“We felt like we were in a good position to come in here and get a win and to walk out with a loss is unfortunate.” -Anthony Tolliver following the Kings’ loss to the Sixers