Kings vs. Rockets Preview: Quest for .500 on the road trip

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With a win tonight, the Kings will go .500 on a road trip, but they will face a tough test in a deep and talented Houston team seeking revenge.

The Kings have been on the road for a week and a half, and end their trip tonight against the Rockets (5 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140). Sacramento has surprisingly beaten Houston twice already this season, so the Rockets (winners of 7 of their last 9) will likely be looking for revenge.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Dwight Howard

Boogie always gets up for his battles against Dwight Howard, whose reputation as the league's best big man took a bit of a hit last year following a poor stint with the Lakers and a tumultuous exit from the Magic. Cousins has gotten the better of Dwight in both meetings so far this year, with Dwight averaging just 14 points and 9 rebounds to DeMarcus' 19 points and 13 boards. Cousins has faced a lot of the league's best bigs on this road trip, and a great game tonight will be another feather in his cap to a potential All-Star bid.

3 THINGS

1. Everybody knows the Rockets love to shoot threes. They're currently first in the league in attempts and third in makes. In Sacramento's two wins against the Rockets, Houston was never able to get going from deep, shooting a combined 14 of 55 beyond the arc, a paltry 25.5%. Considering the Kings are dead last in the league in opponent 3P% (38.8%), that seems more like a fluke than a sign of good defense.

2. One guy the Kings haven't had an answer for in either of the games against the Rockets is James Harden. Harden has diced up the Kings defense to the tune of 63 combined points in their two meetings.

3. Houston may have won 7 of their last 9 games, but only 1 of those wins came against a team with a record above .500 (Monday's win against Portland). Unfortunately for Sacramento, they are not a team above .500 (although they're playing near .500 ball since Rudy Gay has joined the team).

PRE-GAME HAIKU

Beat the Rockets twice.
Can we do it for third time?
Eh, Probably not.

PREDICTION

Kings 101, Rockets 100 on a Carl Landry three point game winner.

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