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Preview: Kings vs. Rockets

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STARTING LINEUPS & INJURIES

Jason Thompson is out. Word is that if DeMarcus Cousins plays (questionable), Darnell Jackson will start at power forward. If Cousins sits, Carl Landry and Samuel Dalembert will start in the frontcourt. The backcourt will be Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih; Donte Greene should remain the starter at small forward.

The Rockets have the same availability as they did when the Kings visited Houston on Tuesday: Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes will start, with Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Brad Miller off the bench. No Aaron Brooks or Yao Ming. :-(

LAST TIME

The teams squared off on Tuesday, with Houston coming out with a 118-105 win. The offenses jammed early, but the Kings just couldn't keep up, and Luis Scola and friends dominated their offensive boards. Tyreke Evans did not play. All three of Cousins, Thompson and Landry scored at least 15 points.

SCOUTING REPORT

Please check out HighTops' scouting report.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Tyreke Evans vs. Kevin Martin. Luther Head actually played solid defense on Martin on Tuesday. Speed only got to the line for two free throws (tied for a season low), and shot just 5-15. His 14 points was tied for a season low, as well. Can Evans replicate that while using beaucoup energy on offense? Let's hope so!

PLAYER TO WATCH

Let's talk about DeMarcus F--king Cousins, man. Here's Aykis from the GB&U, a few lines well worth repeating:

 

The difference in DeMarcus Cousins game from the beginning of the season to now is very noticeable.  He's a lot more patient on the floor already, and he's making smarter decisions on both ends of the floor.  His efficiency has increased as well, and he shot 53.8% in the three games this week.  He still makes some dumb mistakes (those travels down the stretch of the Hornets game especially) but he's learning from them, and a lot faster than I thought he would be too.  Keep it up big fella.

He's been back in the starting line-up for seven games. He's hit double figures in six of them, and has shot 40 of 78 (.513) in the stretch. Get excited, folks. DMC is figuring it all out.

GIVEAWAY GAME

The Giveaway Game entry is posted on the Sactown Royalty Facebook page.

DETAILS

An early game, with a 3 PM PT start. Aykis will be on press row and have the recap. Game threads at 3 and 4:30. Go Kings!