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Kings vs. Rockets Preview: Fear the Beard

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings conclude their latest road trip with a visit to the Houston Rockets tonight.  MVP candidate James Harden is having a fantastic season and will be a handful for the shorthanded Kings. Tonight's game tips off at 5:00 pm Pacific on CSN California and KHTK Sports 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1.  As of now it looks like DeMarcus Cousins will play for the Kings tonight after resting during Monday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.  However Rudy Gay will not after suffering a concussion during that game.  Without Gay the Kings are without one of their primary offensive weapons.

2. The Rockets are even more beat up than the Kings.  Dwight Howard is questionable for tonight, and Houston will also be without Patrick Beverley, Kostas Papanikolaou and Donatas Motiejunas.  Terrence Jones will be available after an extended absence however.  Jones gives the Rockets another dimension as he's able to defend the rim and spread the floor.

3. This will be an interesting game considering the Kings are terrible at defending the three point line.  The Rockets love shooting from downtown, ranking first in attempts per game.  Almost every one of their players is capable of making those shots on a semi-consistent basis as well.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

James Harden vs. Ben McLemore

Harden has been having an MVP worthy season for Houston and has roasted the Kings in each of their previous matchups so far.  His ability to both hit big shots from outside and get to the rim or the line makes him very dangerous and a tough matchup for the young and inexperienced McLemore.  Ben's job will be to try to defend Harden without fouling.  The longer Ben is able to stay on the floor to defend Harden, the better Sacramento's chances will be.  Nik Stauskas certainly can't stay in front of Harden, and we saw what Tyreke Evans was able to do to Ray McCallum.  Ben's really our only shot of hoping to contain Harden.

PREGAME LIMERICK

They say that we should fear the beard.
But maybe instead it should be revered.
That facial mane,
who can complain,
unless of course it disappeared.

PREDICTION

Kings 114, Rockets 66 after Dwight Howard foolishly shaves off James Harden's beard in an April Fool's day joke.  This causes Harden to be detained by security when trying to enter the team's locker room after security fails to believe that it is really him.