The Kings suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Rockets on New Year’s Eve, but the real gut punch wasn’t the defeat itself, it was the injury to Tyrese Haliburton. The rookie guard landed on his left wrist during a fast-break opportunity and will miss the final two games of the road trip as a result.
The team is already without DaQuan Jeffries for at least six weeks, as the second-year forward suffered a grade 3 ankle sprain during pregame 4-on-4 work. Jeffries was already recovering from a sore back that caused him to miss most of the preseason, and now won’t be reevaluated for another six weeks.
Sacramento was essentially using an eight-man rotation against the Rockets in their first game with Haliburton, given that Hassan Whiteside was rendered ineffective by Houston’s spread offense. Head Luke Walton said that Kyle Guy and Glenn Robinson III will have an opportunity to contribute in Haliburton’s absence; ideally, both of them play so that the rest of the rotation isn’t stretched any further.
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
When: Saturday, Jan. 2 at 2 p.m. PT
TV: NBA TV, NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Projected starting lineups:
Kings (3-2): De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes
Rockets (1-2): John Wall, James Harden, Danuel House Jr., P.J. Tucker, Christian Wood
Kings: Tyrese Haliburton (left wrist), DaQuan Jeffries (left ankle) — OUT
Rockets: Eric Gordon (left knee) — PROBABLE; Chris Clemons (right achilles), Mason Jones (right ankle), Kenyon Martin Jr. (self-isolating), Ben McLemore (self-isolating) — OUT
Happy new year, and enjoy the game!