The Rockets went 1-1 in Sacramento last year. In the first matchup, the Rockets played extremely well but Sacramento refused to miss anything down the stretch despite some uncharacteristically good-looking defense from the Rockets. Francisco Garcia was especially a thorn in the side of the good guys.
In the second matchup, the Rockets held on for dear life as the Kings made multiple runs to try to take back the lead. Thanks to a 14/12 effort from little-used Terrence Jones, the Rockets escaped with a 112-102 win.
Rockets vs Kings | Lin ( 15 pts, 10 ast ) + Team Highlights (4-3-2013) (via Blaiyan)
Tonight is an early game, so make sure you don't wait until 9:30pm. Otherwise, you'll miss it.
Lin out tonight (back spasms). Jones (flu) game time decision. Smith likely available. If jones doesn't play, D-Mo likely starts.— Jason Friedman (@JasonCFriedman) December 15, 2013
Tip off is at 5:00pm CST.
Point Guard: Patrick Beverley vs. Isaiah Thomas
Once again, it's not fair that Isaiah Thomas found a time machine and didn't tell anyone else about it. And a couple of years, he coached at the same time he was on the Kings! Of course he got fired. Being in two places at once is physically impossible.
Thomas was once the Mr. Irrelevant of the NBA. Today, he's anything but.
Zeke 2.0 is absolutely balling out of his mind right now. 22/7/3/2 in December with an overall 23.81 PER is ridiculous. He's quick and has such a quick release that he can win games by himself down the stretch. He's essentially the next step in the Aaron Brooks evolution (sorry Fenoglio). In previous years he might not have started but he always finished. With General Greivis shipped to Canada, the job is Thomas's. His only backup is the man they call Jimmer.
Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Ben McLemore
You might not find this McLemore at the Thrift Shop, but he'd do well to trade more twos for threes. He's shooting 35% overall, but 34% from three.
The Kings have no one who should be able to check Harden. No P.J. Tucker candidates tonight. Guess what James? This is where you need to explode.
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Rudy Gay
Gay, or Rudy Dunxtable as the cool kids at Sactown Royalty call him, played in his first game with the Kings on Friday night and turned in a stellar 8-12 from the field and 8-9 from the line for 24 points. I hope he gets it together for Kings' fans sake.
I just hope he doesn't get it together tonight.
Power Forward: Terrence Jones vs. Jason Thompson
I just can't get the image of Thompson grabbing a rebound and throwing down a putback dunk out of my head. It seems that he always shows up for these games.
Jones has played many good or great power forwards so far this season, but rarely has he played against someone sporting a similar athletic makeup. We'll see how he handles it.
Center: Dwight Howard vs. DeMarcus Cousins
Cousins: 23/11 on 48% shooting and a 26.62 PER. I read somewhere that he's leading the league in points per possession.
Howard, 18/13 on 57% shooting and a 21.95 PER. He's also a three-point shooter now.
This should be fun.
Rockets: Jeremy Lin, Aaron Brooks, Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi, Donatas Motiejunas
Kings: Derrick Williams (Derrick THRILLiams), Travis Outlaw, Aaron Gray, Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton
Prediction: Rockets somehow win this game, 112-105.
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