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Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings game preview

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The Rockets look to build on their Portland win with a victory over Sacramento as the team travels to the West Coast for a reunion with Chuck Hayes.

Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Houston Rockets Tickets

THE ROCKETS ARE PLAYING A TEAM COMING OFF A BACK-TO-BACK! Well, we're the back-to-back.

This is cause to celebrate, as the tides have finally turned. The Rockets, with their NBA-leading 800 back-to-backs finally get to experience what other teams have so many times against the good guys.

Tip off is at 8pm CST.

Matchups:

Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. Isaiah Thomas

It's not fair that the Kings get to use a Hall of Famer on their team.

In all seriousness, I got to see Thomas in college when Washington played Tech a few years back. Oddly enough, being small and shifty at the college level didn't set him apart since every team has at least one of those guys. However, his overall talent level and desire to get better has turned him into a very good NBA player.

That being said, Lin needs to abuse him tonight.

Advantage: Rockets

Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Tyreke Evans

Scary fun matchup. Evans isn't a great jump shooter, but he gets to the rim consistently, which has been a problem for the Rockets (think Kemba Walker and Ramon Sessions).

I've got nothing to say to Harden. What he's done in the last week or so is everything we wanted from him and more.

Advantage: Rockets

Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. John Salmons

With the way Parsons is playing, I can't take this from him. Even if I do like Salmons and think he could be a great player off the bench for a contender.

Advantage: Rockets

Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. Jason Thompson

Without looking it up, where did Thompson go college? Answer at the bottom of the preview.

I'm a fan of Thompson, even if he is kind of another version of Patrick Patterson. He's found his niche as a 10/6 guy, but he can light it up, as evidenced by his 23/10 against the Jazz last week.

But Patterson is playing too well to give the advantage anywhere else.

We may look back at Patterson's fourth quarter performance against the Bobcats as the moment this team cemented themselves a team that belonged in the playoffs. I know it was Charlotte, but Patterson made sure the Rockets weren't going to go gentle into the good night against a team they should beat. The heart in that performance was extraordinary.

Advantage: Rockets

Center: Omer Asik vs. DeMarcus Cousins

Cousins may end up with better stats, but I still like Asik more. If the Kings offered to trade these two straight up, I would say no if I was Daryl Morey.

He obviously still has the ability to beat us with tons of points and boards, but I like the direction the franchise took with the Asik signing. It gave the team an anchor defensively that it sorely needed.

Advantage: Even

Bench

Rockets: Toney Douglas (?), Carlos Delfino, Greg Smith, Marcus Morris, Patrick Beverley, James Anderson

Kings: Thomas Robinson, Chuck Hayes, Marcus Thornton, James Johnson, Jimmer Fredette

Advantage: Rockets

Prediction: Rockets win a tougher-than-expected road game, 108-101.

Answer: Jason Thompson went to Rider University