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Rockets vs. Kings game preview: the tank rolls on

NBA: Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets start the second half of the season tonight when they take on the Kings in Sacramento.

At 14-22, the Kings sit 2 games ahead of the Rockets in the standings. As the Rockets seem to be full-on tanking, this is a big game for Houston to lose. With Christian Wood returning “soon,” the Rockets will likely be competitive shortly. We’ve seen that a full strength Rockets squad with a healthy Wood can rattle off wins.

David Nwaba, Danuel House Jr., and Wood are all out tonight. Eric Gordon is questionable. KJ Martin and Kevin Porter Jr. are available to Stephen Silas. Rockets fans have been excited about KPJ since the trade and his subsequent play in the Gubble.

Sacramento had played in some competitive games before the All-Star break. They went 2-2 in their final 4 contests, with none of the games being decided by more than 4 points. That includes a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, which I assume is always a sweet feeling for a team that was screwed by the refs in the Western Conference Finals all those years ago.

For the Kings, Hassan Whiteside is out due to COVID protocols. They still have De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III, which should be more than enough. Tyrese Haliburton should be Rookie of the Year, by the way.

Tip-off is at 9pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest