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Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings game preview

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets begin a 4-game road trip tonight, with the first two games both coming against the upstart Sacramento Kings.

The Kings elicited groans around the league when they traded young star Tyrese Haliburton and sharpshooter Buddy Hield to the Indiana Pacers for Domantas Sabonis. Seriously, people thought Sacramento was crazy. And with the well-deserved Kangz moniker, it was hard not to foresee Haliburton turning into a super-duper star and Sabonis being so plagued with injuries that he and De’Aaron Fox would never get a chance to play together.

Well, I’m here to tell you that both teams won the trade. The Pacers got a younger player at a position of need and the Kings got the big man they’ve lacked since Demarcus Cousins went to New Orleans. The Kings are in fifth place in the West and are legit. Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, and Malik Monk give them scorers at the wing positions. Keegan Murray has been having a solid rookie season and deservedly starts. He’s not the same Murray that looked untouchable in Summer League, but he’s going to be in the league for a long time.

Tonight’s contest is Game #41, which means we’ll be at the halfway point of the season after this game concludes. The Rockets will either be on a 20- or 22-win pace. They won 20 games last season.

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