Preview: Kings look to conclude home-stand on high note vs Rockets
The Sacramento Kings will conclude a five-game home stand when they face the Houston Rockets on Friday night in the second meeting between these two teams over a 72-hour period.
Sacramento (22-18) will attempt to pull themselves five games over the .500 mark for the first time since April 18, 2006. This isn’t the first time the Kings have tried to cross the five-game mark, as they are 0-7 this season in games they have attempted to secure that elusive mark.
Houston (10-31) enters play with the NBA’s worst record as they will look to avenge Wednesday night’s blowout loss to the Kings.
You can get all of your Kings vs. Rockets coverage right here at Sactown Sports 1140 beginning at 3:00 PM on Cattles & Ramie before Game Night tips off at 5:30 PM.
Trey Day in Sacramento 🤩 pic.twitter.com/IVsqCwHL9n
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 12, 2023
Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets Game Info
When: 7:00 PM PST
Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Pregame coverage starts at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night
Line: Kings -9.5, O/U: 238
Tickets: Click here
What To Watch For
During Wednesday night’s meeting between these teams, the Kings look flat early in the game–especially on the defensive end.
Sacramento has had a knack for ‘playing with its food’ when it comes to defeating lowly teams like the Rockets. Maybe it’s playing down to the competition, or perhaps it’s something else, but the Kings shouldn’t wait around and hope that someone gets hot in the fourth in order to win games.
The Kings have especially struggled on the defensive end as of late, and the first half of Wednesday’s game fell in line with those shortcomings as they allowed Houston–a team that currently sits at 29th in the NBA in points per game (109.2)–to score 62 points over the first 24 minutes of action.
Setting the tone early on the defensive end will be important on Friday, especially on the perimeter after the Rockets shot 40 percent from deep just two days ago.
If Sacramento can play solid defense, their lethal offense should be able to put themselves in a good position come the beginning of the second half. This team needs more comfortable wins that don’t come down to the final possession–especially for the well-being of the fans, who have often had their heart rates pushed to the limit this season.
Can The Starters Continue To Carry The Load?
If it seems like Sacramento’s starters finish every game in double-figures, it’s because they usually do.
The starting unit of De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, and Domantas Sabonis has been one of the best in the NBA this season as they hold the second-best five-person offensive rating in the league (min. 25 games played), only trailing the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets.
Taking advantage of a weak Rockets defense (28th in defensive rating this season) as they did on Wednesday will be important for Sacramento, as another high-scoring night should be on the menu for its highly dynamic offense.
Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox continue to add to their All-Star resumes, but forwards Keegan Murray and Harrison Barnes have ramped up their offensive contributions over the past couple of weeks.
Keegan Murray has looked confident and lethal from beyond the arc during the past five games 🔥
Murray is shooting 56% from deep on 6.4 attempts per game since January 3rd 👀 pic.twitter.com/7P0tLZNVDP
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) January 12, 2023
Murray has been locked in from beyond the arc over the past five games, as the rookie is averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 rebounds on 56 percent shooting from three-point land since January 3rd.
Alongside Murray in the front-court, Barnes has looked like his normal self as the forward is averaging 2o.1 points per game on 52 percent shooting from the field and 47 percent from beyond the three-point line.
If Murray, Barnes, and Kevin Huerter are locked in offensively, it will be tough to beat the Sacramento Kings.
- Kevin Huerter – QUESTIONABLE (non-COVID illness)
Huerter participated in Friday’s pregame shoot-around, but the Kings will see how he comes through today’s workout before making a determination on his playing status for tonight.
- Neemias Queta is on assignment with G-League affiliate Stockton.
- Kevin Porter Jr. – OUT (left foot contusion)
- TyTy Washington, Trevor Hudgins, and Darius Days are on assignment with the team’s G-League affiliate.
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Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Friday, January 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – 7:00 PM PST
Sunday, January 15th – Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs – 4:00 PM PST
Wednesday, January 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:30 PM PST
Friday, January 20th – Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – 7:00 PM PST
Saturday, January 21st – Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers – 7:00 PM PST