NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, April 14th
(All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (28-51) at Houston Rockets (44-35), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Houston Rockets are playoff-bound, but have a chance to
improve their position, starting Sunday night when they host the Sacramento
The Rockets are currently the seventh seed, but trail the Golden State
Warriors by one-half game. Conversely, a poor finish could cost Houston as
well. The Rockets lead the Los Angeles Lakers by just 1 1/2 games for that No.
7 seed and those two teams will meet in the season-finale Wednesday in Los
The Rockets fell at home Friday night to the Memphis Grizzlies, 82-78. Memphis
leads the NBA in opponents scoring and Houston is second in the league in
scoring at 105.8 ppg. Defense won the battle on Friday with the Grizz holding
the Rockets almost 30 points under their average.
"Today was definitely a good lesson," Jeremy Lin said after the loss.
"Obviously it didn't end the way we wanted it to end but we learned a lot and
gained valuable experience going into the playoffs. We wanted to win obviously
but I think we did some good things down the stretch."
The Rockets trailed by 13 at the half and made it a game. Not known for their
defense, the Rockets held the Grizzlies to 33 points in the second half.
James Harden had 30 points and Lin added 17. No other Houston player scored in
double figures as the team shot 31 percent from the field and committed 20
The Kings will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season and the team
is in the middle of a sale. The Kings could be in Seattle next season, or, if
mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA All-Star, gets his way, the team will stay
On the court, things have been rough of late. The Kings have dropped five of
their last six and the most recent setback came Friday night in San Antonio
against the Spurs. Sacramento fell, 108-101, as seven San Antonio players
scored in double figures.
The Kings fell behind by 10 after the first quarter, then put 37 points on the
board in the second. Unfortunately, so did the Spurs.
"We got aggressive (in the second quarter), but we should have played that way
from the start," DeMarcus Cousins said.
The Kings were led by Cousin's double-double. He scored 19 points and pulled
down 12 rebounds. Jason Thompson chipped in 18 and three bench players - Toney
Douglas, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette - had double figures.
The Kings visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, then finish the season
with a home tilt, which could be the last in Sacramento, Wednesday against the
Los Angeles Clippers.
The teams split this season's two matchups, both of which were in Sacramento.
The Kings have lost nine of their last 11 in Houston.
04/14 10:21:50 ET