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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, December 19th (All times eastern)

Sacramento Kings (7-19) at Houston Rockets (16-9), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Sacramento Kings resume a four-game road trip in South Texas Friday when they face the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center.

The Kings dropped the opener of the trip on Tuesday in Portland when Brandon Roy hit 15-of-15 from the free throw line en route to a game-high 29 points and the Trail Blazers had little trouble disposing of Sacramento, 109-77.

John Salmons logged a team-high 21 points and Francisco Garcia finished with 12 points for the Kings, who shot a woeful 31.6 percent from the field a night after giving interim head coach Kenny Natt a win in his debut. Natt replaced Reggie Theus, who was fired on Monday.

Sacramento, which is a dismal 2-10 as the visitor, will finish the trip with visits to New Orleans and San Antonio.

The Rockets, meanwhile, won the opener of a short two-game residency on Tuesday when Tracy McGrady notched his fourth career triple-double with 20 points, 10 assists and a season-high 14 rebounds to lead the Rockets in a 108-96 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Yao Ming poured in 32 points and grabbed seven boards for Houston, which has won five of its last seven overall and improved to 8-3 as the host. Ron Artest had 20 points, including 10 in the final quarter. Aaron Brooks tallied 18 points and six helpers in 42 minutes.

Artest, who was acquired by the Rockets from the Kings on August 14 after two-plus seasons in Sacramento, will be facing his former team for the first time.

The two teams split a four-game season series last season but Houston has won five of its past seven overall versus the Kings.

12/19 10:49:05 ET

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