Rockets looking for revenge against Kings

Rockets looking for revenge against Kings
December 31, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Parsons on Kings: 'They're a talented team'

Know Your Foe: Rockets- Kings

This is the second of four meetings between these teams, who met in Sacramento on December 15, with the Kings winning easily, 106-91. The Kings took a 36-34 lead with ten minutes remaining in the second quarter and would not relinquish the lead. James Harden sprained his ankle early in the third quarter, but would return and to lead the Rockets with 26 points.  Houston shot just 31-of-75 (41 percent) from the field and only 22-of-38 (58 percent) at the free throw line.

Who are the Kings?

The Kings are built around former fifth overall pick, center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is in his fourth season and after signing a long-term contract extension this past offseason, he has elevated his game to elite level.  He’s averaging 22.9 points (9th in NBA) and 11.2 rebounds (6th in NBA) this season. Those are both career bests, with his scoring jumping nearly six points per game from 17.1 points per game a year ago. Cousins has had at least 24 points and 14 rebounds in each of his last three games and is primed to make the all-star team for the first time in his career.

Point guard Isaiah Thomas probably could have won the sixth man of the year award this year had he not become the starter 11 games ago. He’s averaging 21.5 points per game in his 11 starts and shooting 49 percent from the floor and a spectacular 46 percent on 3-pointers.

Forward Rudy Gay was acquired via trade from the Toronto Raptors in early December and has turned his season around since joining the Kings. He did not shoot over 50 percent in any of his 18 games with the Raptors, but has done that four times in nine games with the Kings. He’s shooting 48 percent with Sacramento, after shooting 39 percent with Toronto this season.  His scoring average has remained at 19 points per game , same as it was in Toronto, but he’s attempting nearly four fewer shots per game.

Kings Last Game

Sacramento played at the Spurs on Sunday, losing 112-104. They trailed by 15 points in the second quarter, but rallied to lead by six heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Spurs closed the game on a 16-4 run to turn back the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas had 27 points and Rudy Gay added 24 points. The trio combined to shoot 31-60 (52 percent), while their teammates combined to make just 10-of-31 shots (32 percent). The Spurs also had just four turnovers, which tied the fewest ever against the Kings. They tied the record held by the other two Texas teams (Houston, 1/23/86; Dallas, 11/26).