Sacramento Kings at Houston Rockets Preview
In a Western Conference matchup tonight, the Houston Rockets host the Sacramento Kings in the first game of their regular season series. Houston is 15-7 on the season as they sit in fourth place in the West. They have won their last two games, are 6-3 in their last 10 and are an excellent 9-2 at home at the Toyota Center.
Sacramento enters tonight’s game with a 9-13 record which places them 10th in the Western Conference. The Kings got back into the win column recently after their overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday. The Kings are just 4-9 on the road this season.
Tonight’s game will be the second game of a back-to-back for Sacramento after their surprising win over the Dallas Mavericks in the second part of their Texas Triangle road trip.
Time: 8 PM ET
Arena: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Channel: NBCSCA, ATTSN-SW
Kings: Cory Joseph, Bogdan Bogdanovic (P), Marvin Bagley III (Q), De’Aaron Fox (O)
Rockets: Tyson Chandler (D), Eric Gordon, Nene, Gerald Green (O)
Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup
The Sacramento Kings nearly pulled off an upset of the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, but former King Marco Belinelli knocked down a three in regulation to send the game to overtime, where the Spurs eventually won 105-104. Last night, the Kings didn’t need overtime as their first half led kept them going through a few lulls in the fourth quarter on their way to a 110-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks, who had been performing well recently.
“We showed that also against San Antonio,” Nemanja Bjelica said. “This is a different team this year, and we just need to play 48 minutes. We need to respect our opponent because everybody can play and everybody can score in this league. We are missing Fox, Bagley, so this team is growing. We have a bright future, but we’re here to win the games. We had a bad start to the season, but now we just need to play harder.”
Bjelica led the Kings with 30 points in the win. Buddy Hield had 26 and both Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes both scored in double figures. Bogdan Bogdanovic made his return to the lineup with 10 points off the bench and Trevor Ariza also had 10.
While Luka Doncic had 27 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 29, the Kings limited Kristaps Porzingis to just 13 points, and the Mavericks bench was pretty much nonexistent.
Houston Rockets Starting Lineup
The Rockets followed their double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs last week with two straight wins over the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns.
Saturday’s matchup against the Phoenix Suns was expected to be a shootout between James Harden and Devin Booker and it didn’t disappoint as Harden scored 34 and Booker had 35 points in the Rockets’ 115-109 win.
The Rockets got out to a slow start as they were outscored 31-23 in the first half, but they warmed up in the second, with a 37-21 advantage.
Russell Westbrook is starting to look more like the Westbrook we’ve been accustomed to seeing as he is weaved himself into the Rockets’ offense. On Saturday he had a triple-double with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.
” Slowly, but surely,” Westbrook said recently. “Like I said before, it’s always going to be a steady dose of what I see, and how I can affect the game, and help us win games. That’s all I care about.”
Ben McLemore had another big game for Houston playing that Eric Gordon role with 27 points and Clint Capela has 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
Key Player Matchups
James Harden vs. Buddy Hield
While not as big a matchup as Harden vs. Booker, Buddy Hield is also a big-time scorer and is capable of putting up big numbers. Harden no doubt has the edge here as he does against just about every NBA shooting guard. His offensive repertoire is almost impossible to defend, especially since he moves the ball well when he senses double-teams coming.
Ben McLemore vs. Bogdan Bogdanovic
The next best matchup is actually one putting two members of each respective teams’ second unit. McLemore and Bogdanovic could start for most teams and they both have range. It’ll be interesting to see which player has a bigger impact off the bench tonight for Harden and Hield.
James Harden and Buddy Hield are fantasy standouts in tonight’s matchup. Harden is available for $12k on FanDuel and he has a projection of 62.6 points. Hield has a salary of $7.1k with a projection of 39.6 points.
Bogdan Bogdanovic is a nice value pickup for your team. He has a low salary of $4.8k with a projection of 32.5 points for an insane points per $1k ratio of 6.77 points, which is the highest of any player tonight.
Bet on Matchup
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