Kings-Rockets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 25, 2012
The Houston Rockets aren't making excuses for their depleted lineup. They're too concerned about getting through a rough portion of the schedule and keeping pace in the crowded Western Conference playoff race. Houston finishes a four-game homestand Monday night when the struggling Sacramento Kings try to improve their conference-worst road mark. Despite missing Kyle Lowry the last nine games with a bacterial infection and former King Kevin Martin the last seven with a shoulder injury, the Rockets (26-23) have earned some big wins with Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee as the starting guards, defeating West-leading Oklahoma City on March 13 and the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday to open their homestand. Houston had a chance to knock off Dallas on Saturday and move into fifth place in the West, but instead lost for the first time in three games, 101-99 in OT. "We battled hard out there, but we just could not get it,'' said coach Kevin McHale, whose team finished the night ninth in the standings. With the fourth through 13th spots in the West separated by just a handful of games, the Rockets could certainly use Lowry and Martin in the mix. However, there is no timetable for either to return. Still, the Rockets could make a run without their starters. Dragic is averaging 17.0 points and 9.4 assists with Lowry out, while Lee is chipping in 14.6 points per game in place of Martin. Rookie Chandler Parsons recorded his second consecutive double-double on Saturday with 12 points and 11 rebounds. "I feel we have a lot of players that can play," Luis Scola told the Rockets' official website. "Everybody has injuries and we do have them, too, but we just have to keep playing. ... we needed this one big time, now we have Sacramento coming up at home and we need that one even more." That's especially true as Houston follows with matchups against the Mavericks, Memphis, Indiana, Chicago and the Lakers before closing out the season series with the Kings in Sacramento on April 8. The Kings (17-31), meanwhile, are looking to get back into the win column as they make their final visit to Houston this season. Sacramento has followed a three-game winning streak by dropping two straight, including Saturday's 111-108 loss at Golden State. The Kings, 4-21 on the road, committed 15 turnovers, including a critical miscue by rookie point guard Isaiah Thomas with the team trailing by one in the final seconds. "Mistakes that we make, growing pains, we got to go through them,'' coach Keith Smart said. "Hopefully, these games will help us as we move forward.'' Improved play from Marcus Thornton could help the Kings end a four-game road losing streak. He has 32 total points on 13-of-33 shooting in the last two contests after averaging 30.3 in the previous three. Thornton missed the only game against Houston this season - a 103-89 loss Jan. 13 - with a thigh injury. Tyreke Evans finished with a team-high 27 points in that contest, but DeMarcus Cousins had just four with four rebounds as the Kings lost for the eighth time in 10 visits to Houston. Former King Samuel Dalembert helped the Rockets win for the fifth time in six overall meetings with Sacramento with a season-high 21 points and 16 rebounds. The Kings, who could be without forward Jason Thompson (sprained left ankle) for a second straight game, will also have to deal with newcomer Marcus Camby, who is averaging 5.0 points and 7.8 boards in four games since being acquired from Portland.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Alabama’s opening week starting QB is transferring

Cubs sign Theo Epstein to five-year extension

Marlins players surrounded Jose Fernandez’s hearse during its procession

Jason Garrett: Dez Bryant has hairline fracture in knee

Newspaper runs insensitive headline following Mets win

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Curt Schilling plans to run against Elizabeth Warren in 2018

WATCH: Tebow homers on first pitch he sees in first game

Report: Garoppolo still dealing with shoulder pain, mobility

J.J. Watt placed on IR, reportedly expected to miss rest of 2016

Nationals GM: Strasburg ‘unlikely to pitch in NLDS’

Nebraska regent wants players kicked off team for kneeling during anthem

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

TailGreater: 'Sterngating' with the Huskies

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in murky Eastern Conference?

2016 Ryder Cup preview: Five things to watch this weekend

Ryan Kesler disappointed with lack of excitement at World Cup

Lesser known MMA fighters who could be ready for the WWE

Box Score: 9/28 - Bosh, FIFA, Ali and Mangenius

Geno Smith deletes Instagram post possibly critical of Jets

Most glaring flaw for each MLB playoff contender

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WNBA semifinals preview: Will the rust show for Lynx, Sparks?

Breaking down baseball’s Cy Young ballot

TailGreater: 'Sterngating' with the Huskies

Can anyone challenge the Cavs in murky Eastern Conference?

The Worst - NFL Week 3: Steve Smith, Odell Beckham & of course the Browns

FIFA 17 review: O jogo bonito

To save his legacy Chris Bosh must first protect his health

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker