Houston Rockets vs Sacramento Kings Preview

By Michael Ma

April 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) takes a shot against the Sacramento Kings in the first quarter at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Keys for the Houston Rockets as the close out 2013 against the Sacramento Kings.

Another Early Start

The Rockets were flat for pretty much the entire game Sunday evening against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a game that started at 6 PM CT. The same is true for Tuesday evening, as the game starts an hour earlier than the typical 7 PM CT Toyota Center tip time. The Kings are averaging right around 100 points per game, so a slow start could be difficult to come back from.

Use Redemption As Motivation

The Kings have allowed about 112 points per game in the month of December, but the Rockets managed to score just 91 points in their Dec. 15 loss in Sacramento. The Rockets shot just 26 percent(7 for 27) from behind the 3-point line and went 6 for 21 from the field in the 4th quarter. The Rockets are also 3-6 when scoring under 100 points.

Superman Sighting?

After a strong stretch for Dwight Howard, he has recorded single-digit point games in 2 of the last 3 games. His post presence must be established to counter that of DeMarcus Cousins, who scored 21 points in the Dec. 15 meeting. Cousins has also turned in one of the best stretches of his career in, averaging 20 points and 13 rebounds for the month of December. Howard will have to stay out of foul trouble and protect the paint.

Tip: 6 PM CT

TV: CSN Houston