The Sacramento Kings are on the road on Monday night to take on one of the Western Conference’s top squads, the Houston Rockets.
It has been an up-and-down season for the Kings, who remain without De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley Monday night. The Kings know how to win ball games with their several veteran players, and their younger guys have proven to be effective ballers. Sacramento even picked up a win that surprised many just Sunday night, beating the Mavericks by four points on the road. Buddy Hield has continued to improve and, for the first time, is now averaging better than 20 points per game to lead the way.
Houston is coming off a hard-fought win over the Phoenix Suns over the weekend. James Harden and Russell Westbrook have combined to average 60 points and 15 assists per game on the year, and though it is not always pretty, that’s pretty wild for a duo to do. Danuel House Jr. has played good ball in the absence of the injured Eric Gordon, while Ben McLemore has started to splash threes like he’s JJ Redick. He has had multiple games of better than 20 points in the past week after not doing that at all for several years.
Houston is a heavy favorite Monday night, projected to win by 12 points. The over/under is set at 227.5.
Sacramento Looks To Make Some Noise
Under the direction of Cory Joseph at point guard, the ball hasn’t stuck with the Kings, and they have continued to find the open man. Joseph isn’t not much of a scorer and hasn’t tried to be. The Kings leave that mainly to Hield and Harrison Barnes, and occasionally Nemanja Bjelica, who scored 30 against Dallas. Richaun Holmes took the starting center spot away from Dewayne Dedmon pretty early in the year despite being signed for significantly less money this offseason. The Kings should have Bagley back soon, and, when they do, it’ll be interesting to see what the big-man rotation then looks like.
For this game, the Kings will need a steady dose of threes and a healthy Bogdan Bogdanovic. When he is making plays, combined with the efforts of a red-hot Hield, they are tough to stop.
Potential For More
The Rockets have been running up the score on several teams, and their defense has been doing enough to help them hold on. At 15-7, they are in the place we expected them to be, despite some tremendous shooting inefficiency from Westbrook. Clint Capela is rebounding the ball at a career-high clip, while the Rockets have been able to deal with injuries to Gerald Green and Gordon without skipping a beat. McLemore is shooting like a man possessed, while the effectiveness of House has been something to marvel at after his postseason disappearing act.
Harden will likely go off against the Kings, and Capela will crush it on the glass. Combine that with the defensive toughness of PJ Tucker, and you should have a win.
Houston Gets It Done
A win is coming to Houston on this night. Westbrook’s fourth triple-double will help lead the Rockets to a close win.
Free Play: HOU +12
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