SACRAMENTO -- With just three games remaining in the 2016-17 season, the Sacramento Kings host the high-scoring Houston Rockets Sunday afternoon at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings are coming off a tough loss on the road Friday night against the Lakers. Skal Labissiere scored 19 points and Buddy Hield added 17, but mistakes in crunch time cost Sacramento the victory.
With the three seed in the Western Conference playoffs locked up, Houston has been coasting through their schedule. James Harden is in a dogfight with OKC’s Russell Westbrook for the league’s MVP award and he wouldn’t mind padding his stats against a young Kings team.
Rockets by 9
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Skal Labissiere vs. Ryan Anderson -- Labissiere is coming off a tough matchup against a brute in Julius Randle. He’ll face a completely different beast in the Rockets Ryan Anderson. The Sacramento native might play limited minutes against the Kings as Houston prepares for a long playoff run, but he’ll test the rookie in his time on the floor. Anderson is one of the game’s best stretch four’s and if Labissiere gives him an inch on the outside, he’ll burn him with the long ball.
WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 31-48, third place in Pacific
Rockets: 53-26, second place in Southwest
Kings: SG Arron Afflalo (rest) out, PG Darren Collison (rest) out, SG Tyreke Evans (rest) out, C Kosta Koufos (rest) out, F Anthony Tolliver (right hip strain) probable, SG Malachi Richardson (hamstring) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.
Rockets: SF Sam Dekker (hand) out.
The Kings shocked the Rockets the last time these two teams met in December, but Houston holds a 2-1 advantage in the season series. The Rockets are up 126-89 all-time lead over the Kings and the have an 85-43 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“We fought, when they made their run, we responded back. It shows how much potential we have. It kinda sucks and it kinda of hurts, not executing on that play.” -Buddy Hield on his turnover in the closing seconds in the loss to Los Angeles on Friday