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Preview: Kings (28-54) at Rockets (54-28)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: January 22, 2014 8:00 PM EDT
  

The Houston Rockets have lost both meetings with the Sacramento Kings this season, squandering a tremendous effort by James Harden in the most recent.

Potentially having Terrence Jones back could help prevent a third straight loss in the series.

With Jones expected to be a game-time decision, the Rockets will try to continue their impressive stretch Wednesday night and avoid their first three-game slide to the Kings in 10 years.

Houston (28-15) fell 106-91 at Sacramento on Dec. 15. That was part of a 6-6 stretch that concluded with a 110-106 home defeat to the Kings on New Year's Eve, despite Harden's 38 points and 10 rebounds.

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The Rockets haven't wasted many efforts since, winning seven of nine games and four of five at home while averaging 109.4 points. They're coming off their best offensive showing of the season, scoring 71 points in the first half en route to a 126-113 victory over Portland on Monday. Houston shot 52.3 percent from the floor, including 48.5 from 3-point range.

The last time the Rockets topped 70 in the first half, they fell 104-92 to Oklahoma City last Thursday - the team's lone home loss of 2014.

"We just held our composure," said Harden, who had 22 points Monday. "We couldn't worry about what they were doing or anything. We had to figure out a way to fight through it and play harder, push the tempo a little harder and play defense."

Harden's team will try to avoid dropping three straight to Sacramento for the first time since losing all four meetings in 2003-04.

Houston hopes to have Jones back after he sat out Monday's win with a thigh bruise. His injury was rather untimely since the forward was averaging 21.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over his last five games.

Jones has made huge strides in his second season, averaging 11.6 points and 7.7 rebounds after he scored 5.5 and pulled down 3.4 boards as a rookie.

His potential return could have an impact on Chandler Parsons, who fell three assists shy of his first triple-double Monday. The forward had a season-high 31 points and 10 rebounds while making 12 of 19 shots from the floor, including 3 of 5 from long distance.

Harden is averaging 28.6 points over his last five meetings with Sacramento, totaling 67 while connecting on 54.8 percent from the field and 9 of 17 from behind the arc in two at Toyota Center.

The Kings (15-25) are looking to conclude this six-game road trip at .500 after beating New Orleans 114-97 on Tuesday behind Rudy Gay's career high-tying 41 points.

Gay shot 16 of 25 overall and 5 of 8 from 3-point range two days after he had six points before being ejected in the fourth quarter of a 108-93 defeat to Oklahoma City.

"He put on a show, coming off a game in Oklahoma City where he didn't play very well and got thrown out," coach Michael Malone said. "He wanted to bounce back and show everybody what he is capable of."

He's certainly done that against the Rockets recently, averaging 26.7 points over his last three matchups. He scored 25 in the latest one, while DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas has totaled 58 points and 17 assists over the past two games, getting 20 and 11 against the Pelicans.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  +425   +9.5   217 
 HOU  -550   -9.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  +450   +10   217.5 
 HOU  -600   -10   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 SAC  55%   31%   81% 
 HOU  45%   69%   19% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Dec 31, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SAC 110 Cover: 14 
 HOU 106 Over: 216 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Dec 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 91 Under: 197 
 SAC 106 Cover: 21.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 SAC 100 Over: 221 
 HOU 121 Cover: 10.5 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Apr 3, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 112 Cover: 6 
 SAC 102 Under: 214 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Feb 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 HOU 111 Over: 228 
 SAC 117 Cover: 12.5 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Wednesday, Jan 22
 
    Hawks at Magic
7:05 PM EDT
    Celtics at Wizards
7:05 PM EDT
    Bulls at Cavaliers
7:05 PM EDT
    Mavericks at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Clippers at Bobcats
7:05 PM EDT
    76ers at Knicks
7:35 PM EDT
    Pistons at Bucks
8:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Rockets
8:05 PM EDT
    Thunder at Spurs
8:05 PM EDT
    Pacers at Suns
10:40 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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