SACRAMENTO -- Mired in controversy, the Sacramento Kings take the floor on Tuesday night at Sleep Train Arena. They will face the Houston Rockets, but do so without the services of point guard Rajon Rondo, who is serving a one-game suspension for throwing homophobic slurs towards official Bill Kennedy over a week ago in Mexico City.
Darren Collison, who started 45 games for Sacramento last season, will start in Rondo's spot. The 28-year-old Collison is averaging 13.1 points and 3.9 assists per game this season playing both guard positions. Seldom used Seth Curry will see time as well backing up Collison, according to George Karl.
Houston comes in beat up and tired after losing a tough game in Denver last night. Trevor Ariza played a game-high 42 minutes against the Nuggets and both Terrence Jones (eye) and Clint Capella (illness) are questionable.
The Kings have won two straight and are looking to make it three in a row before taking off on four-game road trip beginning in Minnesota on Friday night.
Kings by 1.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Ben McLemore vs. James Harden -- McLemore had his best game of the season last time these two teams faced off. Harden still managed to come away with 31 points and nine rebounds. McLemore plays better on the road than he does at home, but the Kings need a big defensive performance out of him tonight and a little offense wouldn’t hurt.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 9-15, fourth place in Pacific
Rockets: 12-13, fourth place in Southwest
Kings: F-C Willie Cauley-Stein (right index finger) out.
Rockets: C Clint Capela (illness) questionable, F Terrence Jones (eye) questionable, F Sam Dekker (back) out.
The Rockets lead the Kings 2-0 in the season series and have taken the last seven against Sacramento. Houston leads the Kings 123-87 all-time and 82-41 during the Sacramento-era.
“I feel the league is a good leader of social issues, and discrimination against gays is something that cannot be tolerated and I’m happy that the league is strong in that case. But in the same sense, I have to prepare the team and support Rajon in this season in a positive way. It’s not an easy place to be.” --George Karl