Programming note: Rockets-Kings coverage starts at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here
The shorthanded Kings wrap up a four-game road trip in Houston against the Rockets on Wednesday.
Rudy Gay is out with a concussion sustained in Monday’s loss to the Grizzlies. DeMarcus Cousins was also rested that night vs. Memphis, but the All-Star center is likely to return against the Rockets.
The Kings (26-47) have lost two straight, are 5-6 over their last 11 games and are now 8-13 since George Karl took over.
Meanwhile the Rockets (50-24) have won four of their last five games and are a half-game behind Memphis for the second seed in the Western Conference playoff race.
Rockets by 14
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Dwight Howard vs. DeMarcus Cousins -- Like Cousins, Howard rested in his team’s last outing, but look for both centers to get after it at the Toyota Center.
1. Auspicious start –- A good start, especially on the road, is essential for the Kings, who are 5-32 when trailing at the half.
2. Transition D –- The Kings need to contain James Harden in particular and not allow him to get to the rim unabated.
3. 3-point defense –- The Rockets recently surpassed the 2012-13 Knicks for most attempts from downtown in a season and 3-point field goal defense has been a dilemma for Sacramento.
Kings -- F Rudy Gay (concussion), G Darren Collison (core muscle injury) and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) are out.
Rockets -- G/F Corey Brewer (left oblique strain) and G Jason Terry (neck strain) are probable while C Dwight Howard (right knee edema) and F Terrence Jones (pneumothorax) are questionable. G Patrick Beverley (left wrist sprain), F/C Donatas Motiejunas (low back pain) and F Kostas Papanikolaou (sprained right ankle) are out.
Wednesday is the third and final meeting between the Kings and the Rockets, as Sacramento needs a win to prevent a 3-0 series sweep. The Kings have now lost four straight to the Rockets after a 2-2 series split last season. Houston leads the overall series 120-87 including 79-41 in the Sacramento era.
“I think we’ve just got to trust each other a little more. When you’re shorthanded with your more skilled and talented players, you’ve got to play better as a team.” -- George Karl on finishing without Rudy Gay after Monday’s 97-83 loss to the Grizzlies in Memphis
Watch Insider Bill Herenda offer up “Herenda’s Agenda” on Kings Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California.