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Kings vs Rockets Preview: Good Omens Only

The Kings are taking on the Rockets…. Again.

It's Friday the 13th and the Kings are at home for the last of a five game homestand and facing off against a very familiar foe - yes, those kid Rockets are yet again at the front door and asking for another lesson in the art of basketball. Can the Kings hold Alperen Sengun under a triple-double this time around? Can Keegan Murray go get a poster of his own on Jabari Smith Jr., strictly for karma's sake? Will someone please throw something at Rafael Stone for Eric Gordon and get him off of a team that his face already says he's not a part of? Please??

Let's talk Kings basketball!

When: Friday, January 13th, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

For Your Consideration

Five over .500? : Tonight's the night, baby. The Kings are sitting at four games over .500 and every single person that writes, talks, interpretive dances about the Kings, media interns at Bleacher Report, stat freaks, dudes on Twitter with a username that ends with "Muse"... they've all got their finger on the button that will send out THAT stat across Al Gore's world wide web that will cleanse this city, turn back the storms, heal our collective traumas. You know the stat. We all know that stat. With the win tonight, the Kings will be FIVE whole games above .500, something that hasn't been done since... well... shit I didn't really look it up but it is CRUCIAL we get there and after being denied the satisfaction four-ish times this year already... James Naismith, god on high of all things basketball, will walk forth from that beam tonight and we as a collective will all finally get to see it those tweets about that magical, all-powerful benchmark.

Unless, the Kings spend three quarters fiddle-farting around again.

Yeah, Wednesday night's game was a weird one right? I can admit, begrudgingly, that the Kings are a good enough team right now that they can play with their food for awhile and still win a decent percentage of games in the fourth. Fox and Domas and the supporting cast are gelled and good enough to do that. Wednesday night's first three quarters felt like I was watching a guy faking like he was choking on something, only to start actually choking on it. Like they went into the fourth down a point and I had to actually sit there and consider how the Kings were letting it happen. How the hell were they going to let this game stay close against the worst team in the NBA.

Enter Trey Lyles, our hero of the Heimlich Maneuver, going off in the 4th for 15 points on perfect shooting. Guy was hitting threes, hitting funky runners in the lane going away from the bucket, pulling out everything in his arsenal and letting them rip. Suddenly, without much warning, the Kings were in COMPLETE control of that game. It felt over as soon as the Kings got up to ten with multiple Rockets just standing there during dead balls looking like they'd been told their house burned down. Hell, Lyles even grabbed six of his seven boards in the fourth. The guy just spent a quarter channeling Keven Durant and the Kings were all the luckier for it.

Would they have won that game without Trey going bananas? Eh, probably. It'd have been close enough to require Fox to do what he does best. The Rockets have a ton of young talent but, they don't have a closer yet like Fox. But the fact that they needed a pressure valve like Lyles is indicative that the Kings are still struggling a bit. The final score may show a good team beating a bad team by 20, but the story tells it differently. That's a little spooky for me going forward.

Tonight's game should be a bit easier. I don't think the Rockets shoot nearly as well this time around, I don't think the Kings spot the Rockets the lead they did early in the first quarter and I don't think the Kings come out taking the Rockets as lightly as they did. If the Nuggets home-and-home situation is indicative of anything, the Kings should come out better prepped for this Rockets team.

Should.

Prediction

Five-Over-.500 is the name of the 30 for 30 doc made about tonight. 10 million tweets will all say the same thing and you'll think Twitter is permanently broken. It is, but, you'll think it's because of this event. Domas with a triple double, Fox with 30.

Kings: 141, Rockets: 117

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Jman1949
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January 13, 2023 12:34 pm

Win this game or our chances get steep
For the promise of playoffs to keep.
Must win games that we should
To keep chances good.
There’s no option but getting the sweep!

Kosta
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January 13, 2023 12:54 pm

Houston? Sounds like a Magnum P.I. knockoff

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Last edited 24 days ago by Kosta
TerzoM
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January 13, 2023 12:57 pm

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 13, 2023 2:08 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Break the curse!

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
January 13, 2023 1:00 pm

Come on, Kings! Let’s break the 5 games over .500 curse tonight!

RikSmits
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January 13, 2023 3:26 pm
Reply to  Klam

We need good Omens to exorcise the 5 games above Demons.

andy_sims
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January 13, 2023 1:20 pm

My hope is that the game will be lopsided enough that Fox and Sabonis won’t even have the chance to put up such gaudy numbers.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 13, 2023 2:09 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’m digging the double-double streak Sabonis has going. I don’t want that to end.

MichaelMack
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January 13, 2023 3:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

He has flirted with that a time or two in the first quarter alone, so it might be doable with Andy’s hope still coming true.

Kingsguru21
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January 13, 2023 3:52 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’d be alot more ecstatic about Domas playing less than 28 MPG tonight than whether or not he gets a double-double. He’s going to get those if he plays his normal allotment of minutes.

Last edited 24 days ago by Kingsguru21
eddie41
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January 13, 2023 2:42 pm

something else the Kings have not done since the 7-game winning streak: have a number of consecutive wins that exceed the number of losses immediately preceding. They lose a couple, they win a couple. they lose one, they win one. they lose three, they win three. Always equalizing and sort of satisfied with leaving it there. If the Kings win tonight … well … that might warrant some streaking.

as for karma, did anyone sort of question whether Okongwu’s cheap shot on Sabonis was some sort of karma for KZ’s flying knee like one of Dhalsim’s moves in Street Fighter 2 into the gut of Walker Kessler? So let’s not do that one on the young Turkish center tonight.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 13, 2023 2:46 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Yup. They are 12-12 since that 7 game winning streak. A win tonight gives them just their 2nd 3 game winning steak outside of the 7 game streak. It’s been a frustrating 1 step forward to 1 step back tendency for a while now. It’s time to prove they are a winning team.

Jman1949
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January 13, 2023 3:22 pm
Reply to  eddie41

If KZ’s flagrant flying knee triggered some sort of karmic retribution, what might the response be to the similar Wenyen Gabriel play in the Dallas/LA refereeing disaster that did not even draw a common foul call?

eddie41
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January 13, 2023 6:28 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

making the playoffs – 6 seed or higher

BeTheBall
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January 13, 2023 3:06 pm

Previous 7 shots at the 5-game above mark
(ht: Kingsguru21 for the list, was missing the Knicks though)

X – @Atl 11/23
X – @Milwaukee 12/7
X – @Knicks 12/11
X – Charlotte 12/19
X – Washington 12/23
X – @Memphis 1/1
X – Atlanta 1/4

?? – Rockets 1/13

We got this one though, right?…….right?

Kingsguru21
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January 13, 2023 3:46 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I did forget the Knicks BTB! Funny thing was, I was looking at the schedule when I typed that too!

But yeah, tonight is the night. Really, you shouldn’t just win tonight but also Sunday in San Antonio too.

BeTheBall
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January 13, 2023 5:03 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’ll drink to that!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 13, 2023 5:29 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Your mouth to God’s ears stabby! Let’s make it happen!

Kingsguru21
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January 13, 2023 5:35 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think the Kings could win 6 in a row here. Tonight, Sunday, next Wednesday in LA, back home a week from now against OKC (although that won’t be easy).

That would be fun.

Putthegundown
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January 13, 2023 3:33 pm

Will the truth is never broken.

ZillersCat
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January 13, 2023 3:35 pm

A black cat Icon, does not fear omens and black cats ..
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RPO
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RPO
January 13, 2023 3:36 pm

I don’t think the Kings come out taking the Rockets as lightly as they did

The fact that they even took an opponent lightly shows they lacked maturity. Hopefully that’s permanently a part of the past.

yokosolo
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January 13, 2023 5:00 pm

It’s hard for me to wrap my soiled, disgraced head around the fact that after years of unsavory but steady participation in the OG/REAL version of Sactown Royalty (shout out Ziller’s cat and Please Don’t Boo) that this is my first comment ever here.

I was inspired to say something after all the lurking by the sheer joy of your writing here, Will. I’ll go a little further and add that the writing from the top of the existence of The Kings Herald until this very day has been an incredible gift to me, as has been my first season of genuine hope for NBA fun in 16+ years.

So hey. Thanks. Let’s light the f***ing BEAM tonight! Weeeeeee!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 13, 2023 5:31 pm
Reply to  yokosolo

Welcome back to the fold Yoko! Light the Beam!!!!!!!!!

yokosolo
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January 14, 2023 10:41 am
Reply to  WGriffith

Seen! Appreciated! Respect!

yokosolo
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January 14, 2023 1:21 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

I seent it and thought I already replied… you DA MAN WILL!

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