Sunday , Apr , 08 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Kings try to take down Rockets

(Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets have hit a snag and will try to right
the ship this evening in the opener of a three-game road trip against the
Sacramento Kings at ARCO Arena.

Houston, which is fifth in the Western Conference standings, has dropped three
in a row after a three-game winning streak. In Friday’s 85-78 loss to the
Portland Trail Blazers, Luther Head paced the Rockets with 19 points.

Juwan Howard contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Shane Battier
finished with 12 points for playoff-bound Houston, which played without Yao
Ming and Tracy McGrady. Yao, the team’s top scorer (24.7 ppg) and rebounder
(9.7 rpg) on the season, missed the game with a sore lower back.

McGrady, who is averaging 24.0 ppg and a team-high 6.3 apg, was also out of
the lineup with back problems. Both players are questionable for Sunday’s
matchup versus the Kings.

The Rockets will also visit Seattle and Portland on the trip, and are 21-16
away from the Toyota Center this season.

Meanwhile, Sacramento ended a four-game slide with Friday’s 107-103 victory
over the Utah Jazz in the opener of a short two-game homestand at ARCO Arena.

Kevin Martin scored 21 points and John Salmons came off the bench to add 17
points for the Kings, who are 20-17 as the host this season. Ron Artest and
Ronnie Price both chipped in 13 points in the winning effort.

On the injury front for the Kings, center Brad Miller (plantar fasciitis) is
questionable versus Houston.

Sunday’s game between the Rockets and Kings is the third and final matchup of
the season. Houston is 2-0 in the series, thanks to a pair of overtime wins,
and has won five of seven and six of the last 10 meetings.

Houston has won three of its last four trips to ARCO Arena.