MONDAY AT SUNS
Time: 7 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, NBATV, 950, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: Phoenix has played hard and shown improvement under interim coach Earl Watson.
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Suns players to watch: Devin Booker is averaging 13.7 points per game for Phoenix. Tyson Chandler is averaging 8.8 rebounds.
Last meeting: DeMarcus Cousins scored 29 points to lead the Kings to a 116-94 home win on March 25. Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein added a career-high 26 points.
Hometown take: From Paul Coro, Arizona Republic, “With playoff life on the line, they fought harder on the boards, pressured defensively like mad men, had multiple players record season bests, shook off a 13-point, third-quarter hole with resiliency and closed with a crunch-time 12-0 run with intensity from the floor to the bench.
‘They’ were the Suns, a road team that ended a seven-game losing streak by inventing a high-stakes scenario to put Houston’s playoff breath on life support.”
WEDNESDAY AT ROCKETS
Time: 5 p.m.
TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140
Jason Jones’ take: Houston is one of the league’s most disappointing teams after reaching the Western Conference finals in 2015.
Rockets players to watch: James Harden averages 28.7 points and 7.5 assists per game. Dwight Howard is averaging 11.8 rebounds.
Last meeting: DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Kings to a 107-97 victory on Dec. 15. Cousins’ manager, Andrew Rogers, was ejected from his courtside seat for slapping the arm of Houston’s Jason Terry.
Hometown take: From Jonathan Feigen, the Houston Chronicle, “Effort beat talent. Effort embarrassed, exposed and probably eliminated talent from the NBA playoffs. The Rockets began the season as if they thought they could just show up, put a team that once was good enough to reach the Western Conference finals on the floor and collect wins. Their season, at least what matters of it, ended the same way. The Suns, a team that came to town with 20 wins, a seven-game losing streak and without its starting backcourt, beat the Rockets just by trying harder.”