Healthy James Harden, Chandler Parsons could give Houston Rockets sixth seed

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets will go into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings hopefully receiving both a healthy James Harden and Chandler Parsons back into the starting lineup. The two players could be enough to push the Rockets into sixth position in the Western Conference.

The Rockets have been without Harden since the All-Star guard injured his foot against the Indiana Pacers last Wednesday, however the team did manage to go 2-1 in his absence. Harden should return against the Kings, as should Parsons who has been suffering from an illness. It’s uncertain how fit either will be, but their presence may be enough for the Rockets to overtake the Golden State Warriors for the sixth spot in the West.

Harden is no lock to play, but told the Associated Press after Tuesday’s practice that his foot was feeling better.

“If I’m lingering and not playing to the best of my ability I’m affecting my team,” Harden told reporters. “We’ll see how tomorrow goes, but these guys have been playing pretty well.”

Winning against the Kings is necessary- the sixth seed will be almost out of the team’s grasp should they lose. More importantly, the game marks the start of a three-game road trip that will take the Rockets to face the Portland Trail Blazers and then the Denver Nuggets on Friday and Saturday. Houston is just 14-22 on the road this season.

The Rockets-Kings matchup also marks the first time the two teams will play since partaking in a massive deal at the February 21 trade deadline that primarily sent Patrick Patterson to Sacramento and rookie lottery pick Thomas Robinson to Houston. Neither Patterson nor Robinson have made defining impacts on their new teams, but it will add to the hype surrounding this vital matchup.

Robert White covers the Houston Rockets for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.

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