Kings put up strong fight, fall to Rockets down the stretch
The Rockets are good. They hit you from the outside. They hit you in the pick-and-roll. They hit you.
The Sacramento Kings hung close early through three quarters Wednesday in Houston, but in the end, the high-powered Rockets were just too much. Chris Paul and James Harden put up big numbers to help Houston come away with the 100-91 victory.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way for Sacramento and Buddy Hield and Justin Jackson chipped in 12 each, but it wasn’t enough to keep up as the Kings fell to 18-39 heading into the All-Star break.
STANDOUT PERFORMER I
Paul put on a show. He wasn’t invited to All-Star weekend and it felt like he took it out on the Kings Wednesday evening. The 32-year-old point guard finished the night with 19 points and seven assists, including 15 points in a wild second quarter outburst.
STANDOUT PERFORMER II
Bogdanovic is taking on the role of scorer. The 25-year-old Serb dropped in a team-high 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting. He added five assists and four rebounds in the loss.
STANDOUT PERFORMER III
Welcome home Justin Jackson. Playing in front of his hometown crowd, the rookie wing looked comfortable and confident. He scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting to go with five rebounds and four assists.
The Kings cut the Rockets lead down to six points on multiple possessions in the fourth quarter, but the Houston kept attacking. In the end, Sacramento couldn’t get the stops they needed and Houston snuck out with the win.
De'Aaron Fox went to the locker room in the final minute of the fourth with a laceration to his forehead. He did not return to the game. Iman Shumpert (plantar fasciitis) and Bruno Caboclo (personal) continue to sit after being acquired at the trade deadline last week. Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain) and Frank Mason (plantar fascia) are both expected back after the All-Star break. Harry Giles (knee rehab) is out for the season.
The Kings are off for a week for the NBA’s All-Star break They’ll return to the court Feb. 22 against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden 1 Center for the first of three straight at home.