SACRAMENTO -- Sometimes, the emotions of the day get the best of you. With the trade deadline shaking up Sacramento’s locker room, the young Kings looked overwhelmed and outgunned against the Houston Rockets.
Sensing the Kings were vulnerable, superstar James Harden and the veteran Rockets throttled the home team early and came away with a dominant 127-101 victory.
The loss snapped Sacramento’s seven-game home winning streak, which was their longest since 2006.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings fell to 28-26 on the season:
The Harden Effect
Harden is walking away with the NBA's MVP award this season, and it’s not even close. The veteran shooting guard loves to hoist up as many shots as he can get his hands on, and he finds a way to put the ball in the basket on most nights.
He started out strong against Sacramento, scoring 25 points in the first half. He kept chucking late, despite the game being well out of reach, finishing with 36 points on 13-of-26 from the field and 8-of-13 from long range.
Burned by the Triple
Harden isn’t the only player on Houston who likes to shoot the long ball. Coach Mike D’Antoni has a whole group of shooters to and none of them mind tossing it up.
As a team, the Rockets finished the night 20-of-51 from behind the arc. Gerald Green hit 4-of-9 from deep. Eric Gordon went 4-for-10 and Austin Rivers chipped in a pair of makes.
Frank Mason Sighting
Mason has struggled to find court time as of late. He’s the fifth guard on the roster, and coach Dave Joerger doesn’t seem to even want to go four deep on some nights.
With a lopsided score, Sacramento’s coach turned to the former Kansas star, and he responded with a nice offensive push. Mason finished the evening with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including two makes from behind the arc.
He also went toe-to-toe with Harden in the fourth quarter, after the All-Star took exception to a foul. Despite his size, Mason isn’t one to back down from anyone.