SACRAMENTO -- If you thought the Kings were a mess this season, you haven’t seen the Houston Rockets play over the last month and a half.
In the first game coming out of the All-Star break, the Kings put on a show against a short-handed Rockets team, sending Houston to their 14th straight loss by a final score of 125-105.
The starting backcourt of Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon put up solid numbers and Kevin Porter Jr. posted a 13-point, 10-assists double-double for the Rockets, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
All five starters scored in double-figures for the Kings, including another 30-point night for De’Aaron Fox and 20-point performances from Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes and Buddy Hield. Head coach Luke Walton was able to clear his bench late and let the subs some valuable time.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings hammer the Rockets to move to 15-22.
Wheelin’ and dealin’
Fox came into Thursday night averaging 25.1 points and 9.4 assists over his last 16 games. He’s becoming the distributor the Kings hoped he would be when they drafted. Against the Rockets, he showed a little more flare than usual.
Fox finished the game with a team-high nine dimes, barely missing his eleventh double-double of the season. He also torched the Rockets for 30 points on 11-for-19 shooting and chipped in seven rebounds in the lopsided win.
Teams are calling on the availability of Harrison Barnes and the veteran is making sure that everyone, including the Kings, understands what he brings to the table.
Barnes beat up the Rockets front line down low, finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
The veteran forward is having a career year for Sacramento and the team’s win over the Rockets once against showed his value. Unless the Kings get a solid haul in return for the nine-year veteran, they would be better served holding onto him, at least through the trade deadline this season.
Quiet big game
Richaun Holmes wants to get paid in free agency. The best way to do that is to continue to play like he has this season for the Kings.
The 27-year-old center dropped a bigtime 20-point, 11-rebound performance against a short-handed Rockets squad. He’s one of the most efficient players in the league, hitting 9-of-11 from the field and dropping in both of his free throw attempts in the win.