Rockets survive sloppy fourth quarter, beat Kings 113-104
SACRAMENTO, California — James Harden scored 34 points, Russell Westbrook had 28 and the Houston Rockets overcame one of their worst fourth quarters of the season to beat the Sacramento Kings 113-104 on Monday night (Tuesday morning, December 24, 2019, Philippine time).
Clint Capela added 15 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets won their seventh straight on the road.
It didn’t come easily.
Two weeks after losing to the Kings on Nemanja Bjelica’s buzzer-beating 33-footer, the Rockets squandered most of a 25-point lead before holding on at the end.
They won despite shooting 3 of 17 in the fourth quarter. All three baskets were 3-pointers, including one by Westbrook that put Houston ahead 107-96 after the Kings had pulled within six.
Harden made a 3-pointer then added a pair of late free throws.
De’Aaron Fox had 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Sacramento. Richaun Holmes added 12 points and 14 rebounds. The Kings have lost four straight.
Houston built a 16-point lead in the first quarter despite slow starts by Harden and Westbrook. The two took five shots total in the opening period and had nine points combined, while House and Capela handled the scoring load early.
The Rockets big two got going after that. Harden scored 13 in the second quarter and Westbrook had 10.
Houston pulled away in the third and led 86-61 following a short jumper by Harden.
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