Harden scores 51 as Rockets trip past Kings
HOUSTON — If one diversion could offer as a microcosm for how mostly Houston Rockets ensure James Harden is asked to lift his teammates to a finish line, Wednesday night represented a best example.
Harden poured in a career-high 51 points and saved a Rockets on mixed occasions in Houston’s mad 115-111 feat over a realistic Sacramento Kings during Toyota Center.
After scoring 17 points in a third quarter, including 11 in period during one stretch, Harden was called on to bail out a Rockets again after a Kings cut a 14-point necessity to 104-102 with 5:50 left in a fourth.
Harden emptied a 3-pointer with 5:25 to play, combined a pushing layup during a 4:32 mark, and afterwards converted a vicious three-point play with 4:04 remaining to reconstruct a lead to 112-102.
Harden shot 16-for-25 from a floor, including 8-for-9 from behind a 3-point arc, and combined 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals while apropos a initial Houston actor to record dual 50-point games in a season. He scored 50 points in a 118-108 win over a Denver Nuggets on Mar 19.
“At shootaround, we was struggling,” Harden said. “I had to put adult some additional shots, and we usually didn’t leave until my shot felt where it indispensable to be. we usually had certainty to go hit it down tonight.”
The usually downside for Harden was that he committed a game-high 7 turnovers.
Rockets brazen Terrence Jones, harmed in that feat over a Nuggets, returned to a starting lineup and chipped in 16 points, 7 rebounds and a career-high 7 blocks. Houston brazen Trevor Ariza scored 22 points while attack 6 of 14 3-point attempts.
In their prior home game, a Rockets (51-24) done 20 3-pointers. They nailed 18 — on 40 attempts — opposite Sacramento.
Six Kings scored in double figures, led by core DeMarcus Cousins, whose fantastic triple-double was scarcely mislaid in a shuffle.
Cousins picked adult his 10th support on a pointy rebound pass to slicing brazen Omri Casspi with 52.2 seconds left for a Kings’ final basket. He also posted 24 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 steals.
Casspi combined 18 points, while guards Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum scored 14 points apiece. Forward Jason Thompson constructed a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) off a bench, though a Kings squandered a plus-15 resilient advantage and a towering 72-42 corner on points in a paint.
“I’ve never coached a man that can put so many things into a game,” Kings manager George Karl pronounced of Cousins. “He has a triple-double though he unequivocally has a quadruple-double since he had 6 blocks, 3 steals and during slightest one or maybe dual charges. There are another 10 security that he gave us since of his defensive abilities.”
The Rockets, blank core Dwight Howard and brazen Donatas Motiejunas, incited a Harden 3-pointer with 29.2 seconds left in a initial entertain into a 16-2 run that bled into a second and yielded a 46-27 lead.
However, a Kings (26-48) outscored Houston 26-4 in a paint in a second, and Cousins was a linchpin. He finished a half with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 blocked shots as a Kings sealed within one indicate and trailed 58-55 during a mangle on a strength of 40 paint points.
“We usually had a helluva time gripping them off a descent glass,” Rockets manager Kevin McHale said. “They got in there and got 72 points in a paint, that is approach too many.”
Said Cousins: “They took advantage of us on turnovers, and (the 21 Sacramento giveaways) kind of bit us in a boundary during a finish of a game. we still consider we did adequate to win a game, we usually didn’t lift through.”
NOTES: Rockets C Dwight Howard did not play as partial of a mins limitation that excludes participating in back-to-backs. Howard is set to play Thursday night during a Dallas Mavericks. … Rockets F Terrence Jones returned after blank 6 games with a partially collapsed lung. … Kings manager George Karl anticipates that F Rudy Gay will skip 3 to 4 games after nutritious a concussion Monday night opposite a Memphis Grizzlies. … According to published reports, a Kings will pointer C Sim Bhullar to a 10-day agreement on Thursday, creation him a initial chairman of Indian decent to play in a NBA. The 7-foot-5, 360-pound Bhullar will be removed from a Reno Bighorns of a NBA Development League and will be combined to a register before Friday’s diversion opposite a New Orleans Pelicans.