James Harden finished with 43 points and recorded 8 assists to help the Houston Rockets blow out the Sacramento Kings, 129-103. The Rockets had a strong shooting performance in this one, going 41-72 (56.9%) from the field, including 11-22 (50.0%) from three-point range. Houston (39-18) has now won nine of their last 10 games.
Harden went 11-20 from the field (6-9 on 3-pointers) and 15-16 from the free throw line, in a strong performance. Houston also got solid performances from Dwight Howard with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Chandler Parsons with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Rudy Gay had another strong performance for Sacramento in the loss, putting up 25 points on 10-16 shooting, including 2-3 from behind the arc. DeMarcus Cousins contributed 16 points and 6 rebounds.
As expected, the offense of Houston was able to find success (64.6% eFG%) against a defense for Sacramento that has had its struggles, ranking fifth-worst in the NBA at forcing missed shots (51.3% opponents' eFG%). Along with their eFG% of 64.6%, the Rockets connected at a rate of 50.0% from 3-point range. On the season, they are undefeated (15-0) when they record marks above 55% and 40% in those respective categories. Conversely, the Kings are winless (0-10) when allowing their opponents to reach those percentages.
This drops Sacramento (20-37) to 2-2 against Houston on the year.
Coming up, the Rockets take on the Los Angeles Clippers, who are 39-20 on the season. The Kings match up against the Los Angeles Lakers, currently sitting at 19-38 this year. The Rockets lost to Los Angeles the last two times they've played. The Kings have lost their last two meetings with Los Angeles.