James Harden and Chris Paul combined for 58 points and 17 assists while Clint Capela recorded a double-double as the host Houston Rockets continued their torrid play with a 132-112 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
Harden finished with 34 points and eight assists, while Paul made 6 of 8 from 3-point range and had 24 points and nine assists as the Rockets won their fourth straight and their seventh in their last nine games.
Houston seized control with a 20-5 run that bridged the opening two periods and rolled from there, drilling 20 from behind the arc while taking advantage of a Kings defense that offered little resistance.
Capela provided balance to the Rockets’ perimeter marksmanship, posting 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting, plus 16 rebounds. Capela was a force throughout and thoroughly outplayed Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein, who paired three points with five boards while missing 8 of 9 shots.
Kings guard and Houston native De’Aaron Fox scored 19 points, while his backcourt mate Buddy Hield had 23 points and seven rebounds, five on the offensive end. Rookie Marvin Bagley III scored 16 points off the bench, while Bogdan Bogdanovic had 14 in reserve, all in the first half.
The Kings have dropped five of seven games following their surprising 6-3 start to the season.
Paul was instrumental during the Rockets’ run to the lead, nailing a 3-pointer with just over two minutes left in the first quarter for a 28-27 lead and beating the buzzer with another trey that pushed the advantage to seven entering the second.
Paul opened the second quarter with a three-point play before Eric Gordon stroked back-to-back 3s that pushed the lead to 45-32.
The Kings faced an uphill battle from there, and despite their hastened pace, failed to put much of a dent into the deficit. For a spell, Sacramento made progress on the offensive glass, but the Rockets excelled in transition (16 fast-break points in the first half) and stayed hot from deep.
The Rockets, who recently logged four consecutive games without scoring 100 points, led 109-86 entering the final quarter on 60.9 percent shooting, including 16 of 34 from behind the arc.
—Field Level Media