December 24, 2019 / 5:51 AM / a month ago

Harden, Westbrook lead Rockets past Kings

EditorsNote: change Westbrook points to 28 in 1st graf, change Tucker rebounds to 10 in 2nd and Holmes rebounds to 13 in 5th graf, fix percentage in 6th

Dec 23, 2019; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) controls the ball against Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. (4) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden scored 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 28 to help the Houston Rockets post a 113-104 victory over the host Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Clint Capela registered 15 points and 14 rebounds as Houston won its fourth straight game. Danuel House Jr. added 14 points and PJ Tucker collected 10 rebounds.

Harden made four 3-pointers and added five rebounds and five assists. Westbrook drained three 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and six assists for the Rockets, who shot 44.8 percent from the field, including 15 of 39 from 3-point range.

De’Aaron Fox scored 19 of his season-best 31 points in the fourth quarter and added a season-high nine rebounds to go with six assists. But he was just 4 of 9 from the free-throw line as the Kings lost their fourth straight contest.

Richaun Holmes recorded 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Trevor Ariza also scored 12 for Sacramento. Marvin Bagley III had 11 points, while Nemanja Bjelica and Buddy Hield scored 10 apiece.

The Kings connected on 47.1 percent of their shots and were 7 of 30 from behind the arc.

Houston led by eight points at halftime before recording the first eight of the third quarter to open up a 73-57 lead.

The Rockets expanded their lead to 25 when Harden drained a 3-pointer to make it 86-61 with 4:55 left.

The score was 97-79 entering the final stanza, and Houston’s Ben McLemore knocked down a 3-pointer 20 seconds into the quarter. But the Rockets missed their next 10 field-goal attempts to help the Kings get back in the game.

Sacramento first erupted for 13 consecutive points with Bjelica and Fox capping the spurt with fast-break layups to trim the deficit to 100-92 with 7:30 remaining.

Harden made two free throws with 6:41 left to tentatively slow the Sacramento charge.

The Kings moved within six before Capela hit two free throws and Westbrook drained a 3-pointer — the latter Houston’s first field goal in 7:27 — as the Rockets increased their lead to 107-96 with 4:13 remaining.

Harden drained a 3-pointer with 2:32 left to again make it an 11-point margin and Houston closed it out.

Harden scored 18 points in the first half as the Rockets led 65-57 at the break.

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