By Charlie O. Mallonee
SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Kings goal of finishing the season with a 41-41 record took a serious hit on Tuesday night when the Houston Rockets beat them 130-105 at the Golden 1 Center. The young, upstart Kings never held a lead in the game. The win gave Houston a four-game season-series sweep over Sacramento.
In his postgame comments, Kings head coach Dave Joerger noted that the Rockets have beat his team by over 20 points on average in all four games this season. He later would point out that the Rockets as a team are staffed with great players.
Why Did the Kings Lose?
Sacramento lost the game because they could not shut down the dynamic 3-point shooting of the Rockets. Houston literally made it “rain” 3-pointers at they attempted 61 shots from behind the arc and hit 26 of them. The 26 made 3-point shots tied the Rockets NBA record for most 3-point shots made in a game that they set against the Wizards back on December 19, 2018, at home in Houston.
The Rockets made 46 of their 94 field goal attempts (48.9%) in the contest. They converted 26 of their 61 3-point field goal attempts (42.6%). Yes, you are reading that correctly. The majority of the Rockets’ field goals made and attempts were from long range. Houston was very happy to trade 3-point baskets for Kings 2-point baskets all night long.
The Kings shot 44.2-percent overall (42/95) and went 7-for-23 (30.4%) from downtown.
Dave Joerger was not happy after the game
“We did not come with the mental or physical attitude of playing with some force and (weren’t) mentally locked in enough. We can’t play that way. We’re better than that. That’s disappointing if we had a hangover from a long trip – a bunch of games – young guys – but we cannot let go of the rope and we’re not going to.”
- Buddy Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 20 points. He shot 8-for-16 and four of his field goals were 3-pointers. Hield also grabbed seven rebounds and added five assists.
- Marvin Bagley III put 19 points up on the board to go with eight rebounds.
- Nemanja Bjelica scored 12 points and went 6-for-7 from the floor.
- Sacramento outrebounded Houston 51-43.
- James Harden was the leading scorer in the game with 36 points, and he made it a double-double by dishing out 10 assists. He went 12-for-19 shooting and seven of those buckets were 3-pointers.
- Eric Gordon and Danuel House, Jr. each scored 19 points for the visiting Rockets.
- Chris Paul scored seven points and distributed 12 dimes.
- Kenneth Faried posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Kings return to action on Thursday night when they will host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Rockets play the second game of a back-to-back on the road in Los Angeles versus the Clippers on Wednesday night.