Rockets fail to maintain up with Kings in loss

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Rockets fail to maintain up with Kings in loss



SACRAMENTO, Calif. — One move, two passes, three passes. Rockets defenders scrambled to maintain observe because the Kings reversed the ball across the perimeter. The gang, sensing Houston’s discombobulation, roared in delight with every further move. The Kings made 4 perimeter passes earlier than guard De’Aaron Fox discovered ahead Marvin Bagley III in the course of the ground. Bagley lowered his shoulder, pivoted and rose as much as make a hook shot over Rockets heart Christian Wooden’s outstretched arm. 
Bagley’s shot prolonged the Kings’ lead again to 13 factors with 4 minutes remaining. After a sizzling Rockets begin gave option to a lackadaisical second quarter, the Rockets for a lot of the evening had been lowered on protection to cats chasing a ball on a string, making an attempt in useless to make up misplaced floor. 

The Rockets engaged the Kings in a high-speed footrace however in the end ran out of gas, outscored by 14 factors within the second quarter en path to a 126-114 loss on Friday, the primary of two video games towards the Kings this weekend at Golden 1 Middle. 

Fox (27 factors, eight assists) barreled to the basket repeatedly because the Kings buried the Rockets in pick-and-rolls and quick breaks.

Poor protection was one among few consistencies for the Rockets, with a second being the play of Jae’Sean Tate, who completed two assists shy of a triple-double (17 factors, 10 rebounds, eight assists). Wooden scored a team-high 26 factors regardless of sitting out the entire second quarter with foul hassle. 

Each Rockets starter scored in double figures, as did backup guard D.J. Augustin. Houston shot 43.6 % from the sector however allowed Sacramento to shoot 50 % and make 35 % of its 3-pointers. 

Wooden scored 15 factors however picked up three fouls within the sport’s first eight minutes, forcing the Rockets to play Alperen Sengun for almost 9 first-half minutes in his first sport again since lacking seven video games with a sprained ankle. Daniel Theis was introduced in to spell Sengun within the second quarter. 

The primary half performed out at a frantic tempo as each groups appeared to imagine they had been competing in an Olympic sport of the sprinting selection. 

The Rockets shot 61 % within the first quarter because the Kings shot 52 %, with neither crew intent on taking part in a lot protection, significantly in transition. 

The Rockets couldn’t purchase a bucket to start the second quarter, although, and their protection solely turned extra porous when the starters left the ground. After scoring 40 factors within the first quarter, the Rockets had been held to twenty factors within the second. What as soon as was an 11-point Houston lead evaporated right into a 65-60 deficit at halftime after Sacramento closed the half on a 17-4 run. 

Wooden began the second half however eight minutes later was whistled for an offensive foul, his fourth private foul. Sengun changed him and in addition instantly dedicated an offensive foul. 

There have been possessions the place the Rockets had 4 defenders within the paint, drawn to the ball like moths to a flame, and left perimeter shooters large open. 
The Kings willingly employed the identical tactic, if solely as a result of they knew the Rockets weren’t making 3s at their typical price and sensed reluctance from Jalen Inexperienced and Kevin Porter Jr. to move out on drives. 

Any crew that has watched the Rockets this season ought to know {that a} 17-point lead by no means is secure from Houston. The Rockets strung collectively a 9-0 run to chisel the deficit to 10 factors main into the sport’s last six minutes. 

Even after Bagley’s hook shot over Wooden, who scored 11 factors within the fourth quarter, the Rockets rallied as soon as extra to get inside seven factors contained in the two-minute mark. 

Finally, the Kings’ transition scoring and rebounding proved an excessive amount of for the Rockets to beat. A chance for the Rockets to win back-to-back video games for the primary time since their seven-game win streak ended Dec. 10 slipped away. 



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