The Kings played very well and kept up with the Rockets, as they continued to feed of the support of their fans. The Kings made a late fourth quarter comeback after falling behind ealry in the period.
The Kings came out and set the tone early as they jumped out to an early lead, making the extra pass and finding each other on the offensive end as well as playing tough team defense. They outscored the Rockets in three of the fourth quarters, and maintained their composure against a high scoring Rockets team.
Isaiah Thomas and John Salmons both had big games for the Kings offensively with 23 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals each. Thomas and Salmons were a combined 20-20 from the free throw line with Thomas going 13-13 and Salmons going 7-7. Thomas showed why he deserves to be playing in the NBA’s Rising Stars game. Salmons finally found a way to break out of a scoring slump that had been plaguing him, while continuing to be a veteran leader.
Francisco Garcia played big minutes and continued to show he is capable of playing solid minutes late in close games. Garcia Scored 11 points off the bench and was 3-4 from beyond the arc. Most of Garcia’s points were in a crucial stretch late in the Kings fourth quarter comeback.
DeMarcus Cousins had a very efficient 20 points, shooting 9-14 and grabbing 7 rebounds in 23 minutes. Cousins was unable to play most of the fourth quarter because of foul trouble. Jason Thompson added a quiet 12 points and 7 rebounds.
The Kings had a big game from Chuck Hayes as he came in in a grabbed 12 rebounds in 24 minutes. Hayes played a major role late in the game after Cousins left the game with five fouls. He added 8 points, as he made 4-4 free throws.
The Kings withstood a huge night from James Harden as he scored 30 points on 10-20 shooting. Harden dished out 6 assists but had 4 turnovers as well. Harden couldnt carry the Rockets past the Kings Kings, but showed why he is very deserving of being an All-Star.
The Kings beat a very good Rockets team a night after beating a solid Utah Jazz team. The Kings have shown they are capable of beating good teams at home, but have yet to find a way to sustain any type of solid play away from Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings will travel to Memphis for the first game of a back to back on the road, and will face Dallas in the second night. With the recent trade of Rudy Gay, Memphis will not create the same problems for the Kings as they had in the past. The Kings need to find a way to sustain the energy and momentum they have established in the last two games as they prepare for their final two games before the All-Star Break.