SAC
HOU

No Text

Harden helps Rockets to 10th straight win, 100-91 over Kings

HOUSTON (AP) After extending their winning streak to 10 games with a victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, the Houston Rockets were happy, though far from satisfied.

These Rockets, who are 44-13 entering the All-Star break after winning 17 of their last 19 games, have much bigger goals ahead of them.

Ask anyone on the team if they believe they can get better after the break and the answer comes quickly - and often in one word.

''Absolutely,'' Chris Paul said.

''Of course,'' James Harden said, before the question was even done.

Harden had 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and the Rockets fought off a late rally for the 100-91 win.

Houston led by as many as 17, but the Kings got within striking distance several times in the fourth quarter. They were down six late when Houston used a 7-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from Harden, to make it 94-83 with just more than a minute left.

The Kings scored the next five points, with a 3-pointer from Garrett Temple, to cut it to six again with 30 seconds left. Joe Johnson, in his Houston debut, added two free throws before Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 96-91 with about 25 seconds left.

The Rockets made four free throws after that to secure the win.

''We didn't have that energy and you could just see it,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said. ''But they have the confidence that they can get it done defensively or by any means, and we just finished it up. Not a whole lot to say other than workmanship.''

Paul added 19 points and seven assists, and Clint Capela had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Bogdanovic led the Kings with 20 points and Temple came off the bench to add 13.

''We've got some young guys, and the older guys are always saying: `Come on you young guys,''' coach Dave Joerger said. ''We know (they're) going to be good but we've got to hurry up and accelerate this as much as possible.''

Temple, who scored the last four points of the third quarter, opened the fourth with another basket to cut Houston's lead to seven. But Johnson made a 3-pointer on the next possession to make it 75-65.

A 6-2 run by Sacramento cut the lead to seven later in the quarter before Harden made a 3-pointer to make it 83-73 midway through the period.

Houston, which entered the game averaging an NBA-best 31.3 points in the first quarter, scored a season-low 20 points on Wednesday. The Rockets got going in the second quarter behind 17 points from Paul to lead 55-45 at halftime.

The Rockets made the first four points of the third quarter before Bogdanovic scored all of Sacramento's points in a 7-3 run to cut the lead to 62-52 with about seven minutes left.

Houston scored the next seven points, while Sacramento missed its next eight shots, to leave the Rockets up 69-52 with about three minutes left in the quarter.

The Kings ended a scoring drought of more than five minutes after that when JaKarr Sampson made one of two free throws. That was the start of the 7-3 run by Sacramento, with two 3-pointers from Buddy Hield, that got the Kings within 72-59 about a minute later.

TIP-INS

Kings: Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points, five assists and eight rebounds. ... The Kings made 10 of 32 3-pointers, led by four from Bogdanovic. ... Hield scored 12 points.

Rockets: Eric Gordon sat out after bruising his right knee on Tuesday night. ... Trevor Ariza missed his ninth straight game with a strained left hamstring. ... Capela had two blocks and has had at least two in eight of his last nine games.

WASTING NO TIME

The Rockets wasted no time putting Johnson to work. Johnson, who signed with the team on Wednesday afternoon, checked in with about four minutes left in the first quarter. The 36-year-old free agent spent 32 games with the Jazz this season. The move reunites him with D'Antoni, who he played for in Phoenix from 2002-05.

Johnson had nine points and three rebounds in 31 minutes and the Rockets are looking forward to seeing what he can contribute once he gets better acquainted with the team.

''Joe's going to fit in great,'' D'Antoni said. ''He's going to be really good, smooth ... he can make plays. He's got some gas left.''

UP NEXT

Kings: Host Oklahoma City on Feb. 22.

Rockets: Host Minnesota on Feb. 23.

---

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
Z. Randolph
50 PF
J. Harden
13 SG
35.8 Min. Per Game 35.8
31.4 Pts. Per Game 31.4
9.0 Ast. Per Game 9.0
5.0 Reb. Per Game 5.0
48.4 Field Goal % 44.8
48.4 Three Point % 44.7
79.3 Free Throw % 86.5
  Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker 0:01
  Buddy Hield missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by P.J. Tucker 0:02
+ 1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:10
+ 1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 0:10
  Personal foul on Buddy Hield 0:10
  Defensive rebound by James Harden 0:12
  Bogdan Bogdanovic missed finger-roll layup 0:14
+ 1 Joe Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:22
+ 1 Joe Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 0:22
  Personal foul on Buddy Hield 0:22
+ 3 Bogdan Bogdanovic made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Willie Cauley-Stein 0:25
Team Stats
Points 91 100
Field Goals 38-87 (43.7%) 33-83 (39.8%)
3-Pointers 10-32 (31.3%) 14-49 (28.6%)
Free Throws 5-8 (62.5%) 20-22 (90.9%)
Total Rebounds 52 52
Offensive 9 7
Defensive 39 41
Team 4 4
Assists 26 19
Steals 8 10
Blocks 5 5
Turnovers 17 13
Fouls 20 14
Technicals 0 0
20 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST
28 PTS, 9 REB, 9 AST
1234T
away team logo Kings 18-39 2520182891
home team logo Rockets 44-13 20351728100
Team Stats
away team logo Kings 18-39 98.7 PPG 40.3 RPG 21.2 APG
home team logo Rockets 44-13 114.1 PPG 43.6 RPG 21.9 APG
Key Players
B. Bogdanovic SG 11.5 PPG 2.7 RPG 3.2 APG 46.4 FG%
J. Harden SG 31.3 PPG 5.1 RPG 9.0 APG 44.8 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Bogdanovic SG 20 PTS 4 REB 5 AST
J. Harden SG 28 PTS 9 REB 9 AST
43.7 FG% 39.8
31.3 3PT FG% 28.6
62.5 FT% 90.9
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Bogdanovic 30 20 4 5 2 0 2 4 8/15 4/8 0/0 0 4 34 -17
W. Cauley-Stein 28 12 8 5 1 1 1 1 6/16 0/0 0/2 3 5 31 -12
J. Jackson 34 12 5 4 0 2 1 1 5/9 2/5 0/0 0 5 26 +2
D. Fox 25 9 2 3 1 0 3 3 3/10 1/3 2/2 0 2 15 -17
J. Sampson 24 7 7 2 1 1 2 1 3/3 0/0 1/2 2 5 18 -15
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
B. Bogdanovic 30 20 4 5 2 0 2 4 8/15 4/8 0/0 0 4 34 -17
W. Cauley-Stein 28 12 8 5 1 1 1 1 6/16 0/0 0/2 3 5 31 -12
J. Jackson 34 12 5 4 0 2 1 1 5/9 2/5 0/0 0 5 26 +2
D. Fox 25 9 2 3 1 0 3 3 3/10 1/3 2/2 0 2 15 -17
J. Sampson 24 7 7 2 1 1 2 1 3/3 0/0 1/2 2 5 18 -15
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Temple 30 13 7 4 0 0 2 4 6/12 1/5 0/0 1 6 26 +4
B. Hield 22 12 4 1 1 0 2 3 5/14 2/9 0/0 0 4 17 +1
V. Carter 24 6 3 0 0 0 3 0 2/5 0/2 2/2 0 3 6 +6
K. Koufos 19 0 8 2 2 1 1 3 0/3 0/0 0/0 3 5 14 +3
I. Shumpert - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Mason III - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Caboclo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Cooley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Labissiere - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Randolph - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Giles - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 91 48 26 8 5 17 20 38/87 10/32 5/8 9 39 187 -45
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Harden 35 28 9 9 2 1 6 2 7/19 5/15 9/11 0 9 52 +14
C. Paul 30 19 4 7 2 0 4 1 6/11 3/7 4/4 1 3 35 -6
C. Capela 32 13 11 1 1 2 0 2 6/11 0/0 1/1 2 9 29 +14
L. Mbah a Moute 25 11 3 1 0 1 0 3 4/9 1/5 2/2 0 3 17 +14
P. Tucker 31 10 7 1 2 1 0 1 4/8 2/6 0/0 2 5 22 +9
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Harden 35 28 9 9 2 1 6 2 7/19 5/15 9/11 0 9 52 +14
C. Paul 30 19 4 7 2 0 4 1 6/11 3/7 4/4 1 3 35 -6
C. Capela 32 13 11 1 1 2 0 2 6/11 0/0 1/1 2 9 29 +14
L. Mbah a Moute 25 11 3 1 0 1 0 3 4/9 1/5 2/2 0 3 17 +14
P. Tucker 31 10 7 1 2 1 0 1 4/8 2/6 0/0 2 5 22 +9
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Johnson 31 9 3 0 1 0 2 1 2/9 1/5 4/4 0 3 11 +1
R. Anderson 20 8 8 0 0 0 1 0 3/9 2/7 0/0 1 7 15 0
G. Green 21 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 1/7 0/4 0/0 1 1 5 +4
T. Black 11 0 1 0 1 0 0 4 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 2 -5
B. Wright - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Gordon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Hunter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Onuaku - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Qi - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Nene - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Ariza - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 100 48 19 10 5 13 14 33/83 14/49 20/22 7 41 188 +45