James Harden finished with his fifth triple double on the season, and the Rockets knocked down 22 threes and also set a season high with 40 assists on their way to a 132-98 pounding of the Sacramento Kings and their eighth straight victory.
Harden’s line was 15 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in just 30 minutes of play, as he now is tied with Hakeem Olajuwon for the franchise lead in triples dips with 14. The Beard sat the entire fourth quarter, getting some additional rest with the blowout.
Ryan Anderson led the Rockets in scoring with 22 points, and he also grabbed 6 boards and knocked down 4 triples. He was hot from the start and set the tone for the Houston offense from the very beginning by scoring 16 points in the first half.
The Rockets also got a new career high from Sam Dekker, who put in 19, and his athleticism, ability to run the floor and drives to the bucket were on impressive display tonight.
In addition, the Rockets also received 17 points from Trevor Ariza, 14 from Clint Capela, and 10 from Patrick Beverley, as all five Houston starters finished in double figures.
The Rockets shot 58.8 percent from the field, including 22-42 from beyond the arc, and they held the Kings to just 42.4 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers. The Kings were shorthanded tonight, missing Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore to injury and were down DeMarcus Cousins due to rest, but it likely didn’t matter much with the way the Rockets were shooting and playing defense. That constant effort on the defensive side has been one of the main catalysts of the current win streak.
To top off the bench play, the Rockets got 9 points from Eric Gordon and 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks from Montrezl Harrell, who continues to make a major impact with both his hustle and his defense.
Houston was able to clear the bench with just under 6 minutes to play, and they even got 7 points and 2 big triples from youngster Kyle Wiltjer. The guy looks really young out there, but boy, he sure can shoot.
The Rockets now move to 19-7 on the season and remain tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the third seed in the Western Conference. The Clips also won tonight with a 113-108 victory over the Orlando Magic.
It’s been so much fun watching this Houston team already this season, making last year’s disaster seem like a distant memory. And the guys all seem to like one another and really enjoy playing with and for each other, and you can tell with the way team chemistry has increased exponentially. They assisted on 80 percent of the team’s field goals, which is just a ridiculous number.
The Rockets take tomorrow night off before returning Friday at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, looking to keep the fun, good vibes and the winning streak going. We’ll all be looking for nine in a row against Anthony Davis and company, but for now, just enjoy the big win.
Oh, and don’t forget to console Ethan for not being present at Moochie Norris night at the Toyota Center. They even gave away a Moochie-signed ball.