HOUSTON — Consistency. It’s one of several attributes coach Stephen Silas would like to see the Houston Rockets grasp during the final five games of the 2022 campaign. And during the first quarter, it appeared that the Rockets had found a way to sustain their high level of play from Wednesday night.
Behind 14 points from Jalen Green, the Rockets jumped out to a 41-26 first-quarter lead over the Sacramento Kings. Houston’s offense started to fall apart in the second quarter and failed to recapture its momentum en route to a 122-117 loss to the Kings.
With the loss, the Rockets fell to 20-58 on the season while extending their current losing streak to three.
The Rockets began the first quarter shooting 60.9 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from deep. The Kings outscored the Rockets 96-76 over the next three quarters inside the Toyota Center Friday night.
Green finished the night with a game-high 33 points on 42.8 percent shooting from behind the arc. It was the fifth consecutive game Green scored 20 or more points. He came into the game averaging 27.0 points over his previous four contests.
Similar to Wednesday’s performance, the Rockets’ young backcourt of Green and Kevin Porter Jr. displayed their potential together. Porter, who recorded his first career triple-double in his last game, added 27 points and 11 assists.
The Green and Porter duo received additional help from Garrison Mathews, who ended the night with 22 points.
For the second consecutive game, the Rockets took to the floor with rookie Usman Garuba starting at center in the absence of Christian Wood and Alperen Sengun.
Garuba provided the Rockets with some relief in the middle with his ability to clean the glass. Garuba ended the game with a career-high 14 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Bruno Fernando assisted Garuba in filling the void at center. Fernando recorded 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
The Kings had seven players who scored in double figures. Harrison Barnes scored a team-high 25 points while Damian Jones added 17. The Kings took advantage of the Rockets’ lack of bench production. Sacramento’s second unit outscored Houston 52-16. Donte DiVincenzo led all reserves with 19 in the win.
After the loss, the Rockets will return to action on Sunday during a western conference showdown against the 43-34 Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is slated for 6 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.