The Houston Rockets looked to bounce back after their biggest loss of the season at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets hosted the Sacramento Kings, who were losers of two straight and were coming off their own embarrassing 32-point loss at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans. The Rockets did welcome back Eric Gordon and Jae’Sean Tate, who both sat out the second night of a back-to-back. Unfortunately for the Rockets, the same issues reared their ugly head on Monday night.
KJ Martin Jr started the game with two baskets, the last one an emphatic jam over Damontis Sabonis as the Rockets took the early lead. However, the lead went back and forth early as the Rockets were victims of a bad foul call on Alperen Sengun and a no-call on De’Aaron Fox as he grabbed Jalen Green’s arm as he went up for a fastbreak dunk.
Rockets again struggled from beyond the arch early as they started the game 0-for-4 from deep. The Kings, however, started 3-for-7 and were able to take an early 25-17 lead. Jalen Green, back after a three-game absence, struggled again to start the game. Green started 1-for-7 in the first quarter, as he seemed to be a step behind to start the game.
The Rockets were in an early hole as they trailed 31-24 at the end of the first quarter. The Rockets coming into the game as the second-worst three-point shooting team, finished the quarter 0-for-5 from beyond the arch.
Rockets started the second quarter the same way the first ended by struggling from the field. The Kings started 4-for-8 and extended their lead to double digits 40-30 with a little over four minutes gone in the quarter.
After Green made the Rockets first three-pointer of the game, the Rockets seemed to get into an offensive groove cutting the Kings final lead down to six. Well, the offensive groove didn’t last long as the Rockets would go on to miss their next three shots from deep and the Kings took full advantage going up 55-41.
The rest of the quarter didn’t go much better as the Rockets trailed 65-48 at the half and seemed stuck in the mud at the offensive and defensive end.
Jalen Green came out of halftime on fire, making his first three shots, including a three-pointer. After a Rockets steal and a KJ Martin layup, the lead was cut down to 12. Side note: a fan who seemed inspired by the Rockets new-found shooting won free Whataburger for the year after tossing a large fry in a Whataburger box.
Green continued his hot third-quarter shooting nailing another three-pointer as his second of the quarter. The rockets started the third quarter 6-for-7 from three-point range after only going 2-for-12 in the first half. The Rockets, however, continued to miss defensive assignments on the other end that led to wide-open shots for the Kings.
The Kings continued their hot shooting and held the Rockets off to end the quarter. The Kings lead after three 99-88. Green went 5-for-8 in the quarter in his best stretch since coming back from his injury.
Another side note: Eric Gordon passed Kobe Bryant on the all-time list of three-pointers made, moving up to 22nd.
The Kings continued their three-point onslaught as they extended their lead to 20 points midway through the fourth quarter with their 16th made three-pointer of the game. Honestly, there wasn’t much else to talk about in the fourth quarter as the Rockets were not able to mount any type of sustain run. The benches were cleared late in the game, and the Rockets fell 140-120
That makes two straight games the Rockets have surrendered 140 points are more, and of course, it led to another Rockets loss. Jalen Green led all Rockets scorers with 27, with most of it coming in the Rockets ‘ point third quarter. On the other side, Kegan Murray scored a career-high 30 points after going 8-for-12 from three-point range.
The Rockets will hold a practice on Tuesday as they try to end their latest losing streak. They take on this same Kings team Wednesday night at the Toyota Center.