Sacramento Kings See 3-point Attempts Record, Bow To Houston Rockets 117-104
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento Calif. — In order to claim a victory over the Houston Rockets — and six other NBA teams have thus far in this young season — it’s better to know first what’s going on with Mike D’Antoni’s high-powered offense.
The Rockets head coach’s offensive style of play was on full-shooting display at Golden 1 Center and the Sacramento Kings couldn’t figure out how to analyze it let alone defend it. The Rockets (10-6) masterfully won the basketball game, 117-104.
The Rockets attempted 50 shots behind the 3-point line, an NBA record, and made a supportive 21 baskets for 63 points. Trevor Ariza was the main guy on the leaderboard with six treys, four in the first quarter. Eric Gordon followed with four-made 3-pointers, and Ryan Anderson and James Harden equaled three apience.
“With coach D’Antoni’s offense it’s a real run-and-gun style,” said Anderson. “Especially in that first half. We got a lot of wide open looks and made a lot of them. So, we’re just going to keep taking them. That’s the style of play we’ve built around James (Harden). I’m sure we’re going to shoot more than that (50).”
James Harden was looking stoic in this photo, but he was active against the Sacramento Kings. Harden recorded a triple-double in the Houston Rockets' 117-104 win. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey
DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points, nine rebounds, five-made 3-pointers, and five blocked shots for the Kings (6-10). Once again, the Kings started out sluggish, and then decided to comeback to win it all in the last few minutes of the game to no avail.
The Kings were down by 29 points in the first half of the game, mostly watching Houston toss up one 3-point attempt after another. The realization of the slow starts is becoming to be a thorn in the King's’ side.
“If we play the way we play in the last five minutes of every game this season, from start to finish, we’d probably be undefeated,” Cousins said. “We gotta come in with a better approach of these type of games. If we want to be the team that just let teams come in here with automatic Ws, well, that’s just what’s going to happen if we continue to play this way. If we want to change that it’s on us.”
Ty Lawson and Matt Barnes had 12 points each while Rudy Gay and Kosta Koufos too put 10 points apiece in the scoring column. The shot 48.8 percent from the floor, making 39-of-80 shots. Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said his team didn’t muster up a lot of “force” to make a difference.
“We didn’t come out with enough force early,” Joerger said. “Coming out after a loss, they (Rockets) were focused, they weren’t going to turn the ball over like they did against Toronto, and they certainly were going to shoot better. We just didn’t bring enough force, not enough activity, and not enough physicality.”
Harden had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season. Harden only turned ball over five times against the Kings, seven below the miscues he had in the Toronto loss on Nov. 23.
Sacramento area product Ryan Anderson comes home in a Houston Rockets uniform for the first time in his NBA career. Anderson signed as a free agent with the Rockets during the summer of 2016. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey.
Ariza had 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals for the Rockets (10-6). Ariza shot 11 times beyond the arc and made six. On an island for most of the night, he did not shoot inside the 3-point line at any point of the game.
“We’ve got so many shooters on this team,” Harden said. “At any given time, any guy can get hot, and if you’re open, shoot the basketball. Those are shots that we preach and those are good shots for offense.”
Houston ended the first quarter with a 38-19 lead, firing up 17 3-point shots, knocking down eight. The Rockets stayed in their shooting-gallery mode and built up a 29-point margin halfway through the second quarter.
Aware that the Kings were not effective in defending the 3-point line, Houston’s offensive output gave them a 68-50 halftime lead. The Rockets made 14-of-28 shots beyond the 3-point line in the first half, allowing Ariza to nail five treys in all.
The Kings did manage to cut the Houston’s lead 63-48 on a lay up by Omri Casspi with 1:45 remaining in the first half, but Harden made a trey, his first of the game, on a 5-0 run. The Kings didn’t exactly do bad shooting from the field, making 18-of-38 shots, 47.4 percent in the first two quarters.
The Kings’ major problems were giving up 3-pointers and allowing the Rockets to get 26 rebounds in the first half, many cleared off the glass for transition buckets. Sacramento had 14 total rebounds in the first half.
The Rockets made five more 3-pointers in the third quarter and started the fourth quarter with a 90-76 margin, despite Sacramento cutting the lead by 10 points.
The Kings cut the Rockets’ margin by 10 points on four occasions in the fouth quarter, mainly with the help of Cousins, who made four straight treys with 2:31 remaining in the game. The Rockets, not disturbed all all, kept responding to Cousins long-range shooting spurt.
“Just trying to win the game,” Cousins said. “That’s it. This probably won’t be the last time we see a team get hot like that.”
Photo Art and Article by T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer
The Rockets have won four their last five games. Houston’s last loss was 115-102 to the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 23. The Sacramento game was the first of five road games for Houston.
The loss to the Houston Rockets ended the King's two-game winning streak. The Kings will play the next six games on the road before returning to Golden 1 Center on Dec. 9 to play the New York Knicks.
Omri Casspi finally got off the bench for the Sacramento Kings. Casspi had seven points, five assists, and four rebounds in 28 minutes and 15 seconds. The player who the Kings drafted in 2009 has been frustrated with not getting time out on the floor this season. It’s been hard trying to crack coach Dave Joerger’s rotation. Casspi: “I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity (tonight). I was little bit surprised, but like I said I gotta treat every game now as a playoff game and I gotta do what I gotta do to make it happy. And I’m happy that coach gave me the trust today and played me a lot of minutes.”
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photo Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.