The Sacramento Kings were in the game until the very end of the fourth when their offense completely stalled and the Houston Rockets put the game away to win by a double-digit margin. James Harden put up a ridiculous 50 point, 10 rebound, and 10 assist triple-double to lead the Rockets to victory. Bogdan Bogdanovic had a 24 point game to lead the Kings off the bench, but the Kings drop to two games below .500.
The Kings opened with Marvin Bagley in the starting lineup and got up to a 15-14 lead over the Rockets, until James Harden started hitting his threes. The lead quickly changed to 27-17 and 30-20 but Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox all knocked down three pointers to make the game 35-32 to end the quarter. Hield was 5-7 from the floor and 3-4 from three for 14 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block. Fox scored seven points on 3-4 shooting along with three assists, one steal and one rebound. Harden led all scorers with 17 points (he was 8-9 from the free throw line) and Clint Capela added 11 points.
Bogdanovic caught fire in the beginning of the second knocking down three straight threes and Kosta Koufos made some nice plays as well and the Kings took a 51-41 lead. However, Harden and the Rockets caught fire again and went on their own 20-5 run to take a 61-57 lead. Fox would hit another three and the Kings entered the half trailing 63-60. Bogdanovic led the Kings with 18 points on 6-10 shooting overall and 5-6 from three, Hield had 14 points still and Fox had 10. Harden already had 31 points on just seven made baskets. He was 12-13 from the line along with eight rebounds and five assists. The Kings were a scorching 11-16 from three (69%) but the Rockets had knocked down 10 threes as well.
Fox continued to knock down his three ball until he finally missed one as the Kings played from behind for much of the third quarter. Then they proceeded to go on an 11-2 run and a Harrison Barnes three tied it up at 83-83. The Rockets scored five straight to make it 88-83, then the Kings answered again with a 10-3 run to end the quarter with a 93-91 lead. Marvin Bagley came alive in this quarter and ended it with 18 points and nine rebounds, Hield scored 21, Bogdanovic remained at 18 and Fox had 16 and nine assists. Harden made his total 38 on 10-25 shooting and 6-19 from three. The Kings were 15-24 from three.
After having the lead to end the third, the Kings offense completely stalled with only 11 points scored as a team with until the 1:33 mark in the fourth. They missed shots they should’ve made and the Rockets took advantage of the late game struggles from Sacramento. Sacramento falls to 37-39 on the season and will not make the playoffs for the 13th year in a row.
Bogdan Bogdanovic flirted with a triple-double off the bench as he scored 24 points on 8-14 shooting and 5-7 from three and added nine rebounds and eight assists. The last four games have been good from Bogi.
Marvin Bagley was quiet in the first half, but scored 14 points in the third quarter en route to 20 on the game on 10-20 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked a shot.
Buddy Hield finished the game 8-18 from the field as he cooled off in the second half. He was 3-8 from three for 21 points.
De’Aaron Fox finished with 18 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds, one steal and two blocks in 38 minutes of action.
The Kings finished 15-29 from three, just around 52% but were 9-15 from the free throw line (60%).
The Kings had more rebounds at 49-38 and more assists at 28-19.
Sacramento also had more fast break points at 19-11 and points in the paint at 42-36.
The Rockets had less turnovers at 10-12.
What could’ve been the most important game of the season doesn’t mean as much anymore as the Kings face the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. (PST).