Advertisement

James Harden's triple-double helps Houston Rockets drub Sacramento Kings

By
Rick Hurd, The Sports Xchange
The Houston Rockets outlasted the Sacramento Kings 135-128 on Sunday. James Harden had a triple-double for the Rockets. Photo courtesy Houston Rockets via Twitter
The Houston Rockets outlasted the Sacramento Kings 135-128 on Sunday. James Harden had a triple-double for the Rockets. Photo courtesy Houston Rockets via Twitter

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- James Harden scored 35 points, handed out 15 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets handled business with aplomb in a 135-128 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at the Golden 1 Center.

Forward Ryan Anderson also lit up his hometown team, scoring 21 points to complement Harden's 22nd triple-double of the season as the Rockets (54-26) reached the 54-win plateau for the third time in four seasons.

Advertisement

Houston, locked into the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

Harden trails only Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook among the NBA's triple-double leaders. Westbrook recorded his NBA-record 42nd in Oklahoma City's 106-105 victory at the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, a win that assured the first-round meeting with Houston.

Anderson canned his first five 3-pointers in his highest-scoring outing since March 10. He was playing for only the second time since returning from a six-game absence caused by an ankle injury.

Advertisement

Anderson's return will move guard Eric Gordon back into his sixth-man role, but Rockets coach Mike D'Antonio rested Gordon along with backup forward Trevor Ariza and center Nene on Sunday.

Rookie Skal Labissiere scored 25 points to lead the Kings. Ty Lawson added 20 points and 11 assists, and Willie Cauley-Stein contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds. Cauley-Stein has recorded five consecutive double-digit scoring games, the best streak in his two seasons.

Clint Capela and Lou Williams added 18 points, Bobby Brown scored 16 and Troy Williams had 12 for Houston.

The Rockets hardly seemed to miss the players who sat. They put up 78 first-half points and used a 15-2 third-quarter run to puncture a Kings rally that had cut Houston's lead to 88-82. The 135 points were a season high for the Rockets.

NOTES: Rockets G James Harden assured that he will become only the second player in NBA history to average at least 29.0 points, 11.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds in a single season. Hall of Fame G Oscar Robertson did it three times. ... The Kings held out G Darren Collision, G Arron Afflalo, F Tyreke Evans and C Kosta Koufos, with only Afflalo (lower back strain) listed with an injury. Koufos played Sacramento's first 66 games but has sat out the past four and seven of 12. ... Rockets F Ryan Anderson, a Sacramento native, has averaged 15.0 points and made 53 percent of his 3-pointers (38 of 72) in 12 career contests in his hometown. Anderson has averaged 20.3 points and made 18 of 27 3-pointers in his past four in Sacramento. .... Kings rookie F Skal Labissiere has played in 24 consecutive games, averaging 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds, after playing only seven of the team's first 56.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines