Wall, Rockets beat Kings 102-94; Harden sits with damage


HOUSTON (AP) — John Wall scored 28 factors and the Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 102-94 on Saturday regardless of taking part in with out an injured James Harden.

Harden, who sat out with a sprained proper ankle, was not listed on the damage report and coach Stephen Silas didn’t point out his damage in his pregame availability. The group introduced that he would not play about 38 minutes earlier than the sport was scheduled to start.

Wall, who sat out Houston’s first two video games due to COVID-19 contact tracing, missed all of final season and performed simply 32 video games two years in the past due to accidents. He scored 22 factors in his Rockets’ debut on Thursday after a commerce from Washington to make him the primary participant to attain 50 factors in his first two video games after an absence of at the very least two years since Michael Jordan did it in 2001, in keeping with the Elias Sports activities Bureau.

”I simply put in loads of onerous work and dedication to get thus far,” Wall mentioned. ”I could not ask for a greater begin to be 2-0 in my first two video games.”

Silas wasn’t certain what to anticipate from Wall after being out for therefore lengthy. However he has undoubtedly been impressed.

”No matter expectations I had, he is clearly exceeded them,” he mentioned.

The Rockets scored the primary 9 factors of the fourth quarter to increase their result in 92-81 with about 8 1/2 minutes left. Eric Gordon led the group in that stretch, making a 3-pointer and three free throws.

Sacramento ended a scoring drought of greater than 3 1/2 minutes quickly after that on an alley-oop dunk by Richaun Holmes.

Each groups struggled to attain after that as they mixed to overlook 10 photographs in a row. Gordon lastly made a shot for Houston with simply lower than 5 minutes to go, and Wall added a bucket a number of seconds later to increase the result in 96-83.

Silas raved about his group’s protection on Saturday and mentioned with out Harden’s scoring prowess it was much more vital to focus on that a part of the sport.

”We actually buckled down and performed some protection,” Silas mentioned. ”To ensure that us to be good we have now to be good on protection. We won’t simply outscore folks.”

The Kings used an 8-2 run, capped by 4 factors from Harrison Barnes, to get inside 98-91 with lower than a minute to go. However Christian Wooden responded with a dunk to place the sport out of attain.

Harden had began Houston’s first three video games this season and is averaging a league-leading 37 factors with 11 assists.

De’Aaron Fox had 23 factors for the Kings, who misplaced to the Rockets for the second straight sport after successful three of their first 4 video games.

”The fellows ought to really feel dangerous concerning the loss identical to I do, shedding is painful,” coach Luke Walton mentioned. ”However they need to additionally really feel excellent about how they’re taking part in as a gaggle.”

He mentioned they bought stagnant offensively within the second half and was notably dissatisfied of their lack of assists.

”We solely had 11 assists tonight as a group, which is terrible,” he mentioned. ”That is not who we’re as a gaggle.”

Wooden had 20 factors and 16 rebounds and Gordon added 21 factors for Houston.

The Kings reduce the result in two factors on a 3-pointer by Buddy Hield with about 7 1/2 minutes left within the third quarter. Wall made 4 fast factors after that to stretch the result in 79-73.

The Rockets had been up by seven late within the third earlier than Fox scored the final 5 factors of the quarter to chop the deficit to 83-81 getting into the fourth.


Kings: Barnes added 19 factors with seven rebounds. … Hield had 17 factors and made 5 3-pointers. … Sacramento made 9 of 28 3-pointers.

Rockets: Sterling Brown had 11 factors and 6 rebounds. … Houston made 13 3-pointers. .


Kings: Sacramento visits Golden State on Monday earlier than taking part in seven straight dwelling video games.

Rockets: Houston hosts Dallas on Monday night time and can play 4 of its subsequent 5 video games at dwelling.

Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports activities



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