The Kings kicked off the second half of the season simply as they did the primary, with a win. It was far much less dramatic this time round, as Sacramento maintained a double-digit lead all through the second half to defeat the Rockets 125-120. De’Aaron Fox led the best way with 30 factors and 9 assists within the staff’s largest margin of victory for the season.
The staff began out the night time as we’ve come to count on. The Kings scored comparatively effectively, however their protection was so porous that they weren’t capable of create a bonus early. Doug Christie warned Mark Jones pregame that Eric Gordon was a Kings killer, and his phrases proved prophetic. Gordon had 17 first-half factors for the Rockets to steer all scorers, however whereas Gordon was a one-man band, Sacramento had a deeper nicely of choices to attract from.
Buddy Hield matched Gordon with 11 first-quarter factors, none sweeter than when Tyrese Haliburton fed him a one-handed cross and was at half courtroom by the point the ball went via the online.
The second quarter was when the Kings began to create some separation towards the brief handed Rockets, who ended up being with out John Wall and P.J. Tucker along with the anticipated absence of Christian Wooden. Houston didn’t have any wholesome bigs past Justin Patton, which compelled the Rockets to start out the second quarter with 6’6 Okay.J. Martin as their tallest participant. The Kings took full benefit.
Sacramento was capable of go comparatively small with Marvin Bagley III on the 5, however nonetheless towered over Houston. Harrison Barnes and Bagley led the cost of attacking the paint, and collectively, the Kings took 14 pictures within the paint whereas incomes 9 free throws within the second. The Rockets additionally went chilly from the sector (0-of-14 from 3-point vary within the interval), and with none true frontcourt gamers, had been additionally outrebounded regardless of their bevy of missed pictures. That resulted in a 14-point Sacramento lead at intermission.
By the top of the half, 4 of the 5 starters had been in double figures. Within the third quarter, it was De’Aaron Fox’s flip to hold the baton. He bought to the rim at will, ending all of his makes an attempt on the cup, and dropped 11 factors within the interval. The Rockets made mini-runs, however the Kings had been all the time capable of preserve the lead in double figures.
Nemanja Bjelica assumed the backup heart minutes with Hassan Whiteside nonetheless unavailable. He picked up three fouls nearly instantaneously within the first half, however when he returned within the second, he had a pleasant two-man chemistry with Fox. It helped to have one other participant with good passing instincts to fight the Houston zone.
All in all, it was a reasonably medical win for the Kings. They overwhelmed a lesser opponent with their depth and expertise, as they need to. On to the following one.