Growing up in the 2000s and hearing about the sale of the Sacramento Kings , I was really hoping for the return for the Sacramento Kings here. Vlade Divac’s Sacramento Kings I mean! Bring on the 3s upon Sacramento again, Houston! Another 40 game deficit again hopefully! There was a little 3-ball action between Harden, Salmons and Lin in the second-to-last minute before the half ended.
Unfortunately, Sacramento played D! We would not see the rest of that for most of the game outside of Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris. Sacramento played the rebounding game (and actually came close to matching it 43 to 46) and played at their pace instead of Houston’s.
Jeremy Lin was a non-factor in the first quarter, as the Houston Rockets were led by James Harden and Patrick Patterson on offense. You can’t really blame him as the team was shooting 43.6% compared to the Kings’ 56% at one point of the game with its starters. The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins’ 3 rebounds and 12 points, after shooting six of eight; Cousins had a great performance and demonstration of leadership and skill. The Sacramento Kings had one turnovers that quarter. Luckily, the Rocket’s bench consisting of the dynamic duo of Marcus Morris and Carlos Delfino aided Harden back in the game with 3s. Harden and Asik led the boards with 4 and 5 respectively.
In the second quarter, Jeremy Lin’s field goal percentage was much better, even compared to James Harden’s; Lin was shooting 4 of 7 compared to Harden’s 5 of 11 and shot 100% 3 with 1 of 1 compared to Harden’s 1 of 4. Carlos Delfino and Marcus Morris totaled 10 points for that half backing him up. The Sacramento Kings’ John Salmons and Jason Thompson totaled 15 points by the half. The Kings’ assists also slowed down a bit compared to the first quarter’s 6.
Jeremy Lin then led the Houston Rockets with some key assists to Patrick Patterson and James Harden. After a steal basically by the entire Houston Rockets team, Harden got a layup, tying up the game. Chandler Parsons was 2 of 10, but had 5 assists, 3 steals, making you wonder if he should have ran point and Jeremy Lin should have played small forward! Houston begins with an 11-0 run.
Fourth quarter, Patrick Beverly had an impressive 4 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists. DeMarcus Cousins had foul trouble. However, Jeremy Lin fouled out trying to guard Isaiah Thomas. He did not really even get a chance to do anything in the fourth, questioning why he was kept in the game. The Kings shot more free throws than Houston did, which is unusual given how many foul calls James Harden normally receives. If Marcus Morris, Chandler Parsons or Jeremy Lin had a bit of a comeback that last quarter, Houston easily could have won the game.
Houston and Sacramento both had 5 players in double digits including Patrick Patterson 18, Omer Asik 17, James Harden 30, Jeremy Lin 12, Carlos Delfino 15, John Salmons 23, Jason Thompson 12, DeMarcus Cousins 20, Isaiah Thomas 23, and and Francisco Garcia 11. Sacramento uncharacteristically shot 20 points higher than their points per game average. They have not shot nearly as good since January 14th. Houston cost themselves the tie against the Utah Jazz in the 2012-3 Western Conference standings. With the next two coming games against Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers, they may get removed from the playoff contention entirely this week.