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James Harden & Rocket Offense Too Much for Sacramento Kings

Photo by: Kimani Okearah

The Sacramento Kings are now a season-worst six games under .500 after Monday night’s 113-104 loss to the Houston Rockets inside the Golden 1 Center. Despite De’Aaron Fox’s 31-point night, the Kings couldn’t close the gap built by James Harden, Russel Westbrook and the now 21-win Rockets.

“I’m proud of our guys for sticking to it and giving us a chance at the end,” said Kings head coach Luke Walton, after Sacramento managed to get a 25 point Rocket lead down to single digits in the fourth quarter.

Walton decided to make some changes in the fourth, keeping Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph on the floor while Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley sat on the bench all 12 minutes.

Bagley made his return to the starting lineup tonight, but only played limited minutes alongside center Richaun Holmes, who got in foul trouble within the first three minutes.

“It’s good playing with Richaun,” said Bagley, “He is good and active. With us on the court we have that ability to get boards and play hard…bring that energy”.

“We will most likely stay with (them) and give it a bigger sample size…” said Walton.

Fox admitted he was pretty winded after the game, playing 36 minutes in his first game off of a minutes restriction. Although he did struggle at the line, De’Aaron looked as good as he has all season on both ends of the floor.

Harden and Westbrook combined for 62 point, hitting a combined seven three-pointers.

Pushing the tempo and getting out in transition was a clear focus for the Kings tonight, who finished with 23 fast break points.

“We are at our best we we are playing fast but obviously we have to get stops,” said Fox.

The Kings will have Christmas Eve & Christmas Day off, returning to action on Thursday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have lost 11 straight games.