SACRAMENTO -- The Houston Rockets walked into Golden 1 Center Sunday afternoon and put on a show. With very little to play for, the playoff bound Rockets played their starters deep into the game to come away with the 135-128 win over the Sacramento Kings.
League MVP candidate James Harden put up big numbers again for the Rockets. The 27-year-old shooting guard dropped in 35 points, handed out 15 assists, grabbed 11 rebounds and turned the ball over 10 times as Houston moved to 54-26 on the season.
Sacramento native Ryan Anderson burned his hometown team with 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting. The smooth shooting stretch four knocked down four triples in the first quarter, making himself at home at the Golden 1 Center.
Clint Capella ran the floor and finished in traffic to add 18 points and six rebounds. Lou Williams came off the bench to score 18 points and Bobby Brown hit 4-of-7 from long range to finish with 16.
Skal Labissiere learned a lesson early guarding Anderson. He rebounded in the second quarter, scoring 13 of his 25 points in a burst before the break. The rookie big added six rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes of action.
Second-year big Willie Cauley-Stein continued his recent surge. The 7-foot center posted a big double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the loss.
Veteran point guard Ty Lawson started in place of Darren Collison and had a big game against his former team. The speedy guard managed to score 20 points and 11 assists.
Ben McLemore shook off a rough start to score 18 points on 6-of-15 from the field. Buddy Hield struggled with his shot, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting. Garrett Temple scored 13 points and grabbed sive rebounds, while Langston Galloway chipped in 10 points off the Kings’ bench.
Anderson was a flame thrower from the outside, Capella never missed a shot and Harden threw up a triple-double. The Rockets are a contender come playoff time.
Sacramento cut the Rockets lead to six in the mid-third quarter, but Houston pushed the lead back to 18 heading into the fourth and never looked back.
Veterans Arron Afflalo, Kosta Koufos, Darren Collison and Tyreke Evans sat as the Kings’ season winds down. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.
The Kings play one more at Golden 1 Center Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns before finishing up the season Wednesday in LA versus the Clippers.