HOUSTON – – John Wall scored 28 points on Saturday and the Houston Rockets defeated the Sacramento Kings 102-94 despite playing without injury to James Harden

Harden, who sat outside with a sprained right ankle, was not listed in the injury report, and coach Stephen Silas did not mention his injury in his pre-game availability, the team announced that he would not play about 38 minutes before the game started / p>
Suspended Houston’s first two games due to COVID-19 contact tracing, Wall missed all of last season and only played 32 games two years ago due to injury.He scored 22 points on his Rockets debut Thursday after a trade from Washington, which made him the first player to score 50 points in his first two games after Michael Jordan was absent for at least two years in 2001 Elias Sports Bureau

“I just put a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point,” said Wall. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the 2-0 in my first two games”

Silas wasn’t sure what to expect from Wall after traveling for so long, but he was definitely impressed

The Rockets scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter, extending their lead to 92-81, with about 8½ minutes left Eric Gordon led the team in this distance, making a 3-pointer and three free throws

Sacramento ended a drought of more than 3½ minutes in an alley by Richaun Holmes

shortly afterwards

Both teams struggled to score afterwards as they together missed 10 shots in a row Gordon eventually made a shot for Houston in less than five minutes, and Wall added a bucket a few seconds later to put the lead at 96- 83 to expand

Silas raved about his team’s defense on Saturday, saying that without Harden’s scoring chance it would be even more important to focus on that part of the game

“We really curled up and played some defense,” said Silas. “To be good, we have to be good at defense. We can’t just outperform people”

The Kings used an 8-2 run capped at four points by Harrison Barnes to be within 98-91 in less than a minute, but Christian Wood responded with a dunk to keep the game out of reach bring

Harden had started Houston’s first three games this season and averaged 37 points in the league with 11 assists

De’Aaron Fox had 23 points for the Kings, who lost to the Rockets for a second straight year after winning three of their first four games

“The guys should feel as bad about the loss as I do Losing is painful, “said coach Luke Walton.” But you should also feel very good playing as a group “

He said they stagnated offensively in the second half and were particularly disappointed that they lacked assists

“We only had 11 templates as a team tonight, which is horrible,” he said, “That’s not who we are as a group”

The Kings cut the lead to two points with a 3-pointer from Buddy Hield There were about 7½ minutes left in the third quarter. Then Wall made four quick points to extend the lead to 79-73

The Rockets were up seven by the end of day three before Fox hit the final five points of the quarter to bring the deficit down to 83-81 and hit the fourth

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

Rockets: Houston welcomes Dallas on Monday night and will play four of its next five home games

New York Knicks (3-3, seventh in the Eastern Conference) vs. Atlanta Hawks (4-2, fifth in the Eastern Conference)

Indiana Pacers (4-2, third in the Eastern Conference) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (4-2, runner-up in the Western Conference)

Cleveland Cavaliers (4-2, fourth in the Eastern Conference) vs. Orlando Magic (4-2, runner-up in the Eastern Conference)

Kings vs Rockets

World News – USA – Kings vs Rockets – Game Recap – 2 January 2021 – ESPN

Source: https://www.espn.com/nba/recap?gameId=401267239