SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Christian Wood had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Eric Gordon made a clutch bucket with 12.5 seconds left and the Houston Rockets held off the Sacramento Kings 118-112 on Sunday night.
Kevin Porter Jr. added 23 points and seven assists for the Rockets. Garrison Mathews scored 17 points, while Eric Gordon and Jalen Green each scored 15 points.
“We were ready to play tonight,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “We’re not a playoff team yet, but when we are, this is what it will look like. We try to learn as many lessons as possible. I was proud of them for that.”
Buddy Hield scored 27 points for Sacramento, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Terence Davis had 17 points and De’Aaron Fox added 14 before being ejected in fourth after being called for a Flagrant 2.
The Rockets, who lost to the Kings 126-114 on Friday, trailed before fourth but took control with an 18-5 run. Mathews had eight points on the run, including a four-point play, moments after crashing to the field following Fox’s heavy foul.
After Sacramento got to 114-112 with 47.8 seconds left, Green grabbed an offensive rebound and passed it to Gordon who scored. Porter added two free throws.
“Everyone played big,” Wood said. “It’s good to see that everyone clicks on the same page. We can build from that.
Houston held a 47-37 rebounding advantage. Both teams scored 50 points in the paint.
“We didn’t stop them from getting into the paint and they kept enough of the lead to put a lot of pressure on you to score,” Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry said. “We created some really good shots. It’s just a matter of us knocking them down.
The Rockets got off to a fast start and were leading 13-0 and 21-5 before the Kings got going.
After Barnes’ 3-pointer cut Houston’s lead to one, Chimezie Metu sank a corner 3 that gave the Kings their first lead. Fox then connected on a short jumper and Barnes made a free throw after Gordon’s technique to put Sacramento ahead 60-55.
The Kings fell behind in the third but closed the quarter on a 13-4 streak.
QUICK START OF WOOD
For the second game in a row, Wood had a dominant first quarter, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven rebounds. The difference this time was that the Rockets big man was able to stay on the field. On Friday, Wood scored 15 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes, but picked up his third foul moments later and spent the rest of the half on the bench.
HE DID THIS
Davis snatched the ball from Green’s hands as the Houston rookie drove for a layup, drove the length of the field and was fouled scoring on a one-handed dunk. The Rockets contested the call but lost, and Davis finished the game at three points.
Rockets: Wood had two interceptions and two blocks. . Jae’Sean Tate and Gordon received a technical foul in the first half.
Kings: Sacramento missed seven of its first nine shots. . Tyrese Haliburton has entered NBA health and safety protocol. . Marvin Bagley III, coming off his best game of the season, was held off with pain in his right shoulder. . Richaun Holmes returned to the roster after missing eight games while in health and safety protocol. . Damian Jones, also back from health and safety protocol, was called up for a technical foul in the second quarter.
Rockets: Take on the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday.
Kings: Host the Pistons on Wednesday.
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