ROCKETS BEAT THE KINGS

James Harden and John Wall come up big in Rockets win over Kings

Rockets beat the Kings, 122-119. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Although the Houston Rockets got off to a slow start in the beginning of the game, they began to catch fire inside the 2nd quarter. DeMarcus Cousins and Sterling Brown lifted the second unit. When DeMarcus aggressively set a screen for James Harden, he rolled to the corner, and made his first shot since the 2018-2019 season with the Golden State Warriors. Cousins finished with eight points before the 2nd half ended. The Rockets' bench finished with 22 points in the first half, which is a huge number for them.

After a strong start from Cousins, John Wall eventually followed by becoming a playmaker and scoring threat. Wall was able to split picks, take reasonable 3-point shots from the perimeter, and attack the rim when an opportunity presented itself. He was able to collect 14 points before the half ended.

James Harden, Christian Wood, and Eric Gordon were able to catch fire throughout the second half after a slow start. Harden was able to see the floor well, Gordon began to cut in and out of the defense, while also making contested 3-point shots. Christian Wood found ways to cut off screens and catch difficult lobs to be effective for the Rockets.

But what hurt the Rockets the most was turnovers, as the Sacramento Kings capitalized off 16 turnovers by scoring 18 points. When the Rockets finally started to settle down, Wall and Harden took charge by making tough shots and pushing tempo up the court. Harden and Wall found ways to disrupt the Kings' defense throughout the 4th quarter. Stephen Silas, the head coach for the Rockets, mentioned he enjoyed watching Harden and Wall's shot selection and aggressiveness inside the 4th quarter.

"It was great, they're both trying to figure out who has it, and who is coming off the ball some," as Silas mentioned in the press conference. "They are kind of figuring it out with my help. Both were good at scoring the basketball. It's a relationship that has to grow"

Wall finished with 22 points and 9 assists, while Harden finished with 33 points and 8 assists. Wall and Harden are still trying to figure each other out, so they're able to be successful throughout the season for the Rockets. Wood even mentioned he is fortunate to watch the effort of Harden and Wall together.

"It's remarkable. What he does on the floor, the way he operates, it's crazy. I couldn't really explain it to you. I don't really know what James Harden's ceiling is. Playing with him, he makes me look great," as Wood told the press. "I'm playing within two All-Star guards. Great to have to John back, looks like he is back to All-Star status."

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TEXANS TRAINING CAMP WATCH

11 Texans training camp observations from August 7th

Houston Texans insider dishes on why Derek Stingley Jr was the right pick

The Houston Texans had a “vanilla” day of light work. Here are 11observations from the workout.

1. It was a light day for the Texans. Some would say sluggish, I wouldn’t agree with that. Did it look like a day off was in order? Yes. Did anyone make mental mistakes because of their energy level? Not that I could see. With it being a lighter day, it might be worthwhile to focus on some of the depth on the roster.

2. Isaac Yiadom (pronounced YEAH-dum) has had some moments in training camp. With rookie Derek Stingley having a light day, Yiadom played opposite Steven Nelson. Yiadom has had a few pass breakups and seems to be physical in coverage. He has a little speed to him, or he’s shown the ability to stick with wideouts. He is a top preseason game target to watch.

3. Phillip Dorset had a very nice back-of-the-end zone catch. It might have, likely even, been a sack for the defense in a live rep or team rep, but Davis Mills ripped the ball out as the whistle was starting to sound. Dorset with two feet in the back after juking a defender. He is squarely behind other wideouts having missed time but being a veteran should catch up quickly.

4. Wideout Connor Wedington had a few nice plays on Sunday. He has an uphill battle to make the roster, but Davis Mills’ former teammate might squeeze his way into the conversation. There are opportunities for him with a few other wideouts banged up.

5. Rookie tight end Tegan Quitoriano bodied his way for a touchdown. The rookie hasn’t done much in camp, but his size is clearly an advantage. Game reps and more padded practice will be important for him this preseason.

6. Chris Moore is a veteran taking yet another swing at making this team. If the Texans played tomorrow, I would have him on the roster. Probably even starting at slot wideout. He had a very nice leaping grab today.

7. Versatility for a couple of backup offensive linemen may lead to them making the team. Well, it certainly won’t hurt their case. Justin McCray has played all three interior offensive line spots. The veteran could start if needed, but I have to imagine he is a key backup inside. Scott Quessenberry (yes related to former Texans lineman David and current fullback Paul) played guard on Sunday. He is a factor to be Justin Britt’s backup at center.

8. Charlie Heck was not a pick I was in love with when Bill O’Brien selected him a couple of seasons ago. Heck has grown a lot in his game and physically and is surely the backup tackle for this team. He can play left and right tackle.

9. Tae Davis plays linebacker and wears 19. It is the strangest thing to see a linebacker in that number. It has not been strange to see Davis make a play here or there in practice. The linebacker room is loaded but Davis is making the most of his chances.

10. Ka’imi Fairbairn HAMMERED a ball right down the uprights after Davis Mills had led the team into field goal range on a last-minute drill. Mills easily moved the team down the field without the normal group of linemen or weapons. Good finish to practice.

11. Jonathan Greenard did some pushups after he couldn’t replicate history. Greenard almost had his second interception of Davis Mills, but the ball fell incomplete. Greenard has been a force in training camp.

Bonus Quote of the Day: “I was a fat guy last year” said Pharaoh Brown as he talked about his leaner and quicker frame compared to last year.

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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