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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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.



That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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