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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Carlos Beltran missed out on his first opportunity to be inducted in the Hall of Fame this week, and we discuss how his involvement in the 2017 sign-stealing scandal may have played a role.

Plus, are we seeing a turning of the tide with national baseball writers and their opinion of the Houston Astros?

Bob Nightengale wrote this about Carlos Beltran and the Hall of Fame recently:

But we’re really going to ignore all of that and admonish him for participating in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
Really?
Are we going to do the same with everyone who played for the Red Sox and Yankees during those years, too, when they were fined and disciplined for the illegal use of Apple Watches and dugout phones to relay signs?
Should we hold that against future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander, who obviously didn’t benefit from the sign stealing as a pitcher, but didn’t tell his teammates to stop it?
Enough already.
We’re not talking about performance-enhancing drugs here. Sign stealing has been going on for the past 100 years. There are teams who have used hidden cameras for years. Team employees flashed signs from outfield seats and scoreboards.

Check out the video above as we break it all down.

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