Rockets dominate, 127-101

Three pointers from Rockets at Kings

The Rockets continued their road trip out in Sacramento Wednesday night as they took on the Kings in what was expected to be a high scoring affair. After trading leads in the first quarter, the Rockets ran away with entire game before the end of the half. Houston led by as much as 37 at one point. The Rockets are now 32-22, first in the Southwest Division, and fifth in the Western Conference. They trail the Golden State Warriors by 6.5 points.

Size didn't matter

For the first time in the past 3 out of 4 games Houston held their own in the paint despite a significant size disadvantage against Sacramento. Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein and forwards Nemanja Bjelica and Marvin Bagley were unable to assert their will on the undersized Rockets as they led the Rockets in points in the paint by an underwhelming 46-44.

Bombs Away

Houston found themselves in a dogfight through the first quarter, leading 32-28. The second quarter was anything but as Houston's sharpshooters all heated up and poured it on the helpless Kings to run away with a 44-17 quarter. The Rockets would finish with 20 made threes including 8 from James Harden and 4 each from Eric Gordon and Gerald Green. All three players finished with at least 20 points, while Harden extended his consecutive 30-point streak to 28 games.

Pickpockets and youth

The Kings are a promising young team, but they're also simply a young team. The talent is there, but the fundamentals are still developing. It's a trait most easily noticeable in the turnovers section and the Kings were ran out of the building in that regard. Houston dominated the turnover game, forcing 22 while only committing 12. PJ Tucker ended with a very PJ Tucker statline, scoring an eye-popping 2 points to go with 5 steals and 10 rebounds. Houston out-swiped the Kings as a whole, 13-5

Rockets player of the game:

James Harden: 36 points (8-13 from 3), 6 rebounds

Kings player of the game:

Buddy Hield: 20 points, 10 rebounds

Last Shot:

Harden drained eight 3-pointers in the victory Wednesday night. This is the sixth time this season and eleventh in his career where Harden has made eight or more 3-pointers in a game, averaging 43 points per game.

Next up:

Houston returns home to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday at 7:30 pm central on ABC.

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Davis Mills has to work to do. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

The Houston Texans took to the field for their second day of workouts on the field. Here are 11 observations from a shaky offensive day.

1. Mills had a shakier day than his first. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. There were a lot of teachable moments for him in this practice. General manager Nick Caserio said consistency is the biggest thing for him in evaluating a player. Part of the consistency is how often do you make the same mistakes, according to Caserio. Mills has work to do before Monday’s practice.

2. Even with the shaky day, there is still excitement to Mills. Seeing how he bounces back will be big, and the challenge won't be easy as the team will have a padded practice on Monday. Traditionally, defenses are ahead of the offense early in training camp.

3. Nico Collins and Davis Mills weren’t on the same page on Saturday. The two had a few miscommunications that led to some incomplete passes. Mills also came up just a little long on a deep pass to Collins. Later the two hooked up for a nice completion as Collins beat rookie Derek Stingley Jr. but it was not the best day for the two second-year players.

4. There weren’t a lot of receivers getting open today. Brandin Cooks is about the only player who constantly gets open. It led to Davis Mills holding the ball a few times and ultimately deciding to check the ball down. The secondary had a solid day.

5. Lovie Smith said after practice they don’t scheme up a lot of short passes and this team will need to move the ball through the air. He did lament that sometimes you have to take a quick and short gain as an offense. Smith also joked when you don’t like the passing game you can give credit to the coverage.

6. Speaking of the secondary, it featured a lot of Derek Stingley Jr. on Saturday. The first passing drill with the offense against defense saw Stingley Jr. square off with Brandin Cooks. It was again a win for Cooks, but the rookie had some nice moments on the field. Chris Conley also had a nice win against Stingley Jr. in coverage. The Texans have to get their first-round pick acclimated to how they will use him. I will say though that Stingley Jr. makes things look fluid and easy as he moves about the defense.

7. Safety Terrence Brooks has put together a nice couple of days to start training camp. He has had at least one pass break-up in each of the first two days and he has a lot of energy in the secondary. Rookie Jalen Pitre dashed into the backfield sniffing out a toss play showcasing his anticipation.

8. Garret Wallow was a player showing up to camp with high expectations, and he’d earned them. The late-round pick last year had done a great job getting his body in shape, and it feels like he is all over the field. Wallow had a pass break-up Saturday and he is near the top of my list for when the pads come on Monday.

9. Speaking of players who will excite when the pads come on, Kenyon Green is near the top of my list too. The “other” first-round pick for the Texans hasn’t played as much as you would maybe like so far, but he absolutely STONED a defender on a running play. There is work to do, but Green has flashes and in pads, he should flash more.

10. Jerry Hughes is one of the oldest players on the field. You wouldn’t know it though. The veteran has a ton of energy, and he’s very vocal. He easily dismissed Laremy Tunsil for what would have been a sack. Hughes is going to be a necessary contributor to this team in 2022.

11. Jonathan Greenard, Justin Britt, and Kamu Grugier-Hill all practiced after missing time on Friday. Phillip Dorsett has yet to really get involved and Lovie Smith said Dorsett is a little dinged up. The team will practice in pads on Monday for the first time. Jalen Pitre, Kenyon Green, Garret Wallow, Christian Harris, and Roy Lopez are the players I have near the top of my list to keep an eye on as the pads come on.

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