HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 34 points and eight assists, and the Houston Rockets used a big first-half run on the way to their fourth straight victory, a 132-112 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
Harden, who shot 10 of 17 from the field, had 15 points in the third quarter. Chris Paul added 24 points and nine assists, including 18 points in the first half, as the Rockets built a 71-59 halftime lead.
Clint Capella finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds for Houston, which shot 57 percent from the floor, including 20 of 47 from 3-point range.
After starting the season 1-5, Houston has won seven of its last nine games to move above .500 for the first time.
Buddy Hield shot 10 for 17 and finished with 23 points and seven rebounds to lead the Kings, who have lost three of their last four games. De’Aaron Fox added 19 points, and Marvin Bagley had 16 points off the bench for Sacramento, which shot 45 percent from the field.
Houston used a 20-5 run at the end of the first quarter and start of the second to open a 45-32 lead. Eric Gordon hit consecutive 3-pointers with 10 minutes left in the second and Paul had 12 in the run. Houston’s lead grew to 57-41 on a Gary Clark 3-pointer with 5 ½ left in the first half that capped a 9-0 run.
The Rockets pushed the lead to 98-74 with four minutes left in the third when Harden scored 10 straight points. The Kings got no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.
Kings: Bogdan Bogdanovic had 14 points, and Justin Jackson had 10 points off the bench. . Sacramento shot 11 of 35 from behind the arc. . Sacramento had 64 points in the paint.
Rockets: Houston scored a season-high 36 points in the first quarter. . Gerald Green had 17 points, and Gordon had 11 points off the bench. . Houston finished 20 of 24 from the free throw line.