HOUSTON — Dwight Howard and James Harden combined for 50 points in just three quarters to help the Houston Rockets cruise to their third straight win, a 119-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
The Rockets took the lead midway through the first quarter and didn’t trail again. The Kings struggled after losing top scorers Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to injuries before halftime.
Gay, who tied a career high with 41 points on Tuesday night, injured his left Achilles tendon in the first quarter and Cousins sprained his left ankle in the second.
Derrick Williams scored 22 points with 11 rebounds and Isaiah Thomas added 20 points for the Kings.
Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds and Harden added 24 points with nine assists before the pair went to the bench for the fourth quarter.
Houston led by 15 points entering the fourth quarter and padded their lead with Harden and Howard relaxing on the bench in their warm-up shirts.
The Rockets used a 15-3 spurt in the first five minutes of that period to make it 103-76. Sacramento missed eight shots, including three layups in that time, and its only points came on free throws by Williams.
Jimmer Fredette made a 3-pointer that cut Houston’s lead to 11 points with about eight minutes left in the second quarter, but Cousins went down on Sacramento’s next possession when he was knocked to the ground by a hard foul from Beverley as he drove to the basket. Beverley stood over him for a second while he was down and Beverley received a technical.
Cousins entered the game leading the team in scoring (23.1) and rebounding (11.7). He scored just two points before getting hurt, snapping a streak of 30 straight games with at least 10 points.
Gay has started all 21 games for the Kings since being traded from Toronto on Dec. 9.
Former King Omri Casspi added 20 points and tied a career-high with 12 rebounds.