Almost everybody expected Houston to win on New Year's Eve when the team made fatal mistakes in the last minutes, handing away their deserved victory to Sacramento, reports Xinhua.
The Rockets, as usual, started the game slow, with only one shot in first five minutes. The Kings, however, played toughly and led 29-24 in the first quarter.
The Rockets were in their element in the second quarter, making 75 percent of their seconds quarter shots, though still trailed 58-52 at halftime.
Joint efforts by Dwight Howard, James Harden and Jeremy Lin helped Houston overtake Sacramento in the third quarter in which the team scored 34 points, 12 more than their opponents.
It appeared to everyone the Rockets were winning the game. But with 1:40 left, Harden missed a three pointer, turned the ball over and charged into DeMarcus Cousins. That sent the Kings on their way to a 7-0 run to blow past and to the win.
Harden had 38 points and 10 rebounds, Howard chipped in 15 points and eight boards, and Lin contributed 14 points and six assists.
Rudy Gay had 25 points while DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Kings.
It was the second time the star-studded Rockets lost to the Kings this season. Houston is now 21-13 on the season. Sacramento is 10-20.
--IANS (Posted on 01-01-2014)