Friday, April 10, 2009
Sports NewsMayfield's Mutterings: It's all over in Detroit

Rockets beat Kings to take 1st in Southwest

Send a link to a friend

[April 10, 2009]  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Ron Artest scored 26 points and the Houston Rockets used a big third quarter to pull away from the Sacramento Kings in a 115-98 victory Thursday night.

It was the Rockets' third straight win and moves them past San Antonio and into first place in the Southwest Division with three games remaining in the regular season. Houston is third in the Western Conference.

Yao Ming had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who trailed by five at halftime but dominated the third quarter, taking an 11-point lead that never dipped back into single digits in the fourth. Luis Scola scored 15 points, Von Wafer had 13 and Shane Battier added 12.

Spencer Hawes had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the struggling Kings, while Francisco Garcia and Andres Nocioni scored 17 each and rookie Jason Thompson added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Artest was at his best in his first regular season game in Sacramento since playing for the Kings for 2 1/2 seasons. He connected on three 3-pointers, made 10-of-18 shots overall, and added four rebounds, three assists and two steals.


The victory completes the Rockets' three-game season sweep of the Kings and gives Houston coach Rick Adelman his first victory at Arco Arena since being fired by Sacramento following the 2005-06 season.

The Kings dropped their sixth straight and eighth in nine games. With the NBA's worst record at 16-62, Sacramento is on track to have its worst finish in franchise history.

After trailing for much of the first half, the Rockets established control in the third quarter. Going to Yao frequently inside and with Artest hitting a variety of shots, Houston outscored the Kings 36-20.

Artest scored 13 in the third period and Yao added 10 as the Rockets took an 85-74 lead.

[to top of second column]

Funeral Director

Thompson and Hawes, the Kings' promising frontcourt players, bothered the Rockets at the offensive end in the second quarter. Thompson had 14 points and seven rebounds in the opening half and Hawes added 13 points and eight rebounds, helping Sacramento take a 54-49 lead.

Battier made four 3-pointers and scored 12 first-half points for Houston. Artest added 11 points for the Rockets, who shot 41 percent over the first 24 minutes.

Notes: Kevin Martin missed his fourth straight game with a sore ankle. ... The Rockets shot 65 percent in the third quarter.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor