With nothing to play for, the Sacramento Kings walked into Houston completely depleted and got their lunch handed to them. The Rockets needed a win to get into the playoffs and that is exactly what they got Wednesday, drubbing the Kings skeleton crew by a final of 116-81.
James Harden barely broke a sweat on his way to 38 points on 13-for-27 shooting. The All-Star guard didn’t play a lick of defense, but it really didn’t matter who scored for the Kings.
With DeMarcus Cousins sitting at home watching the game, Dwight Howard pounded the Kings down low. The former All-Star dropped in 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting and added 10 rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
Michael Beasley chipped in 10 points off the bench and Patrick Beverley handed out 12 assists, picked up six steals and played lockdown defense on Seth Curry.
Without seven players, including Sacramento’s top six in scoring average, Ben McLemore found his game. The third-year guard posted 24 on 9-for-18 shooting. He added five rebounds and three assists in the loss.
Kosta Koufos put in another solid performance, finishing the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds. James Anderson struggled with turnovers, but still managed to score in double-figures with 13.
Seth Curry fell back to Earth after two weeks of exceptional play. Curry shot just 3-for-18 from the field on his way to 10 points. Rookie Duje Dukan made his NBA debut, scoring six points on 2-for-8 shooting. He grabbed four rebounds and picked up a steal in 27 minutes of action.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Harden was unstoppable, or at least the Kings made him look that way. They All-Star guard went at the Kings all night, scoring 38 points on 27 shots.
TURNING POINT -- This game was decided when the Kings decided to rest seven players. The Rockets led 34-18 after the first quarter and never looked back.
INJURY UPDATE -- Omri Casspi (right hamstring strain), Marco Belinelli (sore right foot), DeMarcus Cousins (rest), Rudy Gay (rest), Rajon Rondo (rest), Caron Butler (rest), Darren Collison (rest) all sat out the final game.
WHAT'S NEXT -- The regular season has ended and the Kings failed to qualify for the postseason for the tenth consecutive season.