HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Rockets are heading to the playoffs for the fourth straight year thanks to their Wednesday night victory over the Sacramento Kings.
With most of the Kings roster resting, notably DeMarcus Cousin and Rajon Rondo, the Rockets clinched the eighth seed in the Western Conference setting them up for a rematch with their ousters in last year’s playoffs: The Golden State Warriors.
“It’s a continuation of our season,” said interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. “It’s time to get busy.”
The depleted and disabled Warriors didn’t stand a chance early, looking disheveled from the start. The Rockets started quick and didn’t look back. With almost everyone getting involved on the score sheet James Harden led the way with 14 points in the first. 34-18 the Rockets lead at the end of one.
It wasn’t clear if the Kings were aware the second quarter started, but the Rockets sure were. A 20-10 run in the first half of the second gave the Rockets a 54-28 lead. At halftime, the Rockets lead was trimmed but still stood at 20 with a 64-44 advantage.
James Harden exploded for 19 points in the third quarter and the Rockets increased their lead to 28 as they headed to the fourth 92-64.
James Harden made history in the fourth quarter as he became the fourth player to ever average 29 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. He joined Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.
With the win, the Rockets will now play the Golden State Warriors at a to be determined date and time.
Bickerstaff knows they have a tall taks ahead of them, just like making the playoffs.
“We would have sat here at the beggining of the year thinking that playoffs wouldn’t have been this big of a struggle, so we had expectations of making the playoffs.. So, now we have to get busy.”
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