Sampson on loss: 'I didn't think it was a good effort'
The Houston Rockets finished their three game road trip with a disappointing loss at Sacramento, 106-91. The Rockets played their third game in four nights and were without guard Jeremy Lin, who missed the game with back spasms.
After playing spirited basketball in both games in Portland and Golden State, winning the latter, Houston never seemed to find any rhythm in Sacramento and were fighting an uphill battle nearly the entire game.
Dwight Howard was in foul trouble throughout much of the game and finished with 13 points and ten rebounds, but made just 5-of-13 free throws.
James Harden led the Rockets with 25 points, but sprained his left ankle and finished the game in the Rockets locker room.
Greg Smith returned to action after missing 14 games with a sprained right knee. He did not leave the game in the fourth quarter after dislocating a finger on his right hand. Head trainer Keith Jones simply popped it back in place and Smith continued. He finished with six points and nice rebounds before fouling out.
That hurts, part two
Harden badly sprained his left ankle early in the third quarter. He stayed on the court for awhile, before going to the free throw line and draining a pair of free throws, while holding his injured left leg in the air. He went to the locker room, got re-taped and returned, but did not finish the game.
The game was over when
The Rockets continued to miss 3-pointers and miss free throws. Houston wwas just 18-of-34 (.579) from the free throw line. Even worse the Rockets were a miserable 7-of-27 (.259) from behind the 3-point line. It's the fourth time in the last six games, Houston has shot under 30 percent on 3-pointers
The Rockets will play the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday in Houston at Toyota Center. The Rockets swept the Bulls last season. Chicago has lost ten of their last 13 games.