Inquirer Daily News
 
                   === Harden, Rockets open trip at Kings ===
 
 (Sports Network) - Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden has scored 30 or more
 points  three times in  the last eight games and is fifth in the NBA with 26.0
 ppg this season.
 
 Harden  and  the Rockets will  depart Space  City for three straight contests,
 starting with Sunday's showdown against the Sacramento Kings.
 
 The  bearded left-hander  has posted back-to-back games with 35 or more points
 and  is averaging 26.9  ppg in the previous eight. Harden led the Rockets to a
 118-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers with a game-high 35 points and
 also handed out five assists.
 
 "Teammates  are  knocking down shots and  it's tough to guard us," Harden said
 after  his  15th game of 30-plus  points. "When my teammates are knocking down
 shots, I'm getting easy layups, so it was a good team effort tonight."
 
 Harden dumped in 36 points in Wednesday's loss at Miami.
 
 Chandler  Parsons added  20 points,  while  Patrick Patterson  and Jeremy  Lin
 finished with 16 points apiece for the Rockets, who have won six of their last
 eight  contests.  Houston outscored the Blazers,  52-38, in the paint and made
 59.5 percent of its shots.
 
 In injury news for Houston, guard Tony Douglas (hip) is doubtful for Sunday.
 
 The Rockets will also visit the Warriors and Clippers on the road trip and are
 10-16 as the guest. They have dropped two in a row away from home.
 
 Meanwhile,  the Kings  are coming off Saturday's 120-109 victory over the Utah
 Jazz in the opener of a quick two-game residency.
 
 Isaiah  Thomas  netted 25 points and  Marcus Thornton added 24 for Sacramento,
 which  halted a four-game slide and won for the second time in 10 tries. Jason
 Thompson  contributed 21 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 13 with a game-best
 11  rebounds for  his 22nd double-double as the Kings avenged a 98-91 overtime
 loss at Utah on Monday.
 
 "We  were  energized and looked  like a  totally different team," said Thomas.
 "Especially  on the  offensive end, we were sharing the ball, we were smiling,
 everything. It was good for us."
 
 Thomas is averaging 18.5 ppg in the last four games.
 
 The  Kings,  who  are  playing  four  games  in  five  nights,  are  13-12  in
 California's  capital  city this season. The  last time they had home games on
 consecutive  nights  was on April 2,  2012 versus Minnesota and April 3 versus
 Phoenix.
 
 Sacramento  lost all  three meetings with Houston  a season ago and is 3-11 in
 the  previous 14  matchups between the Western foes. The Rockets have won four
 straight at the Kings.
 
 02/10 10:58:50 ET