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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, February 25th (All times Eastern)

Houston Rockets (38-18) at Sacramento Kings (20-36), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets needed a fourth-quarter rally to bounce back the last time out and shoot for another win Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings.

The Rockets trailed by 11 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 115-112 win at Phoenix and took the lead for good on Patrick Beverley's late 3-pointer. The Suns rallied from 18 points down, but Houston turned it on late to win for the ninth time in 10 tries and improve to 2-1 on a five-game western jaunt.

Dwight Howard had 25 points and nine rebounds, James Harden scored 23 and Beverley ended with 20 points for the Rockets, who shot 52.6 percent for the game and have a 16-11 record on the road.

"I've played in probably the second biggest game in basketball, the Euro League Championship, fans going crazy so I'm used to a hostile environment," Beverley said. "Before I came to the NBA I had my own team so I know what James and Dwight go through. We defended and we had fun today and came out with a win."

They are third in the West standings and third in the NBA with 106.1 points per game. Houston bounced back from last Thursday's loss at Golden State and has won the last 16 games when scoring 100-plus points.

Houston, which scored 60 points in the first half, outscored Phoenix 64-42 in the paint and outrebounded the Suns 43-34. It has posted 60 or more points in the opening 24 minutes seven times in the past nine games.

The Rockets have won five of their last six road games and will close the sojourn Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sacramento has won two in a row and three of its last four games, including Sunday's 109-95 triumph at Denver.

The Kings' big three of Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins proved to be a lethal bunch and propelled their team to victory. Thomas scored 33 points, Gay added 32 and 11 rebounds, and Cousins tallied 27 points, nine boards, five assists and five blocks.

"Ultimately, they had three guys that we couldn't stop," Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said. "Between Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, they had 92 points."

The next highest scorer for the Kings was rookie Ben McLemore with six points.

Sacramento, which had a 39-18 advantage in the third quarter and later led 103-84 with five minutes to go, is the only team in the league to have three players averaging 20 or more points.

The Kings possess a 12-17 home record this season and have defeated the Rockets twice in three matchups. Houston is still 10-4 in the last 14 encounters between the teams.

02/25 10:30:44 ET

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