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Rockets beat Sacramento in Harden's return
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - James Harden had 21 points in his return to the Houston lineup, and the Rockets continued their push to gain a playoff spot with a 112-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Harden, who was sidelined the past two games because of a sore right foot, had nine assists and seven rebounds. Chandler Parsons, who missed Monday's win against Orlando due to food poisoning, scored 29 points.
Omer Asik contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won three straight and six of their last eight contests. Jeremy Lin tallied 15 points and 10 assists, and Terrence Jones finished with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a reserve role.
Houston, currently seventh in the Western Conference, is 3 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Utah.
Tyreke Evans notched 22 points and DeMarcus Cousins scored 20 before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Marcus Thornton added 21 points off the bench. Jason Thompson totaled 17 points and 15 rebounds, but the Kings lost their second in a row.
"They made the plays to win the basketball game and we didn't," Kings head coach Keith Smart said.
The Kings got as close as three points in the final quarter, but couldn't get over the hump due to a 4-of-15 performance from the field in the period. A layup from Cousins had the deficit at 96-93 with 7:12 remaining, but the Rockets netted the next six points, finished by a Harden jam.
Sacramento got within five with 2 1/2 minutes left until Lin essentially sealed the outcome by draining a 3-pointer.
"It was a very big win for us on the road against a team that had been playing pretty well these last couple of weeks," Harden said.
Although the game was tight most of the first half, the Kings never mustered more than a two-point lead in the game and went to the break trailing 59-55.
The Kings trimmed a 12-point third-quarter deficit to 88-83 going to the fourth.
The Rockets went 10-of-30 from 3-point range ... Houston has won eight of the last 10 meetings ... The Rockets (42-33) are a season-best nine games over .500 ... Isaiah Thomas had 12 points for Sacramento.
04/04 02:07:08 ET