Bagley’s deciding game leads Kings past Rockets, 126-115

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Marvin Bagley III recorded season-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Houston Rockets 126-114 on Friday night.

De’Aaron Fox added 27 points and eight assists for Sacramento. Buddy Hield scored 19 points and Harrison Barnes had 16 points and nine rebounds.

Christian Wood had 26 points for Houston. Jae’Sean Tate added 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Rockets have lost 16 of their 20 games.

The teams meet again on Sunday.

Bagley had his best game of the season and was solid throughout the streak, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter while helping Sacramento to its second straight victory.

“I just try to stay locked into what we’re doing,” Bagley said. “I show up every day with a good frame of mind, I try to keep my body healthy, stay positive and play as hard as I can every time I go out. I’m just happy to be able to come in and help the team win.

The second overall pick in 2018, whose minutes have increased significantly since interim coach Alvin Gentry took over when Luke Walton was fired in November, was 12 of 20 from the floor.

“He did a really good job of finding empty spots when we drove the basketball,” Gentry said. “Even when we drove him to the baseline, he just found those open holes in the defense and was able to finish at the basket. We need that kind of play from him.

Sacramento led 98-91, then scored 12 in a row. Houston responded with a quick 3-point flurry and went 110-103 before Bagley made a pair of free throws, Hield sank two and Bagley scored on a one-handed rotation down the lane.

The Rockets came in at 118-111 but Barnes made a short runner and Tyrese Haliburton made two free throws.

“At half court, they make it difficult for you,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “The fox is tough. He drove, pulled. Bagley with his offensive rebounds and in the paint, those 8-foot shots. They hurt us.

Wood had 15 points in the first 7½ minutes of the game and helped the Rockets take an 11-point lead. But he spent much of the first half on the bench after committing his third foul with 4:14 left in the first quarter.

Sacramento took advantage while Wood sat. The Kings tied the game late in the second on Hield’s 3 and closed the quarter on a 10-2 streak to come back 65-60.


The Kings closed out the third period with five guards on the field: Fox, Haliburton, Hield, Terence Davis and Davion Mitchell.


Rockets: Houston is 10-5 when leading by 10 or more. … The Rockets scored 40 points in the first quarter. … First-round pick Alperen Sengun had nine points and four rebounds in 14 minutes in his return after missing seven games with a sprained right ankle. … Daniel Theis was technically charged after being penalized for an offensive foul in the second quarter.

Kings: Sacramento’s 126 points was its highest since scoring a season-high 142 against Orlando on Dec. 8. … Bagley’s double-double is his fourth this season. … Damian Jones cleared NBA health and safety protocols and joined Richaun Holmes in conditioning workouts. … Tristan Thompson (non-COVID illness) remains absent.


The two teams meet for the second time in three days when they play at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday afternoon. They will do the same in Houston on March 30 and April 1.


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