Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Saturday, November 6th
Game 2: Tuesday, November 23rd
Game 3: Friday, January 28th
Game 4: Sunday, March 13th

Rockets 96

(6-7, 4-4 away)

Kings 102

(7-4, 6-0 home)

    Coverage: CSNS

    7:00 PM ET, November 23, 2004

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    HOU 25 23 29 1996
    SAC 27 23 24 28102

    Top Performers

    Houston: T. McGrady 25 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Sacramento: P. Stojakovic 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast

    Sacramento finishes 5-0 homestand

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- After Bobby Jackson made another 3-pointer to put the Sacramento Kings ahead for good, he ran back upcourt with his shoulders hunched and his knees bouncing skyward with glee.

    Jackson picked a good time to pick up his game -- and the rest of the Kings' reserves followed his lead, carrying Sacramento to a 102-96 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night to complete a perfect five-game homestand.

    Jackson got 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Darius Songaila scored eight of his 10 points. With Greg Ostertag also providing timely defense on the otherwise unstoppable Yao Ming, Sacramento got a big assist from its bench, which outscored its opponents' reserves for the first time all season.

    "Those guys all came in and did a nice job, and that was the difference," said Jackson, who might be back to full health after missing last season's playoff run with an abdominal injury.

    "There's no feeling like when you go out and help your team win, and that's the first night I really feel like I've done that. I felt like I was the old Bobby Jackson."

    Peja Stojakovic scored 22 points, while Brad Miller scored 13 points and played gritty last-minute defense on Yao in the Kings' sixth straight victory overall.

    Except for Chris Webber, both teams played superbly in their fourth meeting on two continents in the last six weeks. Houston lost despite making a season-best 52 percent of its shots, outrebounding Sacramento and getting 29 points and nine rebounds from Yao.

    "I don't think I adjusted well at the end," Yao said. "I was focused on what I needed to do, but I lost sight. We tried to get the lead back quickly and gave the ball up."

    Tracy McGrady scored 25 points -- none in the final six minutes -- for the Rockets, who lost in Sacramento for the 11th straight time since 1999. Houston played without starter Charlie Ward, a last-minute scratch with a sore right knee, but Yao and McGrady nearly carried the Rockets to an unlikely win.

    "It's just hard guarding those two guys when they both have their game going," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "I liked our defense. We left some shooters open sometimes, but you're going to have to do that when they're both killing you."

    Houston took its first lead on Tyronn Lue's 3-pointer midway through the third quarter, but Jackson's back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth gave Sacramento the lead for good.

    "I never doubted he would break out," Adelman said. "He's too tough. He's too tough-minded to stay out of it for long."

    Webber scored 11 points on 3-of-17 shooting, but the Kings made just seven turnovers and had 30 assists. They clung to a small lead in the tense final minutes before Miller's three-point play with 2:17 left clinched just the type of tenacious home wins that have defined the Kings in the last half-decade.

    "We did what we wanted to do at the end," said Lue, who hit three 3-pointers and had 13 points in Ward's starting spot. "We got it in to Yao. We just didn't get it done."

    Sacramento's preseason was thrown into upheaval by a weeklong trip to China for two games against the Rockets. But since opening the regular season with three straight road losses in Texas, the Kings have won seven of eight and stayed perfect at Arco Arena.

    Mike Bibby had 10 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Kings, who had seven players scoring in double figures.

    Rookie guard Andre Barrett played 18 minutes in his NBA debut for the Rockets. Barrett, a former star at Seton Hall, scored six points on two 3-pointers and didn't make a turnover.

    Game notes

    The Rockets have played eight of their first 13 games on the road, with another game at Utah upcoming. ... Before the game, Houston placed F Ryan Bowen on the injured list with left knee tendinitis and activated Barrett. Bowen played sparingly in the Rockets' first 12 games. ... Ostertag blocked Yao's shot in the second quarter, forcing a jump ball. He finished with five points, doubling his field goal total from his first 10 games with the Kings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 102
    FGM-FGA 37-71 (.521) 39-85 (.459)
    3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 7-21 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 14-16 (.875) 17-20 (.850)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-39 13-38
    Assists 20 30
    Turnovers 18 7
    Steals 2 5
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 1 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 14 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 25
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 22
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0