De’Aaron Fox sank three free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining and the Sacramento Kings completed a season sweep of the host Houston Rockets with a 130-128 victory on Wednesday.
Fox (31 points, 11 assists) absorbed a foul with Eric Gordon after Malik Monk stole an inbounds pass from Alperen Sengun intended for Kenyon Martin Jr. with 1.1 seconds on the clock and Houston clinging to a one-point lead. Fox scored the final seven points for the Kings, who trailed 128-123 with 1:17 left.
Green scored 41 points on 14-of-22 shooting and Sengun scored 18 points to go with a career-high 11 assists and nine rebounds. Martin added 15 points — all in the first half — and Jae’Sean Tate added 16 for the Rockets, who committed 13 of their 19 turnovers in the second half. Sacramento scored 27 points off those turnovers.
Domantas Sabonis added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Kings while Monk scored 17 off the bench.
After posting one 40-point period in each of the first three meetings, the Kings scored 41 points in the third quarter on 70-percent shooting. Sacramento missed 13 of 17 3s in the first half but hit 4 of 7 from deep in the third. Despite that marksmanship, the Kings’ lead was only 99-97 entering the fourth.
The third quarter featured seven lead changes and four ties. While Monk scored nine points to pace a 24-point outburst from the Sacramento bench in the third, Sengun kept Houston in the running with nine points and three assists in the frame, one in which Sabonis sat nearly seven minutes after picking up his fifth foul.
A scorching start from Green and Martin enabled the Rockets to seize control early, with that tandem combining for 25 points on 10-for-12 shooting in the opening period. With Sengun chipping in six assists, Houston had its way in the first, shooting 60 percent while scoring eight points in transition and 20 in the paint.
But after trailing by as many as nine points in the first, the Kings clawed their way back and used 11-3 run midway through the second to grab a 54-50 lead. Fox, Harrison Barnes (16 points) and Kevin Huerter all scored in the midrange and when Murray drilled a 3-pointer with 3:48 left prior to the intermission, the Kings secured their largest lead of the half.
The Rockets responded to the Kings’ rally almost immediately, and when Green followed his technical free throw with a 3, Houston moved back head 60-56 and held that four-point edge at the break. Green and Martin tallied 36 points while missing a combined six shots in the first half.