Alperen Sengun is back for more as the Rockets get a rematch with the Kings

Alperen Sengun is back for more as the Rockets get a rematch with the Kings

Houston Rockets big man Alperen Sengun gets a rare encore performance on the road as he and his teammates take on the host Sacramento Kings in a rematch Friday night.

While most in attendance watched Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis chase the 22nd triple-double of his career, Sengun grabbed the first with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the Rockets’ 135-115 loss in the capital of California Wednesday.

Sabonis fell short of his triple-double attempt, finishing with 25 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, but teamed up with Sacramento’s own surprise contributor, Trey Lyles, to rally the Kings from a fourth-quarter deficit to one. not so big win one-sided as the final score may indicate.

With Sengun’s pace, the Rockets led by as many as eight and 101-100 with 8:44 left before Lyles scored 12 points in the Kings’ 35-14, game-ending run.

While the loss was the eighth straight for the Rockets, it was historic for Sengun, who at 20 became the youngest player in franchise history to record a triple-double.

He was also the first Rockets center to post a triple-double since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1997.

“Of course it was my goal. I was always thinking (about it),” he later admitted. “I’m happy, but I’m sad we lost.”

The most surprising aspect of the triple-double was the attendance total. The second-year Turkish import had never had more than eight in one N.B.A game

His teammates helped by shooting 45.8 percent as a team and connecting on 16-of-41 from beyond the arc. Jalen Green had 26 points, while KJ Martin (9-of-13, 21 points) and Eric Gordon (6-of-12, 19 points) combined for 40 points on 15-of-25 shooting.

It wasn’t enough to make up for a huge disparity in free throw attempts. The Kings outscored the visitors 26-11 at the line, scoring 14 more tries (31-17).

Sabonis led the way at the charity stripe, going 7 for 9. He got his biggest support in the scoring column from De’Aaron Fox with 24 points and Lyles with 20.

Sabonis, who is tied for third in the NBA in triple-doubles with three, fell short of an assist for the second time this season. He also grabbed a short rebound on another occasion.

He then insisted that it didn’t bother him.

“It’s fine, as long as we win. That’s the goal,” he said. “These things come with the game. The next game, as long as we win, we’re happy.”

The Rockets would love to get Kevin Porter Jr. back. for the rematch. He had five points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in just 10 minutes before suffering a left foot contusion in Wednesday’s game.

He was absent for the Kings’ last outing, and remains questionable for Friday.

Porter was coming off a 25-point outing in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Sacramento played the first set without Kevin Huerter, out with an illness. The Kings hope to have him back for the rematch.

–Media at the field level

Copyright 2023 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and the Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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