Harden had his 42nd career triple double and third 50-point match in the previous six. He left seven 3 pointers to become the ninth player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career 3s.
Houston had a three point lead when Harden re entered with less than seven minutes left. Willie Cauley Stein made an alley oop dip to cut it into a before Harden scored most Houston’s points in a 10-2 run that left it 111-102 with three minutes to move. Harden grabbed the rally following a miss by Marvin Bagley and saw Clint Capela to get a dip that pushed the result in 113-104.
Capela added 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Chis Paul had 22 points.
They have lost two straight and dropped to 0-3 against Houston this season.
Sacramento headed by 2 to begin the fourth until the Rockets used a 7-2 run, capped by a 3 in Paul, to shoot a 98-95 lead with about nine minutes left. The Kings made three free throws to tie itbut P.J. Tucker made a 3 pointer to put Houston up 101-98 for around seven minutes remaining.
The Rockets had a 3-point lead at half time and started the third quarter with an 8-2 run, with 3s out of Eric Gordon and Paul, to ensure it is 71-62.
Houston missed 3-point efforts in a row to allow for the Kings to close the gap.
Harden, who left 17 of 18 free throws, finally ended the drought when he hit one by the corner right after that to put the Rockets on top and he left a layup a couple seconds later to allow it to 88-83.
But the Kings scored the next 10 points, with eight Bagley, to choose a 93-88 lead.
Paul made a 3 pointer to get Houston’s first points in 2 1/2 to cover that the next quarter and then cut the lead to 93-91 entering the fourth quarter.
Kings: Harry Giles missed his fifth game with a bruised thigh. … Fox and coach Dave Joerger both received technical fouls in the next quarter. … Hield had 21 points, and Bagley added 20.
Rockets: Capela has 10 rebounds at a career-high 1-2 straight games. … Kenneth Faried sat out for the 3rd consecutive game with a sore knee. … Gerald Green missed his fourth game with a strained groin. Coach Mike D’Antoni said he expects to reunite at the center of the week. … Harden has scored 30 points or more 5 3 times this season.
Kings: In San Antonio on Sunday night.
Rockets: In Sacramento on Tuesday night.