SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Chad Budinger scored 20 points and Kyle Lowry had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Houston Rockets, who defeated the Sacramento Kings 123-101 on Monday night to give coach Rick Adelman his 935th win as an NBA coach.
The victory tied Adelman with Dick Motta for 10th on the career coaching victories list. Among the top 10 in wins, only Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach have better winning percentages than Adelman (.605, 935-609).
Besides being a significant win for Adelman, it was also one for the Rockets (33-32), who moved over .500 for the first time all season. Houston has won two straight and seven of eight.
DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who lost their third straight and fifth in six games. Marcus Thornton had 16 points, Beno Udrih added 15, and Francisco Garcia scored 11.
Courtney Lee scored 19 points and Kevin Martin had 15 for the Rockets, who shot 53 percent.
After a quiet first half, Martin got going in the third quarter when Houston increased its lead to 95-74. Martin made several shots from close range and converted all six free throws in scoring 10 points.
Both Lowry and Budinger scored eight third-quarter points. Lowry’s 3-pointer with 29 seconds left gave Houston a 21-point lead.
It was a difficult second half for Cousins, who dominated the paint offensively in the opening half when he scored 20 points. The rookie center missed all five second-half shots, had zero points, and headed for the bench late in the third quarter with four fouls.
Perhaps it was fitting Adelman got the victory in Sacramento, where he enjoyed his longest tenure as a head coach. In eight seasons with the Kings, he had a 395-222 record. The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since Adelman was fired following the 2005-06 season.
Lowry scored 11 points and Luis Scola had 10 for the Rockets, who used a 36-28 second quarter to go into the half with a 65-58 lead.
Notes: Scola injured his knee early in the third quarter and didn’t return. … Ex-King Martin drew considerable applause when the Rockets’ starting lineup was announced. He then went out and missed seven of eight first-half shots. Martin averaged 30.5 points in his other two visits to Sacramento since he was traded to Houston on Feb. 8, 2010. … Sacramento has the NBA’s worst home record at 8-24. … Houston’s reserves outscored the Kings’ backups 24-5 in the opening half. Lee was the most productive with nine points.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)