Rajon Rondo flirted with another triple-double but the Sacramento Kings fell to the Miami Heat, 116-109 on the road Thursday. Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade finished with 23 and 22 points, respectively, to Miami to their fourth win in the last five games.
Playing without superstar center DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings trailed early on before a fight back in the final quarter. Cousins was suspended for the Heat game by the league after hitting Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford in their previous game.
Rondo led the Kings with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 18 assists. The Heat built a double-digit halftime lead, 56-46 but the Kings slowly crept back into the game in the third quarter.
Miami started off well in the fourth, thanks to a couple of baskets from Bosh, who shot efficiently at 8-of-12 for the night and added 11 rebounds and 4 assists.
Halfway into the final quarter, the Heat pushed the lead to 13 points, 100-87 but again, the short-handed Kings just wouldn’t go away. A Rondo basket capped off a 17-9 run for the Kings, which cut down the lead to 109-104 with 1:20 to go in the game.
However, Luol Deng (8 points, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots) hit 5-of-6 free throws in Miami’s next three offensive possessions and the Kings ran out of time in their comeback bid.
Wade added 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals for Miami, which got 12 points and 4 blocked shots from Hassan Whiteside and 19 points with 3 three-pointers from back-up guard Tyler Johnson.
Without Cousins, Omri Caspi started at the power forward spot for the Kings and finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Four of five starters ended up in double-figure scoring for the Kings including Ben McLemore, who had 17 points, his season-high.
The Heat are in the tail end of a long seven-game home stand and will face the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks in their next two games. Sacramento is in the middle of a five-game road trip with match-up against the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in their next three.