Final - OT
  for this game

Kings lose again in overtime; McGrady scores 37

Jan 14, 2007 - 7:54 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Ron Artest brought a roar from the Arco Arena crowd when he banked in a 3-pointer to force overtime, which again brought disappointment for the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings lost in overtime for the third time in nine days, suffering a 115-111 setback to the Houston Rockets, who received 37 points from Tracy McGrady in their fourth straight win.

"We showed great mental strength there in that overtime to put that behind us and come out to execute and get a victory," McGrady said.

Artest scored 34 points, including 17 of Sacramento's last 19. He singlehandedly tried to lift the Kings, who have lost five in a row - including three in extra sessions, all at home.

"I was just trying to get us back in the game a little bit, giving us an effort out there," Artest said. "But we still lost."

Sacramento suffered a 132-128 OT loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on January 4 and a 110-105 OT defeat to Portland two nights later. The Kings are 0-4 in overtime this season.

"We were right there. This is one game we should have lost," Artest said. "All the other (overtime) games we had them and kind of stopped fighting and giving effort. We played hard for the whole 48 minutes. We got beat as opposed to beating ourselves. We can get better from a game like this."

A 3-pointer and jumper by McGrady on consecutive possessions gave the Rockets a 101-96 lead with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter. But he missed shots on Houston's last three possessions of regulation.

Artest sank two free throws at the 1:01 mark and banked in a 3-pointer over Shane Battier to tie it with 3.3 seconds to go. Artest scored Sacramento's last nine points of regulation.

"Even if I would have misssed that shot, I'd still shoot it again," he said. "It's not about what other people think. I work hard, try to just do what I do."

"He didn't call bank," McGrady said. "He came up to me and told me it was a lucky shot."

The Rockets never trailed in overtime. Rafer Alston and McGrady made 3-pointers around two free throws by Artest and Battier added two free throws for a 109-103 lead. Alston made four free throws in the final 16 seconds to seal it.

"I should have been on (McGrady) a little bit more," Artest said. "I think at the end of the game, when I was on him a little more, due to injury I wasn't able to get my defensive rhythm back. The great players are not easy to guard."

"I liked our response in overtime," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We started strong in overtime and got back ahead instead of being down about losing our lead. We didn't close out the game the way I would have liked. But in the overtime we started strong and showed a good level of resilience."

Alston had 22 points and eight assists and Juwan Howard scored 17 points for the Rockets, who had six players in double figures as they improved to an impressive 9-2 without injured All-Star center Yao Ming.

"I know everybody didn't expect that from us," Alston said. "We're a confident bunch right now. With each game our confidence is higher. Guys are playing at a high level. We're just doing what we can do - that's defend the basketball, share the basketball and take good shots."

Williamson had season highs of 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who wasted 51 percent (37-of-73) shooting and begin a four-game road trip.

"We're losing at home, we might as well try the road," Kings guard Kevin Martin said.

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