HOUSTON, Feb. 2 (Ticker) -- Eddie Griffin showed how dangerous the Houston Rockets can be when he plays well.

NBA TV highlights from
56k | 300k
Griffin scored half of his 22 points in the first quarter and rookie Yao Ming collected 18, 11 rebounds and a season-high six assists as the Rockets rolled to a 105-89 rout of the injury-plagued Sacramento Kings.

The Rockets have been as unpredictable as Griffin, who has posted better averages in his second NBA season but has not been consistent, mainly due to foul trouble. He scored just 16 points in his previous three games before turning in one of his best performances of the season.

Griffin made 9-of-14 shots from the floor and fell one point shy of his season high. He also grabbed eight rebounds and had two blocks as Houston won for the third time in four games.

The second-year forward had four baskets, including a 3-pointer, in the opening six minutes as the Rockets jumped out to a 17-4 lead. He buried a turnaround jumper with 2:49 left to give Houston a 29-9 cushion.

"They got me the ball early, I got some good shots and I was feeling it," he said. "I concentrated on not getting cheap fouls. That was my trouble the last couple of games."

The Rockets made 14 of their first 18 shots while the Kings opened the game 4-of-18 from the floor.

Yao scored eight points in the first quarter as Houston shot a blistering 65 percent (15-of-23) en route to a 32-12 cushion. Sacramento shot just 21 percent (5-of-23) in the opening 12 minutes.

"What I liked about (the first quarter) was everybody got involved," Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Yao (six assists) has a great feel for open people. (Yao and Griffin) really gave us a lift. (Griffin) made his shots today. The last couple of games he's sitting on the bench with early fouls."

Steve Francis scored seven of his 21 points in the second quarter as the Rockets built a 59-32 halftime advantage.

"It one of our best, execution wise, first halves of the season," Francis said. "The ball was going in early for us and that set the tone for the whole game."

Houston had its largest lead at 65-37 after a pair of free throws by Griffin less than two minutes into the third.

Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic scored 19 of his 31 points in the third quarter, but the Kings never got closer than 15 after their dismal start.

"We got our heads hammered today," Sacramento coach Rick Adelman said. "Houston was aggressive and took it at us and we were the opposite. They played the game with more energy and took advantage of it. They were very good and we were very bad. We just didn't do anything. You can't come in and just expect to win."

Francis dished out eight assists and Cuttino Mobley scored 21 points for the Rockets, who shot 51 percent (44-of-86) from the floor.

Stojakovic made 11-of-16 shots from the floor for the lackluster Kings, who shot just 41 percent (34-of-83), including 3-of-13 from 3-point range.

"We have to change our approach to the game and get back on track," Stojakovic said. "We were down by 20 at halftime and we just can't afford to play that way. Our energy level and aggressiveness were not there. We have to do something to change the way we are playing."

Mike Bibby scored 11 points and was the only player in double figures as Sacramento lost for the fifth time in six games.

The Kings have struggled without All-Star forward Chris Webber and center Scot Pollard. Webber is sidelined at least three weeks with a sprained left ankle and Pollard is out with a broken right hand. Guard Bobby Jackson remains on the injured list with a broken hand.

"This team is going to have to find ways to win and suck it up and we just haven't been doing that," Kings guard Doug Christie said. "There should be no excuses. We just got the living (bleep) beat out of us."