Former University of Kentucky star Terrence Jones blocked five shots, the most by a Houston Rockets player this season with two games to go, in a 121-100 rout of the visiting Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.
"I'm just trying to play my game and do all the little things that help me stay on the floor," the rookie said. "That's blocking shots, offensive rebounding. Whatever it takes for me to stay out there and be able to contribute to every win we get."
Jones, who also had nine points, three rebounds, three steals and an assist, has played a more prominent role with the team the past six games. He has averaged 9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 23.7 minutes per game.
"I'm just trying to get comfortable up here (with the Rockets)," said Jones, who has bounced back and forth from Houston to its D-League team, Rio Grande Valley. "I'm just trying to get in rhythm with everybody."
Teammate Jeremy Lin said Jones' late-season contributions have been unexpected.
"He's done a good job of staying focused," Lin said. "He went through a tough beginning of the season and now just out of nowhere he's playing out of his mind, so we're glad to have him."
The Rockets climbed into sixth place in the Western Conference. They have the same record as Golden State (45-35) but own the tiebreaker after winning the season series with the Warriors 3-1. Houston plays Phoenix on Monday and finishes the regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Jones said he's looking forward to the NBA playoffs.
"Whoever we play, I'm just going to be happy to be playing, just trying to have a nice role to be able to contribute and win," he said.
DeMarcus Cousins scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Kings. He also picked up his NBA-leading 16th technical of the season.
After the game, Cousins said referee Violet Palmer apologized for the call. He will miss the Kings' next game if the technical is not rescinded.
Patrick Patterson added eight points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks for Sacramento.