Without Rajon Rondo, one of the questions surrounding the Kings was how their offense would function without the league leader in assists. The answer to that might not be much clearer after Tuesday night, but they’ll take a win any way they can get it.
Darren Collison had 14 points, 13 assists, and 7 rebounds, but also committed eight of the Kings’ 29 turnovers on the night in a 107-97 victory – the third straight for Sacramento.
“Everybody’s gonna go through ups and downs throughout the season, but it’s about how you respond to those ups and downs,” said Collison, regarding the absence of Rondo. Rondo was serving a one-game suspension for making derogatory remarks towards official Bill Kennedy during the Kings’ loss to the Celtics in Mexico City on December 3rd.
DeMarcus Cousins delivered 26 points and 12 rebounds, as the Kings out-rebounded the Rockets 47-36. Rudy Gay also had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while contributing a career-high six steals.
James Harden finished with 33 points on 10-of-18 shooting, much of which came from a 14-point burst in the third quarter – including ten straight to close the frame, leading Houston on a 10-3 run that cut their deficit down to eight.
Marco Belinelli would then hit 3 three-pointers in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to keep the Kings’ offense afloat before they stretched the lead back to double digits through the finish.
This was the first win over the Rockets in three tries this season for the Kings (10-15), who start a four game road trip against Minnesota on Friday.