SACRAMENTO -- With controversy swirling, the Sacramento Kings pushed the tempo and ran the road-weary Houston Rockets off the court. Despite turning the ball over 28 times, the Kings dropped the Rockets to 12-14 on the season and improved to 10-15 with the 107-97 win.
With Rajon Rondo sitting at home, reserve point guard Darren Collison took control of the Kings' offense and led the team to victory. Collison finished with 14 points, a game-high 13 assists and seven rebounds, though he did turn the ball over eight times.
DeMarcus Cousins returned to form with 26 points and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. The Kings All-Star center attacked Dwight Howard and Clint Capela, putting both in foul trouble from the opening quarter.
With the Rockets going small, Omri Casspi and Rudy Gay went to work. Casspi finished with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and handed out six assists. Gay added 17 points, 13 rebounds and a career-best six steals.
James Harden paced the Rockets like usual. After starting the game slowly, the All-Star wing dropped in 23 of his game-high 33 points in the second half. He added seven rebounds and six assists, but turned the ball over seven times.
Patrick Beverley and Jason Terry chipped in 14 each as the Rockets dropped their second straight.
Starting for the suspended Rondo, Collison ran circles around the Rockets for most of the night. The veteran point guard finished just three rebounds shy of a triple-double.
The Rockets looked like they were going to jump right back in the game at the end of the third. They cut a big Kings lead down to eight to open the fourth, but Sacramento responded with a gutsy final frame and walked away with their third-straight win.
Willie Cauley-Stein (right index finger) is still out for another 3-5 weeks. The rookie has been on the practice floor working on his left-hand post moves all week with assistant coach John Welch.
The Kings leave the friendly confines of Sleep Train Arena and head to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves on Friday in the first of four straight on the road.