One night after matching his career high with 41 points in a win at New Orleans, Kings forward Rudy Gay left in the first quarter Wednesday with an Achilles injury and did not return. He had four points in six minutes. DeMarcus Cousins, meanwhile, played just nine minutes after leaving in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle. Cousins was hurt on a hard foul by Houston’s Patrick Beverley that drew a technical foul.
It was sort of a chippy game, throughout, though. Sacramento’s Aaron Gray was assessed for a flagrant 1 foul late in the first period and Quincy Acy and Rockets’ star James Harden were each assessed technicals for a dust-up in the third quarter.
Reduced to the Big One with point guard Isaiah Thomas, the Kings couldn’t keep pace, trailing by as much as 29 points en route to the 21-point defeat. It was Houston’s first win over the Kings this season—Sacramento had won the first two meetings, one each at home and on the road.
Derrick Williams led the Kings (15-26) with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Thomas finished with 20 points and six assists. Jimmer Fredette added 14 points, Jason Thompson scored 12 and Ben McLemore tossed in 11.
Dwight Howard had 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Rockets (29-15), while Harden had 24 points and nine assists and Omri Casspi added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Chandler Parsons piled up 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jeremy Lin scored 13 points.
Sacramento was 34-for-86 (39.5 percent) overall, 12-for-30 (40 percent) from 3-point range and 18-for-30 (60 percent) at the foul line. Houston was 43-for-90 (47.8 percent), 8-for-31 (25.8 percent) and 25-for-40 (62.5 percent).
But the Rockets annihilated the Kings—sans Cousins—on the glass 55-42 and outscored them in the paint 66-32.
Gay was examined in the locker room and further tests are expected to be conducted Thursday, according to CBSSports.com.
The Kings return home Friday night to host the Indiana Pacers—owners of the NBA’s best record—for a 7 p.m. Pacific contest at Sleep Train Arena.