Inquirer Daily News

Gay carries Kings past Rockets

Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Rudy Gay poured in a game-high 26 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 106-91 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Isaiah Thomas finished with 19 points and eight assists and Derrick Williams donated 11 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Kings, who won for the first time since acquiring Gay on Dec. 9.

"Rudy is so skilled, he's so talented. He makes it looks so easy out there offensively, and he can score in so many ways," said Kings coach Michael Malone.

James Harden led the Rockets with 25 and Dwight Howard notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but went just 5-for-13 from the free throw line. Howard had made 11 of his last 13 free throws entering the contest.

"No knock on Sacramento, they are a talented young team, but we're striving for greatness. To reach greatness we have to look at the teams before us," Howard said.

Chandler Parsons finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Houston, which has dropped four of its last seven tilts.

Harden knocked down a trey 30 seconds into the second half to ignite a 10-1 run that pulled the Rockets within 61-60, but the Kings scored 12 of the next 13 points of the game.

Houston managed to pull within single digits at 79-71 after Harden knocked down another 3-pointer with 1:57 left, but were unable to get a basket the rest of the way and Sacramento owned a 10-point edge, 81-71, entering the final frame.

Howard threw down a thunderous dunk just under a minute into the fourth to make it 81-75. The Kings, though, went on a 12-4 swing to go up 93-79 with 5:42 left and the Rockets couldn't get closer than 12 the rest of the way.

The score was knotted at 28-28 after 12 minutes and Sacramento led 57-49 at the break.

Game Notes

Sacramento outscored the Rockets 52-42 in the paint ... The Kings scored 20 points off 17 Houston turnovers ... The Rockets were a dismal 22-for-38 from the free throw line.

12/16 00:14:07 ET