Player of the game: James Harden scored a career-high 51 points and had eight rebounds and six assists to overshadow a triple double by fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, who had 24 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists. Cousins also tied his career high for blocks with six.
Turning point: Omri Casspi’s dunk cut Houston’s lead to 104-102 with 5:50 to play. But the Kings came no closer after Harden scored the next 10 points for the Rockets.
Key stats: The Kings committed 21 turnovers that led to 27 Houston points. The Rockets sank 18 three-pointers.
X-factor: Houston’s Terrence Jones returned after suffering a collapsed lung and had 16 points, seven rebounds and a career-high seven blocks.
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Records: Kings 26-48; Rockets 51-24
Injury update: The Kings’ Rudy Gay (concussion) missed the game. The Rockets played without Dwight Howard (knee), Patrick Beverley (left wrist surgery), Donatas Motiejunas (low back pain) and Kostas Papanikolaou (right ankle sprain).
Up next: vs. New Orleans, Friday, 7 p.m., CSNCA