Without Rajon Rondo, the Sacramento Kings still had little trouble in beating the Houston Rockets, 107-97 on Tuesday night.
Veteran back-up point guard Darren Collison started in place of Rondo and turned in Rondo-like numbers for the Kings with 14 points, 13 assists and 8 turnovers while DeMarcus Cousins dropped a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds.
Two other Kings starters also played well with Omri Caspi adding 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting with 6 rebounds and 6 assists and Rudy Gay contributing 17 points, 13 rebounds and 6 steals.
The Kings have now won three straight games after three straight losses to start December while the Rockets, who have been playing of late, have now lost back-to-back games and is 0-2 in a current three-game road trip that ends Thursday when they meet the Los Angeles Lakers.
After a high scoring first quarter, which was tied at 31-all, the scoring went down as the Kings started to work on the defensive end. For the game, Sacramento held the Rockets to 34-of-82 field goal shooting (41.5 percent) and 12-of-39 three-point shooting (30.8 percent). The Kings also outrebounded the Rockets, 47-36 and survived despite committing 28 turnovers.
Rockets star James Harden had 33 points on an efficient 10-of-18 shooting and 4-of-8 from behind the arc but the rest of the team did not produce much offense on this night. Jason Terry and Patrick Beverley had 14 points apiece.
The Kings will have an upcoming four-game road trip with match-ups against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers starting Friday.