The final minute of the game belonged to Cousins alone, who for the second time this season outplayed his counterpart, Dwight Howard, by finishing with 17 points, 16 rebounds and four steals. The stat line only tells part of the story, however.
In all-star fashion, when his team needed him most in the final minute, Cousins collected a key offensive rebound and putback on his game-clinching basket, then collected a steal, leading to an easy layup on the other end by Ben McLemore. He put the finishing touches on his masterpiece performance by taking a charge to force yet another turnover and seal the win.
Rudy Gay led the Kings in scoring with 25 points and added six rebounds.
James Harden was brilliant in the loss and led all scorers with 38 points to go with 10 rebounds, though he committed five turnovers, including two critical giveaways in the final 60 seconds that were forced by Cousins. Howard complemented Harden's performance with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Rockets executed almost flawlessly in the third frame, shooting 50 percent from the field while committing just two turnovers. They forced five turnovers and scored seven points off the takeaways during their best 12 minutes of play.
Through the first half, the Kings were poised and efficient, shooting 50 percent from the field and only committing six turnovers before giving way to a 34-22 third quarter by Houston. They came back and dominated the fourth, 30-20, and upset the Rockets for the second time this season.
Houston shot just 25 percent from the three-point line and committed 16 total turnovers against just 13 by the Kings.