SACRAMENTO -- Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and Sacramento rallied from a deficit early in the period to defeat the Houston Rockets 117-111 before a crowd of 15,526 at Sleep Train Arena on Sunday night.
The Kings (19-33) won at home for the second night in a row, having beaten the Utah Jazz on Saturday. They improved to 14-12 at Sleep Train Arena.
The Rockets (28-25) slipped to 10-17 on the road. They had won six of their previous eight games before Sunday.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins scored consistently when he was on the floor, but he battled foul trouble. He picked up his fifth foul early in the fourth quarter and rode the bench as the Kings roared back for the victory.
Cousins scored 20 points in 24 minutes, but the smallest King, Thomas, led his team back. Forward John Salmons added 23 points and six assists for Sacramento.
The Rockets, who trails only the Oklahoma City Thunder in points per game, bolted to a double-digit lead at the start of the fourth. It was the first time either team was in front by at least 10 points.
However, Thomas sparked the Kings' lackluster offense with his long-distance shooting as well as his ability to take the ball to the basket. Thomas made two of three 3-point attempts, and he went 13-for-13 at the foul line. He was ably assisted by Salmons, who made four of seven 3-point attempts.
While Cousins was on the bench, reserve center and former Rockets favorite Chuck Hayes contributed mightily with eight points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
James Harden, the league's fifth-leading scorer at 26 points per game, produced a game-high 30 points. The Rockets were hurt down the stretch when starting point guard Jeremy Lin fouled out with 2:40 left in the fourth. Lin finished with 12 points and six assists.
Patrick Patterson scored 18 points for Houston, and Omer Asik added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
NOTES: Sunday night's game was the first of three meetings between the teams. The Rockets visit Sacramento again on April 3, and the Kings play at Houston on April 14. ... The Rockets started a three-game road swing through California. They play the Golden State Warriors in Oakland on Tuesday, then the Clippers in Los Angeles on Wednesday. ... The Rockets and the Kings each have had seven-game losing streaks this season. ... The Kings averaged 11.2 steals during their previous six games. ... Houston coach Kevin McHale said before the game, "I watched the Kings play (Saturday night), and they played well. In this business, you're only as good as your last game, so I'd say they are pretty good. They are tough because they'll take tough shots but make them."