This was a one-sided affair from very early on, as the Rockets led 50-19 in the second quarter, and Cousins didn't stick around to see the end of it.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter and Houston leading 73-54, Rockets center Dwight Howard stretched to finish an alley-oop dunk with Cousins underneath him. After the slam attempt missed, Cousins was called for a foul for leaning in Howard's direction, although there didn't appear to be much contact between the players.
After initially questioning the foul, Cousins was assessed a technical foul after Howard attempted his first free throw. Again, Cousins disputed that call and raised his hands as if to ask what he had done. At the next dead ball, Kings coach Michael Malone stood up for Cousins, but Cousins joined the conversation, shouting at referee Courtney Kirkland as Kings assistant coach Corliss Williamson tried to restrain him.
Kirkland then assessed Cousins a second technical foul, which triggered an automatic ejection, and Cousins lashed out one more time, attempting to confront Kirkland before he was escorted off the court. Cousins departed with 16 points (on 6-for-13 shooting) and six rebounds in 20 minutes.
After the game, Cousins issued an apology on Twitter.
"Disappointed with the way I acted out on the court tonight," he wrote. "I want to apologize and say sorry to my team and the fans for letting them down."
Cousins now has a league-high 15 technical fouls on the season and will face a one-game suspension following his next technical foul. This was his first ejection of the season. Last year, Cousins racked up a league-high 17 technical fouls and four ejections.
James Harden led the Rockets with a game-high 43 points (on 11-for-20 shooting) and eight assists in 31 minutes. Howard added 20 points (on 7-for-9 shooting) and 11 rebounds.
Rudy Gay led the Kings with 25 points (on 10-for-16 shooting) and six assists in 34 minutes.
Houston improved to 39-18 with the win. Sacramento dropped to 20-37 with the loss.Video via YouTube user cjzerovids | Hat tip: @CJZero