This was an all-around awful game for the Kings, who lost both DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) and Rudy Gay (Achilles) in the first half.
The Rockets, on the other hand, put on a clinic, as they saw three of their players post double-doubles (Howard, Chandler Parsons and Omri Casspi).
Houston outrebounded Sacramento 55-42, taking advantage of the fact that Cousins was no longer patrolling the middle after rolling his ankle in the second quarter.
The Rockets shot 48 percent from the floor and committed only 11 turnovers as opposed to the Kings who shot 40 percent and gave up the rock 14 times.
Derrick Williams had 22 points and 11 boards for Sacramento, which had actually beaten Houston in the two prior meetings this season.
The Rockets overcame poor shooting from long range (8-for-31) and the free-throw line (25-for-40) to earn the win.