For all the drama on and off the court last season, DeMarcus Cousins made it to the season finale before picking up his 16th technical foul. Because it came in the last game of the season, the one-game suspension that is attached to the 16th technical foul in a season was waived.

This season, Cousins has 25 games to avoid a one-game banishment after picking up his 14th and 15th technical fouls for arguiing with the officials during Tuesday’s lopsided loss to the Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena. A one-game suspension would be assessed for every two technicals after No. 16, along with a fine for each technical.

Cousins was asked how he will avoid another technical foul. He leads the league in technicals this season.

“I can’t really answer that,” Cousins said Wednesday. “Hope for the best.”

The Kings need more than hope to keep Cousins on the floor. Coach Michael Malone said he will do what he can, including having technicals called on himself to take attention away from Cousins.

Malone was trying to do that Tuesday when Cousins left the bench to confront referee Courtney Kirkland after he received the first technical foul. That backfired.

“Coach got mad, so I got madder,” Cousins said. “Just a bad situation that shouldn’t have happened.”

Malone said Cousins is aware he can’t put himself in those situations.