Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Rudy Gay complemented Cousins with 21 points, and Sacramento held on by the skin of its teeth for its first three-game winning streak since November.
"The energy of the team and the spirit of the team right now since I have been here, this is by far the best," said Kings coach George Karl.
Robert Covington netted a team-high 21 points for the Sixers, who have dropped 16 straight on the road. Thomas Robinson, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 by the Kings, scored a career-high 16 points against his former team, while Nerlens Noel held his own against Cousins with 14 points, 10 boards and six blocked shots.
Covington scored 12 points in a 1:14 span in the middle stages of the fourth quarter, connecting on three 3-pointers and converting a three-point play the old-fashioned way.
His triple with 6:12 remaining broke a 100-100 tie and signified the Sixers' last make from the field. From there, they went 0-for-5 and committed eight of their 21 turnovers.
Two Gay free throws pulled Sacramento even at 105-105 with 1:20 remaining, and on the next Kings possession, Ray McCallum snuck for a putback of a Cousins miss.
After Covington went 1-of-2 at the foul line with 39.5 seconds to go, Noel blocked a Cousins shot and forced him into a rushed fadeaway that drew iron.
Brett Brown called timeout with 8.2 seconds remaining and tried having Thompson play hero.
Cousins, though, stripped the ball near the foul line, and the Kings survived a tight battle.
The Sixers, the lowest scoring team in the NBA this season, exploded for 70 points in the first half -- just 21 below their average coming in. They shot 56.3 percent from the field, made eight 3-pointers and only turned it over four times.
Cousins' double-double in the first half (21-10) helped the Kings keep pace in the up-and-down style of play, but they still trailed 70-63 at the break.
Things slowed down considerably in the third quarter, and a 10-point Philadelphia lead was erased with a 14-0 Kings run. Gay scored the final six points of the surge, and the hosts were in front 87-84 entering the fourth.
Notes: Ish Smith totaled 13 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers for the Sixers, who made 13 3s ... The Kings outscored Philadelphia at the free throw line 30-13 ... Sacramento will start a four-game road trip Wednesday against Phoenix ... Philadelphia, which had won six straight in Sacramento, closes out its three-game trek at Denver on Wednesday.