SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – DeMarcus Cousins found himself in an unusual place Sunday night, sitting on the bench the entire fourth quarter. Sacramento’s center liked the feeling of not being needed in a rare lopsided win by the Kings.
Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points to lead the Kings to their third straight win with this season’s biggest rout, a 124-80 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 44-point victory margin was the largest in the NBA this season, according to STATS and the third-largest margin in franchise history.
The Kings scored 16 straight points in the third quarter and led by 28 points heading into the fourth. The three-game winning streak is Sacramento’s first since December 2012.
Cousins, an All-Star hopeful, finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in just under 30 minutes.
“It felt weird, sitting out the whole fourth. Unless I fouled out, I don’t think I’ve ever been in that situation,” Cousins said. “It felt good to see some of the guys play a lot of minutes and get out there and have good games. It was a good win all around.”
These are rare times indeed for the Kings. The three-game win streak has been no fluke. Sacramento defeated Portland, then followed with a 20-point victory over Orlando and the victory over Cleveland, their highest point total of the season and easily their most impressive victory.
The Kings allowed Orlando to score 83 points, a season low until Cleveland only scored 80.
“Consistency isn’t something we’ve shown defensively, but the last three games I think the defense has been consistent, the effort has been there, and the communication has been there,” Kings coach Michael Malone said. “We bought in the last three games and protected our home court. That’s great.”
Grizzlies 108, Hawks 101
In Memphis, Mike Conley had 21 points and 13 assists, and Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies over Atlanta.
Spurs 104, Timberwolves 86
In San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half as the Spurs held off Minnesota for their fourth straight win.