SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – Sacramento Kings coach George Karl shrugged off his milestone 1,155th victory Saturday, preferring to focus on his team’s current plight rather than tying Phil Jackson for the fifth-most career victories in NBA history.
DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and nine rebounds to help give Karl and the struggling Kings some temporary relief with a 142-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who lost their eighth in a row.
It’s been a long journey for the 63-year-old Karl, who has a sparkling 1,155-795 record in 27 seasons, twice overcoming cancer in a five-year period.
Now he’s tasked with turning around a team that has experienced nine straight losing seasons.
Karl has a combined 23-39 record with the Kings, including a 13-20 mark this season that has been characterized by erratic play.
“Our record brings a lot of energizing drama to our team, and in today’s world it gets magnified in a crazy way,” Karl explained. “Our team has done a better job with what they have been dealt than people give them credit for most of the time.”
Sacramento’s point total is the most scored by the Kings since they had a Sacramento-era record 154 points against Philadelphia, 23 years ago on Jan. 2, 1993.
Darren Collison had 21 points and six assists for the Kings.
Warriors 111, Nuggets 108 (OT)
In Oakland, Klay Thompson made a driving finger roll with 15.6 seconds left in overtime and Golden State stayed undefeated at home.
Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry returned from a two-game absence because of a bruised lower left leg, but sustained a contusion on his left shin and didn’t play the entire second half. He finished with five points, four assists and two steals in 14-plus minutes.
Teammate Draymond Green had 29 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists.
Nets 100, Celtics 97
In Boston, Brook Lopez scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Brooklyn.
Spurs 121, Rockets 103
In San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points, Kawhi Leonard added 22 and the Spurs made a season-high 13 3-pointers in avenging an earlier loss to the Rockets.
Cavaliers 104, Magic 79
In Cleveland, LeBron James scored 29 points as the Cavaliers beat the Magic for a 13th straight time.
Pacers 94, Pistons 82
In Indianapolis, Paul George scored 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter.
Thunder 109, Hornets 90
In Charlotte, Kevin Durant had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Oklahoma City pulled away in the second half.
Bucks 95, Timberwolves 85
In Minneapolis, Greg Monroe had 19 points and 10 rebounds to help Milwaukee overcome O.J. Mayo’s wild ejection.
Pelicans 105, Mavericks 98
In Dallas, Anthony Davis had 31 points and 14 boards, and New Orleans ended a six-game losing streak in Dallas.
Jazz 92, Grizzlies 87 (OT)
In Salt Lake City, Rodney Hood scored a career-high 32 points in an overtime win.
Clippers 130, 76ers 99
In Los Angeles, DeAndre Jordan led six players in double figures with 22 points and 13 rebounds in a rout.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5