Cousins had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Gay contributed 22
points and 10 rebounds as the Kings rolled past the Orlando Magic
103-83 on Friday night at Sleep Train Arena for their second
straight home victory.
"This," Kings coach Michael Malone said, "is kind of uncharted
territory for us."
The victory gave Sacramento consecutive victories in their building
for the first time since March 19-21, 2013, and, in the words of
their coach, "validated" a 123-119 victory over the Portland Trail
Blazers on Tuesday night.
That win, over a team near the top of the Western Conference
standings, exemplified the Kings' tendency to play at level
commensurate with its opponent this season.
The Kings were 2-6 in home games against teams currently below .500
before beating Portland. They followed a home win over the defending
champion Miami Heat on Dec. 27 with consecutive home losses to the
Philadelphia 76ers and Charlotte Bobcats, teams with a combined
"We had the right mindset," Malone said. "We didn't play to their
record. We played the way we needed to play no matter who we were
playing. I thought that was evident in our approach, and in how we
defended at such a high level for all 48 minutes."
The Kings held the Magic to 33.3 percent shooting from the field,
outrebounded them 54-37 and outscored them 48-24 in the paint.
The Kings turned a close game into a rout by using a 26-10 blitz in
the third quarter, during which Cousins, Gay and point guard Isaiah
Thomas combined to score all but five points.
Sacramento also received a lift from its bench, with guards Jimmer
Fredette and Ben McLemore, forwards Derrick Williams Quincy Acey and
center Aaron Gray leading an 8-1 run in the first three minutes of
the second quarter that erased a 24-18 deficit.
Fredette finished with 11 points, scoring eight straight later in
the second quarter.
"We could've had a better start," Cousins said. "The second unit
came in and did a great job, really got the game going, and we
finished the game off strong."
[to top of second column]
Forward Tobias Harris scored 16 points, forward Aaron Afflalo
added 15 and center Glen Davis contributed 12 points and 12
rebounds for Orlando.
But the Magic matched their longest skid of the season by losing
their sixth straight. Orlando played without center Nikola
Vucevic, who was sent home after suffering a concussion on
"It's tough, and at the same time we have to stay positive,"
Harris said. "We have another game (Saturday), so we have to
have short-term memory."
Cousins produced his ninth consecutive double-double and his
22nd of the season for Sacramento. Gay had his second
double-double in three games.
"He helps this team so much," Cousins said of Gay. "Another
option offensively is size. It helps us a lot on defense. He's
been a great addition."
Williams and forward Jason Thompson added 14 points each for
Sacramento, and Thomas had 11. Thomas also extended his streak
of making at least one 3-pointer to 28 consecutive games.
The Kings led only 46-45 after Orlando scored the first five
points of the third quarter, but Cousins, Gay and Thomas
combined to score 17 of the next 26 points. The trio was
averaging 66.8 points in 13 previous games since Gay was
acquired from Toronto last month, accounting for about 63
percent of the Sacramento offense.
NOTES: Magic C Nikola Vucevic missed his second straight game
and is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion against the
Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday. The team sent Vucevic back to
Orlando. ... Magic G Ronnie Price missed this third straight
game with a sinus condition. ... The Kings' defensive troubles
have been a point of emphasis for coach Michael Malone.
Sacramento was allowing an average of 105.0 points per game
before Friday, better than only the Philadelphia 76ers in the
NBA. ... Sacramento had allowed at least 30 points in the first
quarter in their three previous games and at least 28 in 11 of
the previous 13. The Kings held the Magic to 24 points in the
first 12 minutes on Friday, only the second time in 15 games
they had held an opponent below 25 in the first quarter.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.