Kings Earn 4-1 Road Trip

By Rob Small,

For most of the season, the Sacramento Kings never won three games in a row. It was about to become a reality when they up by three points against the Philadelphia 76ers last Sunday.

Unfortunately for the Kings, a desperation three-pointer by the Sixers’ Lou Williams sent the game into overtime. It seemed like Philadelphia wanted wanted to win their seventh-straight game over the Kings, but six is all they would get.

Kings center Samuel Dalembert, who played in Philadelphia for eight season before getting traded to Sacramento last year, put the game on ice by making two free throws. The Kings beat the Sixers 114-111.

Dalembert scored 13 points to go with a season-high 19 rebounds in his return to Philadelphia. Teammate Marcus Thornton exploded for 19 of his 32 points in the third quarter.

Despite losing their previous five games that ended in overtime, Kings coach Paul Westphal said his team fought through.

“We haven’t been a good closing team for most of the year,” he said in a postgame interview. ” But lately we’ve improved in that area, too. We just said, ‘Look, if we would’ve made a last-second shot we’d be happy because it’s still a tie game.’

“So the fact that they made it, we were sad. Big deal. It’s a tie game. It still gives us five minutes. We came out and we made a couple three-point plays, an old-fashioned one and one from the corner. It got us off to a good start and then our defense took it from there.”

Tyreke Evans came back Friday in a win over the Indiana Pacers. He missed 19 straight games because of plantar fasciitis on his left foot.

Player of the Week

Thornton has been playing at a high level since joining the Kings. Perhaps it’s because he’s getting the minutes that he didn’t get before he was traded for New Orleans.

The second-year is averaging 24.6 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the team’s three-game winning streak. Surely, he’s been a welcome addition to the Kings.

It’ll be interesting to see how he and Evans gel for the remainder of the season.

Rookie Performance

DeMarcus Cousins has had a roller coaster of a first season, but he’s seen plenty of improvement on the court since his first few games. He’s played well lately, averaging 14.3 points, 10 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game during the past three games.

Cousins has shown a lot of the skills a team wants from a versatile big man. If he stays the course and tones his attitude down as he matures, he’s sure to be a great player for years to come.

Play of the Week

Thorton hits a big time three -pointer to tie the game late in the fourth quarter against the Sixers.

What’s Next?

The Kings will host the Phoenix Suns today and will travel to play the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.

The Kings will fly back home to play Denver on Friday and the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

Off the court, the City of Sacramento is still trying to keep the Kings from moving to Anaheim. Assistant City Manager John Dangberg sent this letter, asking them to “cease negotiating with the  Kings.”

At this point, it looks like the Kings are playing their last five games in Sacramento.

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