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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Jason Thompson, who finished with 10 points for the Kings, dives for a loose ball.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    The Kings' Isaiah Thomas celebrates a 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of Sacramento's 131-127 victory over the Warriors.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    The Kings' Thomas Robinson lets loose with a kick as he is fouled by the Warriors' Festus Ezeli.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings talks with a teammate during a break in the action against the Warriors. Cousins scored 24 points.

Kings find scoring touch, hold off Warriors to snap five-game losing skid

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 - 6:08 pm

Scoring has been a problem for the Kings for most of the season.

So when the offensively challenged Kings had 99 points (they average 99.4) and an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, it seemed as if things were going to work out just fine.

It did in the end for the Kings, but it wasn't easy.

For the second consecutive game, the Kings blew a double-digit lead. This time the Kings had enough left in the tank to withstand a rally by the Warriors for a 131-127 win Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

The win ended a five-game losing streak in which the Kings rediscovered all the things they talk about doing on offense but struggle to do with regularity.

The Kings shot well (43 of 86; 50 percent), shared the ball (25 assists) and had balanced scoring with seven players in double figures to finish with a season high in points.

"I have another game to show when we move the basketball, when we share, and also show them what we didn't do," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "When we didn't do those things, what happened? We turned the ball over."

The Kings had only 10 turnovers, which helped overcome their rut in the fourth quarter when the Warriors took a 117-114 lead with 4:33 to play.

Ironically, the Kings were able to regain control with 2:13 to play by calling an isolation play, the kind of play the Kings have been enamored with too much when playing poorly on offense.

The Kings were trying to isolate Stephen Curry, who had torched the Kings with 23 points in the second half.

The ball went to John Salmons, who attacked the basket and drew Curry's sixth foul to get him out of the game.

The score was 118-118 at the time. Salmons made one of two free throws and the Kings didn't trail again.

"It's the one time we really wanted someone to hold the ball and iso," Smart said. "We wanted that to happen because we had to get this guy out of the game somehow, hoping we would bait him into fouling."

Besides the season high in points, the assists total matched a season high, too. But the Kings also gave up a season-high points for the second time in three games (Denver scored 122 Sunday).

It was the second time this season the Kings had seven players score in double figures. The last time was Nov. 7 in a win over Detroit.

"We got a lot of easy baskets, which helped our offense," said center DeMarcus Cousins. "I had a lot of free throws early in the game and that kind of got my offense going. … Those easy shots gave us confidence."

Cousins led the Kings (8-17) with 24 points. Aaron Brooks had a season-high 23 points. Marcus Thornton had 19 points off the bench and Jason Thompson matched a season high with 15 rebounds.

Francisco Garcia didn't finish the game because of a sore lower back. He landed hard on the floor when he went airborne and was called for a foul on Draymond Greene with 2:15 to play in the second quarter.

Thornton started the second half for Garcia. It was Thornton's first game back after missing the previous four to visit his mother, who had been ill.

The Kings were already without guard Tyreke Evans (sore left knee).

Curry finished with a season-high 32 points for Golden State (17-9). David Lee had 29 points and Jarrett Jack 28 points off the bench.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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