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    DeMarcus Cousins (15) fends off the Celtics' Brandon Bass as he prepares to pass to Francisco Garcia, who made a three-pointer.


    Isaiah Thomas exults after a dunk by Tyler Honeycutt off DeMarcus Cousins' 10th assist.

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Cousins gets triple double as Kings beat Celtics

Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 4, 2013 - 12:36 pm

If you know anything about DeMarcus Cousins, you know there are two statistics he really cares about.

One is rebounds. He believes no matter how bad a shooting night he might have, there's no reason he shouldn't rebound at a high rate.

The other is assists. He hates seeing a low number or a zero in that category.

But in 169 NBA games, Cousins had not had more than nine assists.

And entering Sunday night's game against the Boston Celtics at Sleep Train Arena, he was averaging 2.2 assists this season.

But Cousins finally reached 10 assists and recorded his first triple double as the Kings won for the third time in four games, 118-96.

Cousins was given the game ball after finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"It's exciting," Cousins said of having the game ball. "I always wanted to get a triple double. It's definitely exciting."

Cousins admitted he was surprised it took him so long to have 10 assists.

"I came close a couple times my rookie year," he said. "But it was going to happen, and it happened."

Cousins led the Kings' passing attack, which tallied 28 assists. The Kings have registered 28 or more assists in four consecutive games after struggling much of the season in that category.

"Teams are going to double (Cousins), and they had a small lineup on the floor, so he kind of baited those guys to come and help and got some wide-open shots for our guys," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "And from penetration to the basket, he made a couple of kicks, so I'm happy for him.

"Some nights it's just not going to be a night for him to have 20, 30 points, but if our team is successful, that's the bottom line."

Cousins 10th assist came with 1:18 left in the game when he found Tyler Honeycutt for a dunk.

The emphasis on finding open teammates has been a big part of practices lately. Cousins figured Sunday would be a good night to go for a big assist total.

"I kind of had an idea (a triple double was within reach), so I was like, I'm going to try and get 15," Cousins said. "I really didn't know what the exact number was, but I was going to try and get 15."

The last triple double by a King was by Beno Udrih at Cleveland on March 28, 2010. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in a 97-90 Kings loss.

The last Kings center to achieve a triple double was Brad Miller on April 10, 2007. He had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a 112-100 Kings win at Memphis.

The Kings (11-19) had six players in double figures, led by Isaiah Thomas with a season-high 27 points. John Salmons had 23 points, and Jason Thompson scored a season-high 20.

Paul Pierce and Jason Terry led Boston (14-16) with 20 points each.

The Kings had to deal with another injury concern. Guard Marcus Thornton left with 7:40 to play in the third quarter because of a sprained left ankle.

Thornton landed awkwardly after being fouled by Terry on a made three-pointer. He had to be helped off the court – James Johnson replaced him and sank the free throw – and had the ankle taped after the game. He said he would receive more treatment on it today.

"I haven't had a chance to see him yet," Smart said. "But obviously he's in a lot of pain. He may be out for a little bit."

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