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  • PAUL KITAGAKI JR. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    The Kings' Tyreke Evans (13) and the 76ers' Dorell Wright go after a loose ball. Evans had 19 points and eight assists.

  • PAUL KITAGAKI JR. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    The 76ers' Spencer Hawes battles the Kings' Jason Thompson for a rebound. Hawes was booed throughout Sunday's game.

Kings run out of gas in loss to 76ers

Published: Monday, Mar. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 12:13 pm

As Sunday's game progressed, it became obvious that whatever energy the Kings used in a competitive loss Saturday at Denver wasn't existent at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings teased early, building a 13-point lead in the second quarter before wilting and losing to the Philadelphia 76ers 117-103.

Philadelphia (27-42), which entered the game as the league's lowest-scoring team (92.4-point average), outhustled and picked apart Sacramento (25-46).

The 76ers surpassed their season high in scoring by eight points and matched their season high with 31 assists. They also outrebounded the Kings 48-37, including 17 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points.

"Those are all energy and effort plays," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "We had the juice for a moment, then we lost it after that, and we couldn't complete what we were doing."

As the Kings lost their vigor, the 76ers picked up theirs. In the final three quarters, Philadelphia shot 53.6 percent (37 of 69) and scored 95 points.

"We couldn't contain the ball," Smart said. "We could not keep the ball out of the paint in operating areas. Once you get guys that are known shooters hot in the building, it's going to be hard to cool those guys down."

Dorell Wright came off the Philadelphia bench to make six three-pointers and score 22 points. Reserve Lavoy Allen had a career-high 20 points. All-Star Jrue Holiday had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The Kings got only eight points and nine rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins, who was slowed by foul trouble. Tyreke Evans had 19 points and matched his season high with eight assists, but he fell ill at halftime.

"I feel a little weak – I was throwing up at halftime," Evans said. "Tried to go back in the fourth quarter but just wasn't feeling good. So I'll go to the doctor and see what's up."

Cousins left the game with a long scratch under his right eye. He wasn't sure how he sustained it.

Isaiah Thomas had 25 points but no assists, a stat that bothered him.

"I'm going to watch film," Thomas said. "I felt like I made the passes that I needed to make. It just didn't go down. I'm going to try to make sure it doesn't happen again for sure."

Smart noted Thomas had nine assists Saturday and said Sunday just wasn't his night in that area.

"The best way to get your assists is to push the ball in transition," Smart said. "All the good point guards push the tempo and get their guys quick layups and they get shots there."

But to push the ball, the Kings needed to play with liveliness that wasn't there in the second half, when the 76ers pulled away from a tie and eventually led by 21.

Even though the Kings had at least 100 points for the 18th time in the last 21 games (and for the 11th straight time at home), they could only ponder what went wrong.

"It was our offense and our defense," John Salmons said. "For whatever reason, we just wasn't into it. It's definitely a bad loss for us.

"We expected to win this game, especially after playing Denver close. We've just got to get back to the drawing board in practice, try to go on the road and get a couple of wins."

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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