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  • Ross D. Franklin / The Associated Press

    DeMarcus Cousins (15) is fouled by the Suns’ Miles Plumlee on a dunk attempt. Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds.

  • Michael Chow / The Associated Press

    Phoenix’s Goran Dragic, left, and the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins, who wore a brace on his left shoulder, scramble for the ball.

  • Ross D. Franklin / The Associated Press

    The Kings’ Isaiah Thomas (22) gets off a pass as the Suns’ Goran Dragic, left, and Dionte Christmas defend. Thomas scored 11 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Joint effort by Kings delivers second straight win

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 - 11:29 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 - 6:47 am

It was a scene that happened more than once Wednesday night.

When a King made a good play, multiple teammates stood and cheered with approval.

It was all about the team as the Kings had multiple players contribute to their 113-106 win over the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.

Every King who played scored and five reached double figures. The Kings (4-7) posted their first road win of the season, scored a season high and have won consecutive games for the first time this season by sweeping the home-and-home set with the Suns. The Kings have beaten Phoenix in their last four meetings dating to last season.

Phoenix played without its leading scorer, Eric Bledsoe (bruised shin), in both games. But the Kings had lost seven of their previous eight games before playing the Suns, so they’re welcoming any good fortune.

And they were happy to see each other do well, something that hasn’t always been obvious from a team that’s been labeled selfish in recent seasons.

“That’s the difference between good teams and bad teams,” said guard Isaiah Thomas. “No matter what, everyone is cheering for each other good or bad. We’ve got to know that and understand that when things aren’t going good for us, we’ve got to cheer each other on and try to stay positive. (Wednesday) even when they went on their run toward the end, guys were saying just stay focused and let’s get this win and get out of here.”

The Kings led by 20 with 7:54 to play after holding the Suns to 12 points in the third quarter, a season low for a Sacramento opponent. But the Suns scored 44 points in the fourth quarter, the most the Kings have allowed in a quarter this season.

The Suns (5-6) cut the lead to 102-96 with 1:15 to play, but the Kings held on. Eight different Kings played in the final period, when Thomas scored 11 of his team-high 23 points.

Kings coach Michael Malone said Phoenix’s 44-point fourth quarter irked him, but he was happy with the win and how his team worked as a unit.

“We don’t have the two or three perennial All-Stars. It’s going to take a group effort every night on both ends,” said Malone. “That third quarter to see how well we defended as a team. How Luc (Mbah a Moute) took a guy that was killing us (Gerald Green) and took him out of the game in essence.

“And even offensively I think we’re trying to share the ball. Guys are playing for each other on both ends of the floor, which I think is the beginning of us truly changing the culture here in Sacramento.”

Green finished with 23 points, three after halftime. The Suns’ Goran Dragic had a game-high 31 points.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins played with a brace on his left shoulder to keep it in the socket a night after injuring it. He didn’t have a good shooting night (4 of 14) but still finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds.

“It hurt during the game, but I found a way to play through it,” Cousins said.

Cousins produced at the free-throw line, making 11 of 15. He absorbed several hard hits and falls, which he said was no coincidence with the injury.

“I’m sure that had something to do with it,” Cousins said.

Cousins said the Kings need to maintain their collective attitude. The game is more enjoyable when everyone is a part of the success.

“Everybody’s having fun,” Cousins said. “Everybody feels like they’re putting their part in and we’re having fun playing basketball.”

Cousins enjoyed cheering on his teammates, too.

“You see your teammates are happy for you, it’s going to make you want to play harder and vice versa,” Cousins said.

NEXT GAME

KINGS AT L.A. CLIPPERS

• When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

• TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140, 950

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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