|Date of game: 1/7/2014
Recap: Sacramento vs. Portland
Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMarcus Cousins had a monster outing of 35 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 123-119 win over the Portland Trail Blazers from Sleep Train Arena.
Rudy Gay chipped in 32 points on an efficient 10-of-16 shooting, including a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line in the win.
Isaiah Thomas netted 22 points to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds for the Kings, who snapped a two-game losing skid.
"I'm going to focus on the 13 points allowed in the third and the 43 percent shooting we held them to," said Kings coach Mike Malone. "I thought we defended at a very high level."
Damian Lillard set a new career high with 41 points for Portland, which lost for the first time in its last four tilts against Sacramento.
LaMarcus Aldridge donated 24 points and eight rebounds in the loss, while Robin Lopez had 18 points and Nicolas Batum recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Sacramento ended the final 4:51 of the third quarter on a 10-2 run for an 80-73 lead heading to the fourth.
Gay knocked down a 3 to begin the charge and Thomas added five points, including a jumper to cap it with 49.4 seconds left.
Gay then took over in the opening moments of the fourth, scoring the final nine points of a 14-5 run over the first 2:11 of the frame.
He buried a trey to cap the spurt and helped the Kings to a 94-78 lead. The margin swelled to 19, 102-83, following a Derrick Williams three-point play.
Portland pulled back to within 10 courtesy of a 10-2 run that Aldridge closed by banking in a jumper from the top of the key with 3:03 left.
Lillard scored five straight later in the fourth to cut the deficit to 117-110 with 45.6 seconds left. He then buried two 3s around a Quincy Acy free throw to make it 119-116 Kings.
Thomas stepped to the line and calmly hit both of his attempts, but he fouled Lillard shooting a 3 at the other end. Lillard canned the three attempts to make it a two-point game with 16.5 seconds to go.
Thomas buried another pair at the line and Lillard missed a 3 on the ensuing possession as Portland's comeback effort came up just short.
Portland ended the final 1:26 of the first quarter on a 9-2 sprint to bring a 35-24 lead into the second, but the Kings closed to within five, 60-55, at the break.
"Most of the night other than the first quarter we had trouble defending," said Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "In the end we didn't get enough stops."Game Notes
The Kings edged the Blazers in the paint with a 44-38 margin ... The Kings'
123 points is a season high ... Thomas tied a season-high in rebounds, while
Cousins tied a season-high for points ... Williams tallied 14 points off the
bench in the win ... Portland outrebounded Sacramento 51-48.