Cousins' big night leads Kings past Magic, 97-91
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) At times during his career, frustration has gotten the best of Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins.
He did the frustrating against the Orlando Magic.
Cousins had 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Kings held off the Magic 97-91 on Saturday night.
It was just the latest complete performance for Cousins, who has recorded four straight games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. He also went 13 for 15 from the free throw line and had six assists.
''I don't think I was as aggressive as I usually am, but that's just kind of how the game went,'' Cousins said. ''I didn't really have to be as aggressive, we kept moving the ball.''
He was back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for hitting Atlanta's Al Horford with a forearm to the head on Wednesday.
Cousins carried the offensive load for the Kings in the first half, scoring 15 points. Sacramento entered the night averaging nearly 104 points per game, but recovered from shooting just 37 percent from the field in the opening 24 minutes.
Rajon Rondo added 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Sacramento, which had lost two in a row. Marco Belinelli chipped in 13 points off the bench.
Trailing 65-61, the Kings outscored the Magic 22-2 in the final 5:03 of the third quarter to take an 83-67 lead into the fourth. Sacramento led by as many as 16 points in the final period.
Orlando surged within 87-80 in the fourth, but after Evan Fournier was called for a technical for arguing an offensive foul, the Kings got the lead back up to double digits.
''We came apart when the ball was thrown up tonight,'' Magic coach Skiles said. ''We just couldn't find a way to stabilize ourselves.''
Tobias Harris led the Magic with 24 points. Fournier added 17.
The Magic were 1 for 8 from the field with five turnovers during Sacramento's third-quarter spurt. Those five turnovers led to eight Kings points. Orlando also had just eight free throw attempts for the game, compared to 31 for Sacramento.
After being benched in the second half of the Magic's win over Minnesota on Wednesday, center Nik Vucevic started on Saturday and appeared more engaged on both ends of the floor.
He finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, but again sat the entire fourth quarter as the Magic tried to get back into the game.
TIP-INS: The Kings were 28 of 31 from the free throw line. ... Sacramento's bench outscored the Magic's 36-21. ...Vucevic recorded his fourth double-double of the season. ...The Magic were called for three technical fouls, including one on Skiles.
Despite reportedly having issues at times with Cousins since taking over as Sacramento's coach, George Karl scoffed at the notion that he is tough to coach. ''Cous is a frustrated guy who wants to win,'' Karl said. ''Sometimes it gets to him maybe in a negative way, but he cares, he wants to win and he lashes out sometimes in maybe a disruptive way. But he's doing it because he wants to win.''
One of the goals Skiles set for his team this season was to see it to improve on an opponent field goal percentage that ranked 28th in the league last season. It's early, but entering Saturday the Magic were on track, allowing opponents to shoot just 42.3 percent this season. That ranked fourth among NBA teams.
Kings: Visit Charlotte on Monday.
Magic: At Cavaliers on Monday.
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