SACRAMENTO -- The switch was hit. Dave Joerger must have said something special in his halftime speech to motivate his players on Monday night. After trailing by nine at the break, the Sacramento Kings dominated the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter to come away with a big 116-92 victory.
This was a ball game, and then DeMarcus Cousins happened. The All-Star big went off for 16 of his 31 points in a wild third quarter. Cousins destroyed Timofey Mozgov in the post and then started raining down 3-balls. He added 16 rebounds and five assists, although he turned the ball over eight times..
With both Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore sidelined to injuries, Darren Collison stepped in and filled the scoring void. The veteran point guard scored 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting and added four assists.
Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple started the second half for Gay and McLemore and came up big. Casspi attacked the Lakers defense, scoring 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Temple added 16 points on 7-of-8 from the field.
Kosta Koufos added 10 points and seven rebounds as the Kings snapped their two-game losing streak.
D’Angelo Russell led the way for the Lakers, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Veteran Luol Deng added 16 points and four assists.
Jordan Clarkson chipped in 15 points off the bench and the Kings cooled the red-hot shooting Lou Williams, holding him to just 14 points on 3-of-14 shooting.
With the win, the Kings sent the Lakers away with their seventh consecutive loss.
Cousins was a machine, but Collison’s impact on the game was huge. Collison’s been waiting for a breakout game and finally had it in a must-win game for Sacramento.
The Lakers walked out of halftime with a nine-point lead and ran into a buzzsaw. Cousins and company destroyed Los Angeles in the third quarter with a 39-13 run to take a 17-point lead into the fourth.
McLemore started the game, but only lasted four minutes before he took a knee to the thigh from Lakers big man Timofey Mozgov. McLemore did not return to the game with what is being listed as a left thigh contusion. Gay injured himself in the second quarter, going down with a right hip flexor injury and did not return. Matt Barnes missed his second game in three games to rest.
The Kings begin another three-game road trip Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.