SACRAMENTO -- And then it was four. The Sacramento Kings continued their hot streak Monday night at Golden 1 Center, finishing off the Philadelphia 76ers by a final of 102-100. With the win, the Kings have now posted four straight victories to move to 14-17 on the season.
DeMarcus Cousins likes a good challenge, but Joel Embiid is about to be a lot more than that for opposing NBA teams. Cousins still managed to drop in a team-high 30 points while adding seven rebounds, five assists and three steals for Sacramento.
Rudy Gay returned after missing six straight with a right hip flexor strain. He looked rusty early in his first outing, but he found his game in the the fourth to kick in 17 points and nine rebounds in 36 minutes.
The Kings’ second unit continues to play a huge role in the team’s success. Ty Lawson led the way for the reserves, scoring 12 points and handing out four assists in the win.
Kosta Koufos struggled with foul trouble, which opened the door for Willie Cauley-Stein. The lanky big attacked the rim for nine points and four rebounds in 12 minutes of action.
Embiid is on his way to stardom. The 22-year-old big missed his first two NBA seasons due to injury, but he’s showing no ill-effects from the absence. The rookie went at Cousins the entire game, finishing with an impressive 25 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
With Embiid doing damage down low, Ersan Ilyasova got loose from the perimeter. The veteran forward knocked in 2-for-5 from long range on his way to 15 points.
Sergio Rodriguez added 18 points and five assists and rookie Dario Saric got going in the second half, finishing the night with 12 points and eight rebounds as the 76ers fell to 7-23 on the season.
Welcome back Rudy Gay. The veteran wing got off to a rough start, but he lit the Sixers up in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of his 17 points in a wild finish.
Cousins brought down the house with a 3-pointer with 20.9 remaining to give Sacramento the 99-97 lead. He hit a free throw late to help preserve the win and even blocked Embiid on a late 3-point attempt.
Rudy Gay returned to action after missing the previous six games with a strained right hip flexor. Arron Afflalo sat with a right elbow sprain.
The Kings hit the road for Portland where they’ll face the Trail Blazers on Wednesday looking to gain some much needed separation in the standings. They return home on Saturday to take on the Memphis Grizzlies at Golden 1 Center for a 2pm matinee.