Coming into Monday night, the Sacramento Kings had never won at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in 14 attempts.
The streak is no more. Sacramento withstood one injury after another and still managed to come away with a 116-104 victory over the Thunder on their home floor.
DeMarcus Cousins dominated the glass, finishing with a season-high 19 rebounds on the night. The All-Star big added 33 points and two blocks in 38 minutes of action. When big man Steven Adams got in foul trouble in both the first and second halves, Cousins demolished the Thunder in the post.
For the third-straight game, Marco Belinelli caught fire. The veteran was so good off the bench in the first half, George Karl started him after the break. Over his last three games, Belinelli is averaging 22.7 points on 58.5 percent shooting from the field.
When Rajon Rondo is on, he’s one of the top passers in the league. Monday in Oklahoma, he was the Kings' best playmaker, and his effort on the defensive end was stellar. Rondo barely missed a triple-double, finishing with 13 points, 19 assists, nine rebounds and five steals. He handed the ball over a team-high six times, but you can overlook that in a big win.
Darren Collison once again provided the spark off the bench, dropping in 14 points and dishing out four assists. Kosta Koufos added eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein started the second half and looked very good. The 7-footer ran the floor and was active on the glass. He finished the night with a modest eight points and three rebounds, but left the game in the fourth quarter after slicing the middle finger on his right hand.
The Kings left Serge Ibaka open the entire and the 26-year-old defensive specialist made them pay. Ibaka finished the night with 25 points and seven rebounds. All-Star Russell Westbrook kicked in 17 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds, but he was outplayed by Rondo.
Adams managed to put up 15 points and 10 rebounds, but he played just 26 minutes due to foul trouble. Sharpshooter Anthony Morrow added 20 points on 3-of-6 shooting from deep and rookie Cameron Payne dropped in 11 off the Thunder bench.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
George Karl picked up win number 1156, passing Phil Jackson for fifth place on the all-time coaching wins list.
Cousins was a beast. The star center manhandled the Thunder down low and almost finished with his first 30-point, 20-rebound game of the season. He was all smiles in this one.
The Kings trailed by 17 points in the first quarter at 31-14. They looked lost and out of sorts, but used a 17-0 run to tie the game at 31-31 before the quarter was over. They gave themselves a chance to win after a disastrous start when they easily could have folded.
Cauley-Stein needed three stitches in his right middle finger and is listed as day-to-day. Ben McLemore started the game, but sat coming out of halftime with middle back spasms. Omri Casspi missed Monday’s game with upper-back soreness. His availability for Tuesday’s game in Dallas is unknown at this time. Eric Moreland (left foot) and Duje Dukan (lower leg) are out indefinitely.
The Kings fly to Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Tuesday. Sacramento has lost 21 straight to the Mavs at the American Airlines Center.