Gay, Thomas lead Kings past Sixers 115-98
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Sacramento Kings were keenly aware of the streak.
They just didn’t feel the need to talk about it.
Instead, they went out and played the attacking style their coaches want to see.
Rudy Gay scored 27 points, Isaiah Thomas added 20 and the Kings were 40 for 50 from the free throw line on their way to defeating Philadelphia 115-98 Wednesday night to extend the 76ers’ losing streak to 18 games.
”To be honest, we didn’t mention it once,” Kings coach Michael Malone said of the losing streak.
DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Ben McLemore scored 15 points for the Kings, who snapped a three-game skid. Jason Thompson added 14.
”I’m from around here so I know about it,” Thompson said. ”You don’t try to put extra pressure on yourself. Obviously, you don’t want to lose to any team.”
The Kings are in the midst of a seven-game, 12-day road trip, their longest of the season. They are 2-3 on the trip.
Henry Sims posted career-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds, James Anderson added 17 points and Thaddeus Young had 16 for Philadelphia, which fell to 15-49 in dropping its 14th in a row at home, an ongoing franchise record.
”My teammates were just trusting I’d make the right decision,” said Sims, who was acquired from Cleveland as part of a trade deadline deal for Spencer Hawes. ”A couple shots fell for me. I’m definitely proud, but I’d be more proud of a win. I just try to go out every game and it’s a new day, a new season. I try not to think about it. I just focus on the next game.”
Michael Carter-Williams had 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists just two nights after earning his second career triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists at New York.
Tony Wroten chipped in with 10 for the Sixers, who haven’t won since a 95-94 victory at Boston on Jan. 29.
”It’s not doom and gloom,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. ”We will have another good day tomorrow.”
The Sixers held a nine-point advantage in the first quarter before falling behind 58-54 at halftime.
After a subpar first half, Cousins showed why he was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft. He had 12 points and seven rebounds in the third quarter to help the Kings extend their lead to 90-76.
”We played good ball tonight,” Cousins said. ”We did a pretty decent job defensively. Still made some mistakes tonight, but we’ll take the win. We had some spurts where we let up. I feel we did a lot better than we did in some of the previous games, but we did step forward tonight, so let’s just continue to take steps forward and get a little streak going.”
The Kings didn’t allow the Sixers to gain any momentum, making a quick 7-2 run for a 97-78 lead.
By then, the crowd had largely dwindled as the Sixers moved closer to tying a franchise mark for most consecutive losses. The 1972-73 Sixers – who finished 9-73 and still own the fewest wins in an 82-game season – dropped 20 in a row.
The NBA record for consecutive losses belongs to Cleveland, which dropped 26 straight from Dec. 20, 2010, to Feb. 9. 2011.
The Sixers remain two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks (13-51) for the worst record in the league. The team with the worst mark will have a 25 percent chance of garnering the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery.
NOTES: Cousins earned his 40th double-double and his sixth in the last seven games. . Gay was 16 for 19 from the free throw line, both career-highs. … The Kings failed to register one assist in the first quarter and had just six at halftime. . The Sixers announced they had signed reserve F Jarvis Varnado for the remainder of the season.