Kings rout LeBron-less Cavaliers 103-84
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds and the Sacramento Kings beat Cleveland 103-84 on Sunday night, the Cavaliers’ seventh loss in eight games with LeBron James out with a strained back and sore left knee.
Rudy Gay added 23 points for Sacramento. Darren Collison had 16, and Carl Landry 11.
Kevin Love led the Cavaliers with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving scored 14 of his 21 points in the first quarter and had seven assists. Timofey Mozgov, acquired from Denver last week, had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
JR Smith struggled after scoring 27 points in his second game since joining Cleveland in a trade with New York. He had four points on 2-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes.
Cleveland is 1-8 in its last nine games to drop to 19-19.
It was a rare lopsided victory for Sacramento. The Kings have struggled mightily since opening the season 9-5 record. It was only their seventh win since Nov. 26.
The Kings were at their best in the second quarter, sharing the ball and forcing the Cavaliers to take perimeter shots. Ben McLemore made a 3-pointer, and Gay and Cousins followed with baskets as Sacramento closed out the quarter with seven straight points to take a 15-point halftime lead.
Cavaliers: James was on the floor with his teammates and shooting Saturday at practice and again prior to the game. Cavaliers coach David Blatt said there is a possibility that James could practice Monday. Cleveland’s five-game West Coast trip concludes Friday night against the Clippers.
Kings: It was an excellent first half for the Kings, who shot 54 percent and committed one turnover in leading 59-44. They finished with season-low five turnovers. … Former baseball player and manager Dusty Baker, who grew up in Sacramento, was among the boisterous crowd.
Cavaliers: Visit Phoenix on Tuesday night.
Kings: Host Dallas on Tuesday night.