THE FACTS: The Sacramento Kings (13-20) won their second road game in a row for their third road win of the season, defeating the Toronto Raptors (12-21) 105-96 at the Air Canada Centre on Friday night. Sacramento has now won six of their last nine games, led by DeMarcus Cousins' season-high 31 points and tied a career-high 20 rebounds, single-handedly dominating the Raptors. John Salmons added 20 points, while Jason Thompson scored 14.
With just over three minutes left in first half, the Kings went on a 10-4 run to take a 54-53 lead into the break. They didn't let up in the third, starting on a 20-4 run, widening it to 82-63 at the end of the quarter and holding the Raptors to .143 shooting from the field throughout. The Raptors were outscored 28-10 in the third quarter and while they outscored the Kings in the fourth 33-23, the deficit was too great.
The Raptors were led by Kyle Lowry's 24 points off the bench, while Alan Anderson also added 20 points in a reserve role. As a team they shot only .380 percent from the field and saw their five-game home winning streak snapped at five.
QUOTABLE: "Things are coming together, we're playing some good team basketball. We've been preaching, let's try to make each other better every night. I just try to find my open teammates and try to be encouraging and that's been working for us."
-- Kings Center, Cousins
THE STAT: Largely behind Cousins, the Kings outscored the Raptors in the paint 52-32. Their interior defense was porous and exploited often.
TURNING POINT: The game was decided in the third quarter and the Kings made a point of taking the game out of the half. Sacramento started on a 20-4 run and didn't let up, holding the Raptors to 10 points in the quarter making the score 82-63.
QUOTABLE II: "We have a big guy who is now at a stage in his career, to where he is willing to move the ball and let his teammates play. He allowed John Salmons to have a big game. He allowed Jason Thompson to have a mismatched game and then we came back to him. That's how you do it."
-- Kings Coach Keith Smart on the play of Cousins and the Kings' success.
HOT: Cousins entered this game averaging 16.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals in four games since serving a two-game suspension for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team. He added to that hot streak with 31 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
NOT: Cousins was unstoppable in the third quarter and Toronto had no answers. He scored as many points as their entire team (10) and added 8 rebounds. They shot a putrid .143 percent from the field and sent the Kings to the free throw line nine times.
NOTABLE: The Kings have won two of the first three games on their four-game Eastern Conference road trip (Jan. 1-5). Sacramento has won three straight against Toronto and has swept the two-game season series with the Raptors for the fifth time (Last: 2003-04). Cousins has now recorded a double-double in five straight games (Dec. 28 - Jan. 4). The Raptors bench combined for 55 points and have now scored 49-plus points in six straight games.
UP NEXT: For the Raptors; Sunday vs. Oklahoma City, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, Friday vs. Charlotte. For the Kings; Saturday @ Brooklyn, Monday @ Memphis. Thursday v. Dallas