SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – DeMarcus Cousins scored 13 of his career-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to rally the struggling Sacramento Kings to a 94-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
Francisco Garcia had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Omri Casspi added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who closed with a 19-2 run. Carl Landry had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Sacramento won for the second time in three games and improved the NBA’s worst record to 7-25.
Steve Nash had 20 points and 12 assists for the Suns, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Vince Carter had 17 points and Marcin Gortat added 16.
After the Kings made a stop at the defensive end, Casspi quickly made a 3-pointer to give the Sacramento its first lead since the first quarter, a 92-89 advantage with 25.6 seconds left. Cousins was fouled after Mickael Petrus missed a desperate 3-point attempt and made both free throws for the final margin.
Cousins made an off-balance, underhand shot in the lane and added the free throw for a three-point play, tying the game at 89 with 1:48 remaining.
Trailing 87-75, the Kings scored nine consecutive points. Casspi’s 3-pointer and a jumper by Garcia at the 3:36 mark pulled the Kings to 87-84. Channing Frye opened the fourth quarter with a basket and Jared Dudley made back-to-back shots to give Phoenix a 79-67 lead.
Nash helped the Suns maintain their cushion over the Kings with a strong third quarter. He made a reverse left-handed layup and scored 10 points and had three assists as Phoenix took a 73-65 lead into the fourth.
Gortat scored 10 points to help the Suns to a 48-39 lead. Cousins had 11 points for the Kings, who committed 10 turnovers and shot 28 percent.
Nash had played just 19 minutes in a win over Detroit on Friday night. Against the Kings he played 18 minutes in the opening half and had 10 points and eight assists.
NOTES: The Kings outrebounded the Suns 60-32. … Prior to the game the Suns assigned rookie free agent center Garret Siler to the NBA Development League’s Iowa Energy. He averaged 1.3 points in six games. … The Kings missed 20 of 26 shots in the first quarter and trailed 27-17. The Kings’ backcourt of Beno Udrih and Evans were a combined 0 of 9 in the first half and had two points. Udrih left the game for good early in the third quarter with a bruised left knee and was held scoreless.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)