SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Marcus Thornton scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half to help the slumping Sacramento Kings snap Portland’s five-game winning streak with a 108-96 victory over the Trail Blazers on Sunday night.
The Kings played without starting center DeMarcus Cousins, who was suspended indefinitely Saturday for unprofessional behavior and conduct detrimental to the team.
Already ahead by nine points, the Kings opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Thornton, to build their lead to 87-71. The Blazers trailed by at least 13 the rest of the way.
John Salmons had 13 of his 15 points in the second half for Sacramento, which had lost six of its previous seven games. Former Blazer Travis Outlaw had a season-high 15 points and Isaiah Thomas added 11.
Both Jason Thompson and James Johnson chipped in 10 points for Sacramento, which had a season-high 31 assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have lost two of three meetings with the Kings this season. Damian Lillard had 15 points and seven assists, Nicolas Batum scored 17, and JJ Hickson had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Thornton made 8 of 11 shots in the second half and finished with four points and four assists.
Cousins and Kings head coach Keith Smart had a confrontation during halftime of Friday’s 97-85 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Smart told Cousins to stay in the locker room and not join the team for the second half.
The Kings haven’t said when Cousins will be allowed to rejoin the team again. He was told not to attend the game. Cousins, in his third year with Sacramento, is averaging team bests of 16.6 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Sacramento also played without starting guard Tyreke Evans, who missed his fourth straight game with a sore left knee. Evans, the Kings second-leading scorer, has missed 8 of the past 12 games.
The scoring of Thornton kept the Kings on top in the third quarter. The streak-shooting Thornton had 11 points and Brooks hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, helping Sacramento carry an 80-71 lead into the fourth.
Outlaw keyed a second-quarter effort by Sacramento’s reserves. He had 13 points and Thomas had eight points and five assists, helping the Kings outscore Portland 28-15 and take a 49-42 lead into halftime.
Trailing by 10 early in the second quarter, the Kings responded with a 15-0 run to take a 36-31 lead.
Notes: Usually the Kings power forward, Thompson started at center and Johnson opened at forward. . Portland made just 7 of 24 3-pointers. . Blazers starting guard Wesley Matthews has a left hip injury and didn’t travel with the team. Seldom-used Victor Claver started in the Blazers backcourt. . Outlaw’s 13 points in the second quarter was two more than his season high entering the game. He scored 11 points against the Blazers in a Kings victory in Portland on Dec. 8. . The two teams don’t play again until Dec. 26 in Portland.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)