NBA notebook: Cousins leads Kings past Suns in preseason opener

2012-10-11T00:00:00Z NBA notebook: Cousins leads Kings past Suns in preseason openerThe Associated Press The Associated Press
October 11, 2012 12:00 am  • 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Sacramento Kings, who defeated the Phoenix Suns 102-97 on Wednesday night in the preseason opener for both teams.

Jimmer Fredette ignited the Kings in the fourth quarter, hitting two free throws, then connecting on a three-pointer a minute later to put Sacramento ahead 92-77 with 6:45 remaining.

Wesley Johnson scored 18 points and Markieff Morris had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Suns. Michael Beasley added 14 points.

Rookie forward Thomas Robinson had 12 points and eight rebounds for Sacramento. Both Fredette and Marcus Thornton added 10 points.

The slimmed-down Cousins played 26 minutes. He was 5 of 15 from the field and 10 of 13 from the free-throw line.

Lin makes his debut

HIDALGO, Texas - Jeremy Lin made his debut in his second stint with the Houston Rockets, this time, though, with a long-term contract and as the face of the franchise. He played nearly 20 minutes, finishing with three points on 1-of-3 shooting, six assists and three steals to help lead the Rockets to a 107-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night in the preseason opener for both teams at State Farm Arena. Terrance Jones added 20 points for the Rockets.

Russell Westbrook had 19 points to lead the Thunder while Kevin Durant added 13. The Thunder stars played in the first half. Durant shot 5 of 10 from the field, had two three-pointers and two steals. Westbrook was 6 of 9 from the field and had three assists.

Rockets first-round draft pick Royce White remained in Houston to work on his conditioning.

Lakers lose, Bryant sits

ONTARIO, Calif. - Damian Lillard had 14 points and seven assists in his first NBA action, and the Portland Trail Blazers capitalized on the absences of Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard for a 93-75 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Blazers in their preseason opener under new coach Terry Stotts.

Steve Nash scored 13 points and Metta World Peace added 12 as the Lakers lost their second straight preseason game by double digits. Pau Gasol had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

The Lakers visited their avid Inland Empire fans an hour east of Los Angeles with just 60 percent of their projected starting lineup. Bryant sat out to rest a strained right shoulder, and Howard isn't playing during his deliberate return from offseason back surgery.

Bryant said he tweaked his shoulder while dunking in practice Tuesday, but it didn't start hurting until later that day. He wanted to play against Portland, but the team overruled him with six preseason games still left on its schedule.

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