SACRAMENTO, Calif. — DeMarcus Cousins found himself in an unusual place Sunday night, sitting on the bench the entire fourth quarter. Sacramento’s center liked the feeling of not being needed in a rare lopsided win by the Kings.
Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points to lead the Kings to their third straight win with this season’s biggest rout, a 124-80 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 44-point victory margin was the largest in the NBA this season, according to STATS and the third largest margin in franchise history.
The Kings scored 16 straight points in the third quarter and led by 28 points heading into the fourth. The three-game winning streak is Sacramento’s first since December 2012.
Cousins, an All-Star hopeful, finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in just under 30 minutes.
“It felt weird, sitting out the whole fourth. Unless I fouled out, I don’t think I’ve ever been in that situation” Cousins said.
Spurs 104, Timberwolves 86: In San Antonio, the Spurs have been touting their depth all season, and it was sorely needed to overcome the loss of another key player Sunday night.
Kawhi Leonard scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half and San Antonio won its fourth straight game.
Already without Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter, the Spurs lost Danny Green early in the second quarter to a sprained finger. Minus two of their top wings and their starting center, Leonard and the team’s bench took over in the second half.
Tim Duncan had 15 points and Tony Parker added 14 points and 10 assists for Western Conference-leading San Antonio. Matt Bonner also scored 14 points — including 4-for-5 shooting on three-pointers — and Marco Belinelli had 13 points and Patty Mills added 10.
“You’ve got to stay ready, especially around here,” Duncan said of overcoming the latest injury. “That’s what we preach, we’re getting everybody ready and you’ll get your opportunity whether it comes at the beginning or in the middle or in the end whenever it may be. When your time comes, you need to be ready to go because you’re going to earn your minutes.”
San Antonio’s reserves, who average a league-leading 46 points per game, had 51 points. They scored 37 in the final three quarters after Green’s injury.
Grizzlies 108, Hawks 101: In Memphis, Tenn., Mike Conley had 21 points and 13 assists and Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Memphis over Atlanta.
Paul Millsap scored 21 points to lead the Hawks, who had won two straight. It was only the Hawks’ third loss to the Grizzlies in the past 15 games.
Memphis pulled away in the fourth quarter behind Conley, who tied a career best with 31 points in a victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday. Conley had eight points in the final quarter, including two free throws that gave the Grizzlies a 102-92 lead with 2:46 left.
Mike Miller also had eight points in the fourth quarter for the Grizzlies, including two three-pointers. He finished with 15 points.