LOS ANGELES—DeMarcus Cousins scored 40 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, leading the Sacramento Kings past the Los Angeles Lakers 97-96 on Tuesday, February 14.
The Lakers overcame a 13-point fourth quarter deficit to tie the game in the final minutes, but was unable to stop Cousins down the stretch, allowing the former Kentucky standout to score Sacramento’s final 10 points.
“It was lousy basketball down the stretch,” said Cousins, who also added a team-high eight assists. “We took a step backwards in the fourth quarter. We got too comfortable and made plays that aren’t in our character. Quick shots and turnovers down the stretch is only going to help them. In our case it gave them some momentum and we almost lost it.”
“This was a big win for us, believe it or not,” said Darren Collison, who had 13 points, five rebounds and eight assists for the Kings. “We didn’t lose focus. Normally in the past we will lose focus and we won’t come out with that same urgency that we did after we win a few games.”
Lou Williams led the Lakers with 29 points and five assists off the bench. Julius Randle had 11 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Nick Young scored 10 points while Jordan Clarkson added nine points, seven rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Williams had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but his 3-point attempt fell wide right of the basket at the buzzer. The former Sixth Man of the Year award winner remained optimistic about the Lakers’ improvements despite their lackluster record.
“We’re playing with better purpose,” Williams said. “I think guys understand it’s a bad taste in your mouth to lose consistently. We’re starting to grow up in that area. I’d like us to play well enough for fans to understand we’re a work in progress.”
Sacramento has won four consecutive games, moving to 24-32 on the season and ninth place in the Western Conference. The Kings will travel to Oakland for a game against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, February 15.
The Lakers have lost 7 of their last 10 games, falling to 19-39 overall and tying the Phoenix Suns for last place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles will face the Suns in their next game on Wednesday, February 15.