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Cousins leads Kings past Suns

Sacramento's Tyreke Evans (13) scores past Phoenix's Markieff Morris (11) in the Kings' 117-103 road win over the Suns on Thursday. AP photo

By
From page B2 | March 29, 2013 |

PHOENIX — DeMarcus Cousins put his full array of skills on display Thursday.

Cousins scored 17 consecutive points in the first half and finished with 34 in the Sacramento Kings’ 117-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

“I didn’t even realize it,” Cousins said. “I was more caught up in the turnover I had. That’s some of the advantages I do have, my size and the ability to shoot ball, so I just took advantage of it.”

Cousins scored his first points on four free throws and a dunk, then started extending his range. He hit a 19-footer, scored on a dunk, hit another 19-footer, a long 3-pointer and finally a 21-foot jumper as Sacramento took a 38-32 lead after the first.

“We have a unique big man,” said Kings coach Keith Smart. “He’s a big who can play big but has the skills of a guard and a perimeter player. He has the whole package. When everything comes along in his life, when he grows up and sells into how he plays every night in the NBA, he’ll be a special talent.”

Told of his coach’s analysis, Cousins said, “Why, thank you.”

Cousins also had 14 rebounds while playing only the first three quarters, the second straight night he’s had the fourth quarter off.

Isaiah Thomas added 23 points and eight assists to help the Kings win for only the second time in their past 14 games in Phoenix.

Sacramento, which has won six of its last 10, shot 53 percent from the floor and converted 22-of-24 free throws. Thomas and Cousins combined to go 17-of-17 from the line.

Luis Scola led the Suns with 25 points, P.J. Tucker had a career-high 18, and Michael Beasley added 14 points and eight rebounds. Phoenix, resting point guard Goran Dragic for the second straight game, has lost five straight, nine of 10 and 11 of its past 13.

Phoenix’s Jared Dudley made a 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the second quarter to it at 46. But Toney Douglas scored five points, and Cousins added four and John Salmons added four as the Kings ran out to a 64-50 halftime lead.

The game turned into a contest of runs in the second half. Cousins made a pair of free throws to give Sacramento its largest lead, 75-56, with 7:53 left in the third quarter.

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