Marcus Thornton got incredibly hot in the second half as the Sacramento Kings earned their first three-game win streak of the season with a 114-111 overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Thornton struggled to make an impact early, going scoreless in the first quarter and scoring just three in the second. But he exploded for 19 in the third quarter and nine more in the fourth as the Kings hung around and got the game to overtime, where DeMarcus Cousins took over.
Sacramento ran the offense through Cousins in overtime, and the rookie responded with five points and two assists (both on three-pointers), giving him a hand in 11 of the Kings' 14 OT points. Cousins struggled with foul trouble in regulation, but Samuel Dalembert (13 points, 19 rebounds) and Jason Thompson (15 and 11) handled the paint well. Spencer Hawes (16 and 15) was solid for Philadelphia, but most of the Sixers' offense came from a backcourt that shred Sacramento pretty viciously.
Tyreke Evans looked rusty, scoring 10 points on 2-8 shooting with just one assist and three turnovers. Philadelphia's defense is strong, and Evans had trouble getting into the flow. Cousins ended up leading the Kings with six assists (to three turnovers), and Beno Udrih and Thornton provided five and four, respectively. Francisco Garcia wasn't great; Andre Iguodala shredded him in the first quarter before Donte Greene largely took over that job. If Evans comes into the starting lineup soon, Garcia may be the one who moves to the bench.
For now, it's all beautiful. Thornton's 32 further cemented his importance to this team; I don't dare mention the last sneaky prolific scorer the Kings had, because the thread will immediately derail. However, it's nice to have that element again. The Kings were in this game before Thornton blew up; they won it only because MT did what he did.
Good for the team. Hard work rewarded.