Wait, the Sacramento Kings were the better team in the fourth quarter, refusing to cave and coming out on top? Woo boy! On the strength of a great fourth, the Kings beat the visiting Orlando Magic 91-82 on Friday to move to 6-6 at home this season. DeMarcus Cousins had a strong game with 17 points, 14 rebounds (12 defensively), four assists, three steals and a pair of blocks.
But the big eyebrow raiser was Isaiah Thomas getting 29 minutes ... and delivering, with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists. Isaiah scored 11 of those in the fourth as Keith Smart did kind of a crazy thing: he played I.T. and Jimmer Fredette (also quite good with 15 on 5-7 shooting) together the entire final period. That the Magic couldn't exploit that pair defensively was a game-changer.
Tyreke Evans missed the game as a late scratch with knee pain. He'd missed two prior games after bumping knees with Kevin Love last week. He came back for Wednesday's win and played brilliantly, but wasn't able to go Friday. Francisco Garcia started in his place.
Thomas Robinson went 0-5 and scored 1 point, but was really quite good. He was physical as heck, and Bill Walton lauded him late in the fourth. He had seven rebounds and three assists, one of which (to Isaiah) was absolutely hilarious.
The Kings led by 14 in the third, but Orlando stormed back to take a lead. But Sacramento fought back and fought off the Magic.
Akis will have a full recap in the morning. The Kings play again Saturday night in Portland.