Published March 05, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Sacramento Kings didn't fare well in their last trip east and hope this time will be different. The Kings are set to start a season-long seven-game odyssey Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Kings will also visit Toronto, Brooklyn, Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minnesota on the 12-day trip and went 1-3 the last time on the road from Feb. 7-12. They own an 8-20 road ledger this season and have lost eight of the past 10 outside of California's capital.
Sacramento closed out a quick homestand with Monday's 96-89 victory over New Orleans, as DeMarcus Cousins contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas tallied 22 points and five assists, while Rudy Gay added 14 points for the Kings, who ended a three-game slide and evened their record over the past eight games.
"Although we got this win today, I still think we can get a lot better," said Gay, who is one of three Kings to average 20-plus points and has scored that many in five of the last six games (24.8 ppg).
Gay is averaging 20.7 ppg since joining the Kings via trade with Toronto.
The Kings had a 68-59 lead heading into the fourth quarter and Gay later knocked down a shot for a 83-73 advantage. Reggie Evans recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a season-high and game-high 13 rebounds off the bench.
Milwaukee has an NBA-worst 12-47 record this season and won for just the third time in the last 11 tries with Monday's 114-88 besting of the Utah Jazz.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a game-high 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting and Ramon Sessions and Zaza Pachulia added 14 points apiece for Milwaukee, which had a 30-21 lead after the first quarter and later scored 40 of the 59 points in the third stanza.
The Bucks, who had 28 assists and shot 56.8 percent for the game, made a blistering 81.1 percent of their shots in the third quarter and sank 12-of-12 free throws. Their largest lead was at 33 points with three minutes to go.
"It's so much fun to be out there when you share the ball," Pachulia said.
It was Milwaukee's largest margin of victory this season. The team has scored 50 or more points in the first half in each of the past four games, posting an average of 57.8 points over the first 24 minutes in that span.
Milwaukee has shot better since the All-Star break with an average of 104.6 ppg. It was scoring 92.3 ppg before the hiatus.
The Bucks have a 7-24 home mark and will visit New Orleans on Friday. They won both matchups with Sacramento last season after losing three of the last five games in this series.