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Basketball

Thomas, Kings thump Celtics

Isaiah Thomas netted a game-high 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting and handed out five assists as the Sacramento Kings thumped the Boston Celtics, 118-96, on Sunday at Sleep Train Arena.

John Salmons contributed 23 points on 9-of-12 from the floor, while Jason Thompson donated 20 points and six rebounds for the Kings, who have won three of their last four.

DeMarcus Cousins posted a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to help Sacramento to victory, with Jimmer Fredette and James Johnson finishing with 10 points apiece.

"It felt good, first one of my career," Cousins said of his triple-double. "I'm just glad my teammates gave me the opportunity to do it."

Paul Pierce and Jason Terry each scored 20 points, while Kevin Garnett added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who have lost three straight by 18 points or more for the first time since the 1977-78 season. Jeff Green finished with 16 points in the loss.

"Winning is hard. I don't know if all our guys get that," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "You have to play hard to win an NBA game. One game. It's difficult and we're not doing it."

It was a back-and-forth game early, as a putback slam by Thompson gave the Kings an early lead and spurred the home side on a 10-0 burst that widened the margin to 16-7 with 5:17 to play in the opening quarter.

A tip-in by Thomas Robinson made it a 24-14 Kings' lead and the home team held a 24-18 margin heading into the second stanza.

The game remained close in the second quarter, which featured five lead changes and four ties, but the Kings were able to create some separation in the latter stages of the period.

Leading 50-47 with under a minute to play before the half, Salmons put in a layup and then fed Cousins for a run-out slam with 1.5 ticks left to push the margin to seven.

But the Celtics got the last laugh in the half, as Garnett kissed a layup off the glass and in at the horn to pull Boston within 54-49 at the break.

Garnett drained a jumper early in the third frame to pull the Celtics within 59-57, but the Kings answered with six straight points, capped by an emphatic slam by Thomas, to make it a 65-57 game with seven minutes to go in the quarter.

Boston could not get closer than seven points for the remainder of the quarter and went into the fourth trailing 84-73.

Sacramento blew the game wide open in the fourth quarter, outscoring Boston 34-23 in the frame and pushing the lead to as many as 26 points en route to the easy win.

Game Notes

Boston had won nine of the last 12 matchups between the sides ... Sacramento has won six of its last seven home games ... The game featured nine lead changes and five ties ... Sacramento shot 53.7 percent from the floor and 10- of-20 from three-point range.