Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - DeMarcus Cousins contributed 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 96-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday at Sleep Train Arena.
Isaiah Thomas tallied 22 points and five assists, while Rudy Gay added 14 points for the Kings, who halted a three-game slide.
"Although we got this win today, I still think we can get a lot better," Gay said.
Tyreke Evans, who spent his first four seasons in Sacramento before being traded to New Orleans last July, totaled 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the setback, the Pelicans' eighth in a row.
With the game tied 57-57 with just over two minutes left in the third, Thomas converted a three-point play to spark an 11-2 quarter-closing run that sent Sacramento into the fourth with a 68-59 advantage.
Evans' three-point play pulled the Pelicans within 78-73 with 7:42 left in the fourth, but a quick 7-2 swing from the Kings found the margin at 10.
Sacramento held the visitors at bay from there, never allowing New Orleans to get closer than seven the rest of the way.
Both teams shot 37.5 percent in the first half, but Sacramento went 16-of-23 from the free throw line while New Orleans shot 8-of-9 from the charity stripe over the opening 24 minutes as the Kings carried a 40-38 lead into the break.
With the margin at three four minutes into the third, Eric Gordon hit back-to- back 3-pointers around an Evans triple to give New Orleans a 52-46 lead.
"We had the game in our grasp," New Orleans head coach Monty Williams said. "We were up six. We missed about six free throws in a row and that just broke our rhythm and then after that we just couldn't get it back."
However, the Kings countered with a 9-1 swing to grab a two-point lead with just over three minutes left in the third.
Reggie Evans added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings ... Gordon finished with 10 points, while Anthony Davis donated 13 for the Pelicans ... New Orleans scored 21 points off 19 Sacramento turnovers ... Sacramento shot 47.1 percent from the floor, despite going 1-of-7 from 3-point range.