Cleveland, OH – DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points, 16 rebounds and six assists to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 97-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.
Cousins, who posted a triple-double on Sunday, has been superb for the Kings since returning from a two-game suspension for violating team rules, averaging 16.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest.
"I've been trying to keep out the negativity, not bring the negativity and have a positive mind," Cousins said. "This is a fresh start, this is a fresh year and let's put all that behind us and bring positivity to Sacramento."
Jason Thompson also recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards and Francisco Garcia added 14 points for the Kings, who won on the road for just the second time this season.
"I thought our guys, especially DeMarcus, did a great job," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "We played with a lot of energy after a back-to-back."
Kyrie Irving poured in 22 points and dished out six assists and Dion Waiters added 20 points off the bench for the Cavaliers, who have won just three of their last 17 games.
"We just have to find a way to close it out, especially at home," Waiters said. "That's were it really hurts, being at home and not getting a win we knew we had. That is the toughest part."
The Kings held a 74-71 lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Cavs scored six straight points to go up 77-76. A 6-2 Sacramento run gave the Kings an 83-79 spread with just over seven minutes left.
The teams traded blows until a personal 4-0 run from Irving put Cleveland ahead 90-89 with 1:12 remaining.
John Salmons buried a triple and Aaron Brooks dropped in a layup to give the Kings a 94-90 advantage with just 18.2 ticks left.
Irving responded with a jumper to cut the deficit to two points, but the Cavs were forced to foul Jimmer Fredette who knocked down a pair of free throws to put Sacramento up 96-92. Waiters cleaned up a Tyler Zeller miss on the ensuing possession to make it 96-94 with 3.2 seconds to go.
Brooks was immediately fouled on the inbounds pass, but split the subsequent free throws and Irving's desperation heave from beyond midcourt rimmed out at the buzzer.
Sacramento led 28-25 after the first 12 minutes, but Cleveland outscored the Kings 28-24 in the second to take a 53-52 lead into the break.
Sacramento held the Cavs shot just 28 percent from the field in the third period to take a 74-71 lead into the final quarter.
Sacramento outscored the Cavs 52-36 in the paint ... Brooks finished with 13 points for the Kings ... The Cavs shot a dismal 39.1 percent (34-for-87_ from the field but went 21-for-24 from the free throw line.