After unseating the Western Conference-best Oklahoma City rival Phoenix Suns at Power Balance Pavilion.
The Kings recorded their third straight win at home with Thursday's 106-101 victory over the Thunder in which Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins provided 22 and 19 points, respectively. Marcus Thornton hit two big three-pointers in the closing minutes and finished with 15 points for the Kings, who used an 18-4 run late in the game to win for the fourth time in five tries overall.
"We've improved as a team, we're on the right path now," Cousins said on the Kings' website. "We're a lot better than our record (10-16) shows. We've grown so much from the team we used to be."
Jason Thompson had 11 points and 10 rebounds to help Sacramento snap a six- game losing streak to the Thunder. The Kings scored 28 points off of 23 Thunder turnovers. OKC entered the game with the league's highest winning percentage.
After hosting the Suns in California's capital, the Kings will head east for a six-game road trip against Chicago, New York, Detroit, Cleveland, Miami and Washington. On the season, the Kings are 7-4 at home and 3-12 on the road. The last time the Kings won four straight home games was Nov. 25-Dec. 2, 2009.
Cousins has recorded 17 double-doubles this season (third-most in the NBA), while Evans has scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games. Thornton is averaging 19.4 ppg in his past four outings.
Phoenix looks to get back on the winning path in Sacramento tonight and had won a season-best three straight games until dropping a 96-89 decision versus the Houston Rockets Thursday in the Valley of the Sun.
The Suns, who will kick off a three-game road trip against the Kings, Warriors and Nuggets this evening, received a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds from Channing Frye. Steve Nash, named to his eighth All-Star team on Thursday, did not miss a shot (7-for-7), scoring 14 points to go with 13 assists.
"We just didn't execute down the stretch," said Frye, who is averaging 18.0 points in his last three games. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make every play and be perfect at the end and we can't do that. We have to make sure we are in a good rhythm and establish how we are going to play in the first half."
Marcin Gortat had 16 points and Jared Dudley recorded 14 in defeat. Phoenix struggled on the boards to the tune of a 44-31 difference and shot 47.3 percent for the game. Houston's bench outscored the Suns' reserves, 57-13.
Phoenix and Sacramento are playing the first of three meetings this season and will also battle on March 4 in Phoenix and April 3 at the Kings. Sacramento took three of four matchups from the Suns a year ago after Phoenix won all four encounters during the 2009-10 campaign. Phoenix has won 12 of the last 16 games in this series, but has dropped 14 of 22 trips to Sac-Town.