Kings Beat Nuggets 131-109 behind Cousins and Gay


The Sacramento Kings didn’t want people saying their 3-1 start was a fluke.

To aid their cause, they came out on fire last night, outscoring the Denver Nuggets 40-19 in the first quarter.

DeMarcus Cousins played his most complete quarter of the year, scoring 16 points in dominant form.

Rudy Gay made his first three shots – all from close range – and continued his strong play by displaying a full array of offensive tools.

Whether in the post or on the move, Rudy’s offense was…smooth. But that’s expected from “The Great Rudini.”

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  • The pulse of the game shifted early in the second quarter. The Nuggets opened with an 8-2 run catapulted by the attacking style of reserve stud Nate Robinson.

    The Kings continued their strong interior defense, but left Robinson and Randy Foye unguarded beyond the three-point line. The Nuggets trimmed the lead to eight with six minutes left in the half with a barrage of 23-footers.

    But the Kings weathered the storm with the help of a familiar friend: the free throw line.

    They made 20 first half free throws and again manufactured easy points by being aggressive on offense.

    They still force the play at moments, but their confident play yields an abundance of free throws that carry the team when the shots aren’t falling.

    Cousins closed the second half like a man possessed. He added nine points to his total, finishing the half with 25 points and nine rebounds. He and Gay accounted for 41 of the Kings’ 68 first half points, and the team took a 68-54 lead into the locker room.

    The Kings were relentless on defense to start the second half, causing turnovers with quick hands and timely double teams on Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson.

    Darren Collison finished a beautiful soaring layup off the glass to give the Kings an 18-point lead at 74-56.

    Ben McLemore nailed clutch three-pointers with confidence, Carl Landry made the extra pass and attacked the basket, Reggie Evans created opportunities with hustle, and the Cousins and Gay lead Kings were officially on the winning side of a rout with a 105-72 lead heading into the fourth quarter. 

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    The Kings coasted to a victory, looking every bit the upstart they resembled during the season’s opening week.

    Kings fans have to love what they’re seeing from Cousins this season. We know he has talent, but his leadership has keyed the Kings’ success.

    Jason Thompson reacted to a missed free throw attempt in the third quarter by slapping the ball in a fit of rage. Instead of letting his frontcourt partner boil, Cousins walked over and calmly said “JT…JT…the next one.”

    Cousins has become a leader by example, not by production, and his teammates are rallying behind him.He did foul out, but well after his thumbprint was placed on the game.

    The Kings hit the road for a tough four-game stint. They face the Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies before hosting the San Antonio Spurs on November 15th. We’ll know just how good these Kings are in the next week.

    If they continue their success, the word “fluke” will be replaced by “legit.”