NEW YORK (AP) — DeMarcus Cousins had a big third quarter, and these days it seems like everybody does against the Brooklyn Nets.
Cousins had 37 points and 11 rebounds, scoring 18 points in the third quarter, to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 122-105 victory on Sunday night.
“He is just hands down one of the best players in the league, you know what I mean?” Kings forward Matt Barnes said. “When he picks and chooses his spots, he’s tough.”
Rudy Gay added 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Kings handed the Nets their seventh straight loss.
Darren Collison added 18 points for the Kings, who won in Brooklyn for the first time since the Nets moved there in 2012.
Sean Kilpatrick scored 22 points, Brook Lopez had 17 and Bojan Bogdanovic added 13 for the Nets.
Barnes was ejected for a flagrant foul 2 on Kilpatrick with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter and Sacramento leading 97-79. Brooklyn then went on a 14-2 run to cut the deficit to 99-93.
“I think for the most part (it) woke people up,” Kilpatrick said. “I was kind of out of it once that happened. My mindset changed completely. At the end of the day we should react like that a lot more, especially if we want to win in this league. Like I said before, just got to come out with some type of edge.”
However, Sacramento responded with a 16-0 run of its own to extend the lead to 115-93.
“I was scared for a second because I think they went on a 13-2 run and I was just like, ‘Man, did I just cost the team the game?'” Barnes said. “So I was a little nervous, but we regained focus and went on a run of our own and closed the game out strong.”
Everything went Sacramento’s way in the third quarter, including a lob attempt from Barnes that went in off the backboard for a 3-pointer with 4:03 remaining. Sacramento led 92-77 heading to the fourth.
The third-quarter woes that have plagued Brooklyn all season continued as the Nets were outscored 34-18.
Cousins had 12 points in the first, but failed to score in the second quarter. Omri Casspi, who has played sparingly for Sacramento this season, had eight points in the second quarter.
Kilpatrick led all scorers with 15 points at the half.
Kings: Arron Afflalo returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in two of his previous three games. … Skal Labissiere, Malachi Richardson and Georgios Papagiannis were inactive.
Nets: Brooklyn has made 10 or more 3-pointers in 10 straight games. … Rookie Isaiah Whitehead matched his career high with 11 points. … Justin Hamilton matched his career high with 10 rebounds. … Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (sore right ankle), Jeremy Lin (strained left hamstring) and Caris LeVert (left foot rehab) were inactive.
Former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and Chris McCullough shuffled between the Nets and their D-League affiliate on Sunday. “I’m a big believer in the D-League. I’ve seen it help so many guys,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I remember Jeremy (Lin) when we were with the Knicks and him going down to the D-League and kind of having a big game and coming back. There are many instances of that and it helps guys’ confidence.”
CENTERS SHOOTING 3S A TREND?
“Sure, because I think it opens up more space,” Atkinson said. “I think it just gives teams more room to operate and brings more variety to the offense. You’re not just defending one thing. Now you’ve got to defend DeMarcus Cousins’ post-ups, his isolations and now he’s popping to the 3-point line, so it’s challenge. I think you’ll see more and more of it. It’s definitely a trend.”
By MICHAEL SCOTTO