Cousins leads Kings past Knicks 135-129 in OT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- DeMarcus Cousins scored nine of his season-high 39 points in overtime in his return from a stomach ailment, and the Sacramento Kings handed the New York Knicks their seventh straight loss, 135-129 on Saturday night.
Rudy Gay scored 29 points and Darren Collison added 27 points, 10 assists and a tiebreaking 3-pointer late in overtime for the slumping Kings. Sacramento had lost seven of its previous eight games, including four of five under interim coach Tyrone Corbin. But a matchup with the NBA's second-worst team helped reverse that slide.
Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points for the short-handed Knicks, who dressed only nine players in losing for the 17th time in 18 games.
Forward Quincy Acy was suspended for a flagrant foul against Washington's John Wall on Thursday. Forward Amare Stoudemire (right knee) and guard J.R. Smith (partially torn left plantar fascia) were held out with injuries. New York is already without forward Andrea Bargnani (strained right calf) and guard Iman Shumpert (left shoulder).
New York trailed by 15 early but fought back to tie the game in the final minute. Cole Aldrich converted a three-point play with 38 seconds left to make it 117-115 and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored on a fast break following a turnover by Cousins to tie the game.
Anthony then stole the ball from Gay with a second left to force overtime.
The Kings took the lead for good on a corner 3-pointer from Collison with 1:22 to play. A dunk by Cousins extended it to five and Collison's fast-break layup sealed it with 39 seconds remaining.
The Kings once again showed they are a completely different team with Cousins on the floor than when he is out injured. A night after Cousins sat with an illness in a loss to Phoenix, he got off to a fast start against the Knicks. He scored 15 points in the first seven minutes, including an emphatic dunk over Samuel Dalembert and a rare 3-pointer.
The Kings improved to 11-8 with Cousins on the floor. Sacramento has lost nine of 11 without Cousins, who missed 10 games with viral meningitis. The struggles during that stretch contributed to the decision to fire coach Michael Malone last month.
Knicks: The Knicks fell to 0-6 in games Anthony has scored at least 30 points. They were 13-12 in Anthony's 30-point games last season. ... Aldrich scored a career-high 18 points.
Kings: Cousins had missed 10 straight 3-pointers since last making one on March 28, 2013, against Phoenix. Cousins is 10 for 62 in his career from long range. ... Cousins also had his second highest-scoring game of his career, trailing only the 41 he scored vs. Phoenix on April 3, 2012.
Knicks: At Portland on Sunday.
Kings: At Brooklyn on Monday.
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