SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Tyreke Evans had 27 points and Marcus Thornton scored 25 for the Sacramento Kings in a 96-80 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night.Playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who demanded a trade prior to the game and was told by coach Paul Westphal to stay home, the Kings ended a three game skid. Cousins was among several players who expressed frustration with the team's poor play after a 114-92 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday.Asked during halftime Sunday if Cousins would be traded, Kings vice president of basketball operations said he would talk to the brooding center on Monday."He has to grow up," Petrie said.
Trevor Ariza had 17 points for the Hornets, who have dropped two straight after opening the season with a pair of victories. Chris Kaman contributed 14 points and 15 rebounds, Emeka Okafor had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Carl Landry had 12 points.Evans shot 9 of 18 from the field, made 7-of-8 free throws and added four rebounds and three assists. John Salmons added 13 points for the Kings, who outscored the Hornets 58-40 in the second half.Evans provided a huge lift in the third quarter to help put the Kings ahead and also delivered in the fourth. With the shot clock running down, Evans made a 28-foot 3-pointer then followed with a dunk off a fast-break, putting Sacramento ahead 90-72 with 3:42 remaining.Hornets standout guard Eric Gordon missed his third straight game. Gordon bruised his knee in the season opener and is still listed as day to day while the Hornets try to be cautious with him.Struggling on offense in the opening half when they shot 30 percent, the Kings got going in the third quarter behind Evans. The Kings point guard was penetrating inside for baskets and also made several perimeter shots in scoring 13 points.Evans received plenty of help from Salmons, who made a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points as the Kings outscored New Orleans 30-18 to assume a 68-58 lead heading into the fourth.NOTES: Kings veteran Francisco Garcia made his first appearance of the season, starting the second quarter. He also opened the fourth quarter and hit a pair of 3-pointers to extend the Kings lead. Ariza scored 10 points to help the Hornets take a 40-38 lead into halftime. Thornton scored 11 points for the Kings. Thornton was acquired by the Kings from New Orleans last year in February for forward Carl Landry. The Hornets outrebounded the Kings 60-41.
DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.
According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.
Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.
Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.
Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.
No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.
A day later, the NBA confirmed what most people in the United Center felt.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins didn't foul Bulls guard Dwyane Wade on a dunk attempt with 12.8 seconds remaining in Saturday night's game, the league announced in its Last Two Minute report on Sunday.
The NBA deemed it an "incorrect call" and issued the following comment:
"Cousins (SAC) has his hand on Wade's (CHI) back while he is airborne, but he does not extend his arm and push him and the contact does not affect the shot attempt."
Shortly after the NBA put out their report, Cousins offered his take on their ruling:
"Yeah thanks the team feels so much better now that it's cleared up!" Cousins wrote on Twitter Sunday afternoon.
During the game on Saturday, Cousins couldn't believe he had been called for a foul. After the game, which the Kings lost 102-99, the team kept the doors to the locker room closed for a lengthy period of time. When the media was finally allowed in, Cousins had calmed down.
"They made the absolute right call. Incredible job by the referee crew tonight. I don't have a complaint in the world. They should get more recognition on how well they ref these games. They don't get the credit they deserve, so kudos to them. I applaud them," Cousins said after the game.