PHILADELPHIA – Guard/forward Rudy Gay scored 27 points Wednesday night as the Sacramento Kings beat the Philadelphia 76ers 115-98, the Sixers’ 18th straight defeat.
Guard Isaiah Thomas added 20 points for the Kings (23-42), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Center DeMarcus Cousins contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Sacramento made 40 of 50 free throws. That includes 26-of-31 shooting the first half, floor records for conversions and attempts.
Gay went 16 of 19 at the line, career highs for makes and attempts. Thomas was 11 of 12.
Center Henry Sims had career highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers (15-49), and guard/forward James Anderson had 17 points. Their losing streak is the second-longest in franchise history, exceeded only by a 20-game skid by the 1972-73 squad, which went 9-73. The current streak also equals the 18th-longest in NBA history.
Philadelphia, which saw forward Thaddeus Young score 16 points, extended its franchise-record home slide to 14.
Up four at halftime, the Kings extended their lead to as many as 22 in the second half.
The Sixers moved to an early 16-7 lead as Sims scored six points, but the Kings surged ahead behind Gay, who notched 11 points in a 16-4 flurry, giving Sacramento a 23-20 advantage.
Up 28-24 after a quarter, the Kings maintained the lead through the second period, largely on the strength of their 15-of-17 foul shooting.
Gay finished the half with 18 points, making 12 of his 13 free-throw attempts. Thomas had 17 points, while Sims led the Sixers with 14, exceeding his previous career best by two.
Cousins, limited to seven points and four rebounds in the first half, erupted for 12 and seven in the third quarter, as Sacramento outscored the Sixers 32-22 to stretch its lead to 90-76.
NOTES: The Sixers announced earlier in the day that they had signed F Jarvis Varnado for the rest of the season. Varnado, signed to a 10-day contract on March 1, has played five games to date, averaging 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 12.8 minutes. Coach Brett Brown called him an instinctive shot-blocker, a guy capable of helping the Sixers establish the defensive mindset. “I think he understands that’s how he earns an NBA paycheck — playing defense,” said Brown, who added that while Varnado is “really quiet and very polite,” he also has “a nasty side that competes.” … The Kings are the only NBA team with three players — C DeMarcus Cousins, PG Isaiah Thomas and F Rudy Gay — averaging over 20 points a game, something coach Michael Malone said is “a blessing and a curse.” Because all three are looking for shots, the Kings, last in the league in assists (19.1 per game), are not always as cohesive at the offensive end as Malone might like. “We have to learn to play with each other and make plays for each other,” he said.
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