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Nets 103, Kings 100

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Forward Brook Lopez scored 22 points, and guard Joe Johnson hit a clutch 3-pointer and two free throws in the final 70 seconds, helping the Brooklyn Nets hold off the Sacramento Kings for a 103-100 victory Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena.

Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 1:10 left after the Kings reduced a 17-point deficit to 96-94 with a 25-10 run during an 8:53 stretch in the final quarter. On Brooklyn’s next possession, Johnson snared a rebound of a missed shot, leading to a foul and two free throws.

Johnson knocked another free throw with 17.2 seconds left to give Brooklyn (18-24) a winning start to the second half of the season. The Nets won for just the second time in 10 games overall, but they beat Sacramento for the third consecutive time.

Kings guard Ben McLemore missed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, and Nets guard Jarrett Jack gathered the rebound and made one of two free throws with 8.6 seconds left to seal the victory.

Johnson and Jack each finished with 16 points, with Johnson adding eight rebounds and Jack eight assists. Brooklyn guard Alan Anderson contributed 14 points.

Center DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 14 rebounds for Sacramento, his eighth straight double-double and 21st in the Kings’ past 23 games. Cousins scored 21 points in the second half after making only two of 12 shots in the first half.

Forward Rudy Gay added 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Kings, who matched a season worst with their fifth consecutive loss. Sacramento (16-26) has lost 21 of 28 since starting the season 9-5. Gay scored 11 straight points during a 16-5 run that was part of Sacramento’s fourth-quarter blitz.

Sacramento was at less than full strength again. Forward Carl Landry missed his fourth straight contest with a sprained right wrist.

Kings guard Ramon Sessions returned after a 13-game absence caused by lower back spasms. He had two points and four assists in 22 minutes.

NOTES: Nets G Deron Williams won’t play on Brooklyn’s three-game West Coast trip that started Wednesday, the teams announced. Williams missed eight of the Nets’ past nine games with fractured rib cartilage. … Kings C DeMarcus Cousins played his 15th game under new coach Tyrone Corbin. Cousins averaged 25.0 points and 12.6 rebounds while totaling 27 blocks in the first 14 after producing 23.5 points, 12.6 rebounds and 23 blocks in 15 games under former coach Michael Malone. Cousins’ turnover rate was up from 3.7 per game under Malone to 4.9 under Corbin. … The Kings completed a span in which they played 19 home games in 53 days. The home-heavy stretch began Nov. 30. They went 6-13 at home during that span. … Brooklyn opened a stretch in which it will play 13 out of 17 contests on the road.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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