NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 2nd (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (10-21) at Sacramento Kings (10-20), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Suddenly the Philadelphia 76ers have figured out how to win on the road.
The Sixers go for their third straight win on the road and overall when they invade Sacramento Thursday to take on the Kings.
Philadelphia started this six-game road trip with back-to-back losses at Milwaukee and Phoenix, but ended the skid with Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The 76ers kept the momentum going with Thursday's 114-102 decision against the Denver Nuggets and have won two straight for the first time since a 3-0 start to the season.
Evan Turner led seven players in double figures with 23 points, Thaddeus Young ended with 17 and 10 rebounds and rookie Michael Carter-Williams chipped in 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Lavoy Allen (13), James Anderson (12) and Hollis Thompson (11) rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Sixers, who used a 44-26 advantage in the second quarter to improve to 3-13 on the road.
"You hope things slowly come together and you just stay the course," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "I'm happy for them especially on the defensive side of things."
Philly will close the trip Saturday in Portland.
The last time the Sixers won three in a row on the road was last Nov. 7 - 10 against New Orleans, Boston and Toronto. They snapped a 15-game road losing streak against the Kings with a 117-103 triumph last March 24.
Sacramento hopes to turn the Sixers down this time in California's capital city and will open a five-game homestand Thursday. Charlotte, Portland, Orlando and Cleveland will also visit the Kings, who are 6-11 at home.
The Kings have alternated results in the previous six contests and recorded a 110-106 win at Houston on Tuesday behind DeMarcus Cousins' 17 points and 16 rebounds. Cousins had his 18th double-double of the season and fourth in a row, and played a big role in Sacramento's game-ending 9-0 run. The Kings erased a 104-101 deficit with less than two minutes to go.
Cousins was in early foul trouble and talked about his team's ability to stay the course when facing a possible losing situation.
"It just shows our improvement, and the crazy thing is we have so much more to improve on. We were just saying we were in that situation 48 hours ago (in a close loss at San Antonio), so for us to come back and improve in just that one game, it shows a lot." said Cousins.
Cousins has scored 20 or more points in 13 of his last 16 games, averaging 23.8 points per game in that stretch.
Rudy Gay scored 25 points, Isaiah Thomas added 17 and 10 assists and Marcus Thornton netted 15 off the bench for Sacramento, which shot 49.4 percent and scored 23 points off 16 Houston turnovers. Cousins, Gay and Thomas are posting an average of 64.1 ppg in the past 10 contests.
Sacramento has scored 100 or more points in seven straight and 13 of 14 contests, averaging 104.4 ppg in that lengthy span.
The Kings lost both matchups with Philadelphia last season and have dropped three in a row and 12 of the last 15 games in this series. The Sixers will shoot for their sixth straight win on the road against the Kings.
01/02 10:23:01 ET