Thornton lifts Kings over LakersDec 27, 2011 - 7:39 AM Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, helping guide the Kings to a 100-91 victory over the Lakers in their season opener.
Tyreke Evans added 20 points for the Kings, who went 24-58 last season but showed some promise after the All-Star break, going 11-18.
Second-year center DeMarcus Cousins finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds in Monday's victory, the Kings' second win against the Lakers in their last 11 meetings.
"We stayed the course," Thornton said. "We ran the offense to perfection and came away with a win."
Los Angeles had lost to Chicago by one point on Sunday, and fell to 0-2 after a poor shooting night. The Lakers made only one of their 16 three-point attempts, and shot 42 percent overall.
Kobe Bryant had 29 points (on 10-of-24 shooting) to lead LA, which trailed by as many as 15 and didn't lead during the second half, but came close to tying the game down the stretch.
After Thornton drained a three, Pau Gasol hit a jumper to pull the Lakers within 92-89 with 3:49 to play. They had a chance to tie the game after Cousins turned the ball over, but Charles Hayes blocked Gasol's layup attempt. Evans came down with the rebound and was fouled, making both foul shots.
Los Angeles didn't get any closer thanks to a long stretch of offensive failure. After Gasol's jumper, the Lakers didn't score again until Devin Ebanks sank a layup with five seconds to play.
That allowed the Kings to expand their lead back to a comfortable advantage. They had led by double digits for the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, and entered the final period with a 78-64 lead thanks to strong play near the end of the third quarter.
With under three minutes left, Cousins made two free throws and Thornton followed with long-distance make for a 72-60 lead.
Sacramento gained control in the second quarter, when it limited the Lakers to 20 points on 8-of-24 shooting and ended the frame with a seven-point burst. Evans' layup with under 10 seconds left capped the run and the Kings went into the break with a 49-40 advantage.
They had held a 21-20 edge after one quarter.
"Defensively we had too many breakdowns," Bryant said.
Metta World Peace scored 19 points off the Lakers' bench. Gasol ended with 15 points...John Salmons scored 13 points for the Kings. Rookie Jimmer Fredette, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, made his debut for Sacramento and scored six points on 3-of-8 shooting in a little under 26 minutes.
- LOS ANGELES: 91
Dec 27 12:34 AM
- LOS ANGELES: 64
End of 3rd
Dec 26 11:54 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 40
Dec 26 11:10 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 20
End of 1st
Dec 26 10:37 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Dec 26 10:14 PM
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