Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/29/12
SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings used a 3-point basket at the buzzer by reserve forward James Johnson to defeat the first-place New York Knicks 106-105 Friday night at Sleep Train Arena. A crowd of 16,407 watched a game the Kings dominated early before the Knicks rallied in the third and fourth quarters to seemingly grab control. Then Johnson, who was 0-for-11 from 3-point range on the season, took a pass from John Salmons and buried his first 3-pointer of the season to deflate the Knicks, sending the Kings into pandemonium. The Kings (10-19) improved to 9-7 at home, while the Knicks fell to 21-9 and 9-7 on the road. Sacramento was led by Marcus Thornton's 18 points and 17 from Johnson. DeMarcus Cousins returned to action with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes. Cousins had missed the previous two games as a result of disciplinary action by coach Keith Smart. The Knicks rallied from a 27-point deficit with a dominating third-quarter performance. The game that once looked to be in the hands of the Kings quickly turned. New York shot 60 percent in the third, but more importantly, held the Kings to 35 percent on 7 of 20. The Knicks battered the Kings on the boards in the period and outscored Sacramento 31-16 to get within 87-81. The Kings gave the long-distance bombing Knicks a taste of their own medicine in the first half by making 10 of 15 3-pointers to lead by as many as 27 points before settling for a 71-50 halftime lead. Jimmer Fredette came off the bench to spark the Kings with 15 points on six of seven from the floor, including 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc. Fredette completed a tremendous sequence with a 3-pointer after 6-foot point guard Aaron Brooks ran down 6-foot-8 Chris Copeland from behind and blocked his lay-in attempt. NOTES -- In addition to Carmelo Anthony (hyperextended left knee), the Knicks were without Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot), Raymond Felton (fractured right fifth finger), Iman Shumpert (torn left ACL) and Amar'e Stoudamire (left knee debridement). ... The Knicks lead the NBA in 3-pointers made with 11.3 per game. ... Friday night's game was the first of two home games before Sacramento leaves for a four-game East Coast road trip. ... Kings coach Keith Smart started Isaiah Thomas at the point instead of veteran Brooks. ... Smart said before the game of troubled center Cousins, "We'll see how things go. The decision has been made regarding the status of Cousins. I know what we'll do but you know I don't talk about lineups until I have to." Cousins started for the Kings after missing the past two contests, the first while he was suspended for unprofessional behavior and the second was Smart's decision.
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