Posted February 10, 2012 on AP on Fox
After a win over the Western Conference leaders in their last game, the Sacramento Kings are feeling positive about the direction their young team is headed. The Kings look to win their fourth straight at home Saturday night when they take on the Phoenix Suns. Sacramento is in the midst of its best stretch of the season, winning four of five, and is coming off a 106-101 victory over West-leading Oklahoma City on Thursday. Tyreke Evans scored 22 points while DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and nine rebounds. The Kings (10-16) scored 28 points off 23 turnovers and had 17 offensive rebounds. It was the third time in four games they topped 100 points after reaching that mark just twice in the previous 22 games. "We've improved as a team, we're on the right path now," Cousins said. "We're a lot better than our record shows. We've grown so much from the team we used to be." Cousins and Evans have both taken steps forward under coach Keith Smart. Cousins, who clashed with Paul Westphal before he was fired Jan. 5, is averaging 19.5 points and 14.8 rebounds over the last four games. Evans has averaged 21.4 points in the last seven games after putting up 15.9 per game to start the season. "We're trying to build. These two guys are the stones right now," Smart said. "Now they're young and they get excited, but ... if they can keep this process up, we're going to get there." Sacramento, which improved to 7-4 at home with Thursday's win, has won three consecutive home games for the first time since a four-game run Nov. 25-Dec. 2, 2009. The Kings have yet to face Phoenix this season but have won three straight meetings after losing 17 of the previous 19. While Sacramento is feeling confident about its direction, the Suns (11-15) may have come away from their last game feeling like they took a step back. After winning three straight while averaging 100.3 points, Phoenix lost 96-89 at home to Houston on Thursday. The Suns were held to 13 points in the fourth quarter and were outrebounded 44-31. "Such a winnable game for us," said Steve Nash, who had 13 assists and averages a league-best 10.1. "We didn't convert in so many areas, so it makes it a really disappointing loss. You're going to have cold patches but you've got to find other ways to stay in the game." The loss spoiled an otherwise good day for Nash, who was named to the All-Star team for the eighth time and became just the fourth player at age 38 or older to make it. Sacramento has certainly been witness to Nash's consistency over the years. In the last 10 games between the teams, he's averaged 23.9 points and 12.6 assists. While the Suns have struggled at home, they are playing better on the road, winning two straight and three of four. Phoenix will play its next three on the road. "We're going to continue to work hard, go on this road trip and do the best we can," said Channing Frye, who had a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds Thursday. Frye has made nine 3-pointers over the past three games after an eight-game stretch during which he went 4 for 23 from beyond the arc.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Improving Kings upset NBA's best team

Tyreke Evans scored 22 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Sacramento Kings rallied to beat Oklahoma City 106-101 on Thursday night, dropping the Thunder to second overall in the NBA. The Kings didn't make a field goal in the final two minutes, but still kept the crowd that was dressed primarily in black roaring with approval. Sacramento's final...

Saturday on FOX Sports Arizona: Suns at Kings, 8 p.m.

After a win over the Western Conference leaders in their last game, the Sacramento Kings are feeling positive about the direction their young team is headed. The Kings look to win their fourth straight at home Saturday night when they take on the Phoenix Suns. Sacramento is in the midst of its best stretch of the season, winning four of five, and is coming off a 106-101 victory...

Thunder lose late lead, fall to Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Tyreke Evans scored 22 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Sacramento Kings rallied to beat Oklahoma City 106-101 on Thursday night, dropping the Thunder to second overall in the NBA. The Kings didn't make a field goal in the final 2 minutes, but still kept the crowd that was dressed primarily in black roaring with approval...

Evans, Cousins take charge as Kings top Thunder

Tyreke Evans scored 22 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Sacramento Kings rallied to beat Oklahoma City 106-101 on Thursday night, dropping the Thunder to second overall in the NBA.

Tyreke Evans leads Kings past Thunder

Playing on national TV for the first and only time this season, the Sacramento Kings and their rabid fans put on a good show — at the expense of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Kings rally to beat Thunder 106-101 (AP)

Tyreke Evans scored 22 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Sacramento Kings rallied to beat Oklahoma City 106-101 on Thursday night, dropping the Thunder to second overall in the NBA. The Kings didn't make a field goal in the final 2 minutes, but still kept the crowd that was dressed primarily in black roaring with approval.

Kings' Cousins eligible for showcase on All-Star Weekend

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is among 18 players eligible for the inaugural Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Orlando, Fla.

Kings rally late to trip turnover-prone Thunder

Tyreke Evans scored 22 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Sacramento Kings rallied to beat Oklahoma City 106-101 on Thursday night, dropping the Thunder to second overall in the NBA.

Recap: Sacramento vs. Oklahoma City

Tyreke Evans scored 21 points, DeMarcus Cousins added 19 and the Kings made enough free throws down the stretch to take down the Thunder, 106-101.

Kings blog: Smart happy Cousins picked for NBA's Rising Stars game

Kings coach Keith Smart couldn't be happier for DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings' DeMarcus Cousins (15) tries to maneuver past the Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic. Cousins had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Kings come back again, stun best in the West

If nothing else, the Kings under Keith Smart don't concede anything. Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, left, and guard Tyreke Evans share a head-to-head moment in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The two led the way in the Kings’ upset of the Thunder, with Evans scoring 22 points and Cousins 19. Kings forward Jason Thompson, No. 34, has his shot...

Kings' Cousins excels at taking charges

Out of a third-quarter dunk by the Kings' Jason Thompson, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook pushed the ball in transition with Kings center DeMarcus Cousins hovering on the defensive end.

Kings/NBA blog: Thornton comes through late, and other Kings notes

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said he refers to Marcus Thornton as "Mr. Big Shot." The Sacramento Kings Marcus Thornton, (23) reacts to a foul call after he fouled out against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Power Balance Pavilion on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 in Sacramento. Thornton hit two big three pointers in the fourth quarter.
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.