SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings looked lethargic and confused in the first half, falling behind by as many as 15 to the visiting Brooklyn Nets. They struggled coming out of the intermission, but caught fire in the third behind the inspired play of big man DeMarcus Cousins.
Sacramento led by as many as nine in the fourth, but Brooklyn refused to give in. A pair of missed free throws by Rajon Rondo in the final 10 seconds opened the door for the Nets, but Sacramento held on for the 111-109 win.
Before exiting the game with his sixth foul, Cousins played out of his mind. The 25-year-old center dropped in 30 of his game-high 40 points after the intermission and added 13 rebounds in the win.
Rondo notched his third-double in the last four games. The All-Star guard finished the night with 23 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes of inspired play.
Ben McLemore chipped in 15 on 5-for-8 shooting, while Marco Belinelli added 14 points off the bench.
Veteran point guard Jarrett Jack kept the Nets in the game with 21 points and 12 assists. Brook Lopez added 17 points and 10 rebounds while battling Cousins. Thaddeus Young kicked in 16 points and nine rebounds, while Joe Johnson finished with 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.
Cousins got off to a horrible 1-for-10 start, but he went nuts in the third quarter. The All-Star big finished the third 8-of-11 from the field on his way to 21 points in the quarter. The big man dropped in 19-straight points for the Kings during one stretch.
This game went down to the wire. With 1.1 seconds remaining, the Nets tried to inbounds the ball for a final shot, but rookie Willie-Cauley-Stein got a finger on it and deflected it to end the game.
Darren Collison missed his fourth-straight game with a strained left hamstring. Seth Curry return to action after missing the last three with a right ankle sprain. He went scoreless in five minutes of action.
The Kings take their home floor on Sunday for a matchup against the Toronto Raptors. Following the Raptors game, Sacramento embarks on a season-long, five-game Eastern Conference swing.