SACRAMENTO -- After two devastating road losses and a 1-4 road trip, the Kings hung tough versus the reigning champion Spurs and pulled out a 94-91 win at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday night.
Tony Parker’s layup gave San Antonio the lead at 88-87, but a pair of Rudy Gay free throws put Sacramento back up 89-88 with 1:48 to go.
Omri Casspi’s 3-point attempt got stuck between the rim and backboard forcing a jump ball and after the Kings won the tip, Darren Collison’s driving layup gave the Kings a 91-88 lead with 24.3 seconds to go.
DeMarcus Cousins secured a rebound off a Tim Duncan missed jumper and made two free throws, pushing the Kings lead to 93-88 with 21.4 seconds to go.
A Ginobili old-fashioned 3-point play with 8.3 seconds to go cut the Kings lead to 93-91. Collison was fouled on the subsequent possession and made one of two free throws.
The stage was set for a classic foul-or-defend decision for Kings coach Michael Malone, up by three with 6.6 seconds to go.
The Kings defended and won 94-91 as Ginobili’s 3-pointer was no good at the buzzer.
DeMarcus Cousins picked up a technical foul with 2:36 left in the first quarter and his teammates responded in the second quarter outscoring San Antonio 22-14 without Cousins on floor.
The second quarter included the Kings outscoring the Spurs 16-4 over the final 12 minutes led by Darren Collison’s eight points to head to intermission with a 45-38 lead.
Danny Green’s 3-pointer off a Tony Parker assist with 6:07 left in the third quarter cut the Sacramento lead to one at 56-55 but Sacramento ultimately led 70-66 with 12 minutes remaining.
The Kings outscored San Antonio 58-34 in the paint and held the Spurs to 91 points, the first time Sacramento held an opponent to less than 100 points since Game 3 of the season - a 98-92 win over the Clippers at the Staples Center.
Cousins led the Kings (6-4) with 25 points, while Collison and Gay went for 19 and 18, respectively.
Ginobili paced San Antonio (5-4) with 21 points while Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green chipped in 16 points apiece.
DeMarcus Cousins scored a game-high 25 points including 11 in the final quarter. He also added 10 rebounds and one block.
The Kings clutch play in the final 2:01 after trailing the Spurs by one point on a Tony Parker layup.
For Sacramento: Cousins sustained a laceration above his eye but had it bandaged up and played through it.
For San Antonio: – F/C Tiago Splitter (calf, out); G Patty Mills (shoulder, out); G Marco Belinelli (groin, out).
The Kings three-game homestand continues with New Orleans visiting on Thursday and Chicago on Thursday.