The Kings squandered an 18-point lead, falling in improbable fashion 114-107 to the 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday night.
Despite 39 points and 24 rebounds from DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento was doomed by 18 turnovers that Philadelphia turned into 27 points and a devastating turn of events in the third quarter.
The Kings led 73-55 with 8:46 to go in the third on a Carl Landry layup but the Sixers went on a furious 33-9 run to take a 88-82 lead heading to the fourth quarter. Nine Philadelphia players scored in the third quarter led by a modest six points from Luc Mbah a Moute.
The Kings rallied to cut the deficit to 106-103 on a DeMarcus Cousins' reverse layup that was ruled good after Jerami Grant was called for goaltending with 1:15 remaining.
However, the Sixers extended the lead to 110-103 thanks to a Nerlens Noel alley-oop dunk and two free throws by Ish Smith. The Kings never got closer.
Robert Covington paced the 76ers with 24 points while Nerlens Noel added a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Jerami Grant (13) JaKarr Sampson (10), Luc Mbah a Moute (10), Ish Smith (10) and Hollis Thompson (10) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Sixers.
The performance was Cousins' 40th double-double of the season. It’s the second consecutive season that Cousins has secured 40 double-doubles.
Rudy Gay added 24 points while Derrick Williams scored 15 points for Sacramento off the bench.
Ray McCallum added nine points and eight assists for the Kings.
Friday’s loss, after Wednesday’s win at Charlotte, represented another failed opportunity for Sacramento to win back-to-back games since November.
The Kings (22-42) are now 2-5 on their current eight-game road trip. The Sixers (15-50) take a 1-0 series advantage over Sacramento before visiting Sleep Train Arena for the second and final meeting between the teams on March 24.
The Kings fall to 9-23 on the road, 12-17 in back-to-back games and 7-8 in the first game of back-to-back scenarios with the finale of its eight-game road trip looming Saturday in Washington.
Robert Covington lead Philadelphia with 24 points.
Philadelphia bounced back from a 13-point halftime deficit, going on a 33-9 run to secure an 88-82 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Kings -- C DeMarcus Cousins (left ankle sprain) was probable and played, while G Darren Collison (core muscle injury) and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) were out.
G Andre Miller took a shot the eye at around the three minute mark of the fourth quarter but played through it.
Sixers -- C Joel Embid (right foot) and G Tony Wroten (right knee) were out.
The Kings eight-game road trip concludes in the second of a back-to-back on Saturday in Washington.