Orlando Magic fends off Cousins-led rally to send Sacramento Kings reeling to third straight loss
Jeff Green helped Orlando take the lead in the second quarter after a slow start as the Magic never looked back the rest of the way. AP

THE Orlando Magic fended off a late-game rally led by DeMarcus Cousins to send the Sacramento Kings to their third straight loss, 102-94, at theAmway Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time)

Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic took charge on offense while Serge Ibaka manned the defense that held the Kings scoreless in the final four-minute stretch of the game.

The Magic got off to a slow start as Cousins waxed hot early with 14 points in the first quarter to lead the Kings to a 29-23 advantage. But DJ Augustin and Jeff Green knocked down four triples within five minutes of the second period to help Orlando carry a six-point lead at the break.

Fournier and Ibaka combined for 20 of Orlando’s 28 points in the third to maintain the lead entering the fourth frame. But Cousins led a late push, scoring 10 points in a 12-5 run to bring the Kings close, 92-94, at the 4:48 mark.

The Magic then turned to their defense while Fournier, Vucevic, and Aaron Gordon knocked down crucial free throws to keep the Kings out of reach, with Omri Casspi breaking a four-minute scoreless drought for the Kings with a jumper at the 0:22 second mark.

Fournier had 29 points to lead Orlando to its second straight win, while Ibaka chipped in 17.

Cousins finished with a game-high 33 points and Rudy Gay added 16 for the Kings, who have lost their last three games after a 2-1 start.

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