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Sixers snap 15-game road losing skid with win over Kings

The SportsXchange

SACRAMENTO -- It wasn't a perfect outing, but the Philadelphia 76ers certainly played well enough to defeat the lowly Sacramento Kings.

The 76ers put an end to their 15-game road losing streak Sunday night with a 117-103 victory over the Kings before an announced crowd of 14,647 at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings (25-45) began the game as if energized by an enthusiastic crowd in the building to display its support for the city's effort to keep the team in Sacramento. The Kings held a 31-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The game ended with a lackluster performance during the final three quarters, particularly a defense incapable of slowing the Sixers offense.

Both coaches pointed to energy, but Sacramento's Keith Smart said his team didn't have enough, while Doug Collins said his team had to calm down.

"We were frenetic to start the game," said Collins, whose team improved to 27-42. "We'd taken 27 shots in the first quarter and I told them we can't play at that pace."

"That was an energy game," said Smart. "There were a lot of second-chance points and offensive rebounds which are both energy plays. We had the juice for a minute, then we lost it after that and we couldn't complete what we were doing.

"We knew coming into this game the biggest problem would be the dribble-drive and whether or not we could defend off the dribble."

Jrue Holiday paced six Sixers in double-figure scoring with 21 points and added 10 rebounds, seven assists and five steals in a performance emblematic of his All-Star status.

Former Kings center Spencer Hawes had a solid game of 14 points and 10 rebounds despite consistent booing from Kings fans who were angered by statements Hawes made about the Kings being moved to Seattle.

The booing was not a surprise.

"(The fans) were telling me on twitter all day they were going to do it." Hawes said.

Swingman Dorell Wright scored a game-high 22 points off the bench and combined with center Lavoy Allen (20 points) to help coach Collins' squad break their losing ways on the road.

Allen's 9-of-13 shooting performance helped him to a career-high scoring mark. It was also part of the team's season-high scoring total and season-high-tying assist mark.

Collins pointed to his team's defense.

"We got stops," said Collins, whose team improved to 27-42. "(The Kings) want to score. They'd been averaging 117 points a game. They got 103. A lot of those they got late. After the first quarter, we got the pace of the game where we wanted it."

The Sixers scored just 22 points in the first quarter, but put together powerful offensive displays throughout the rest of the game. They used a 48-37 rebounding advantage to contain the Kings.

Guard Isaiah Thomas led the Kings with 25 points, followed by reserve guard Marcus Thornton's 22 points and Tyreke Evans' 19. Thomas had an unusual zero-assist total.

Evans had a good first half, but began vomiting at half time and scored just five points in 15 minutes.

Center DeMarcus Cousins had eight points and nine rebounds as he was hampered by foul trouble.

NOTES: Kings guard Isaiah Thomas went 1-for-1 from the line and has now made 100 of his past 104 free-throw attempts. Entering the game, he was ranked sixth in the NBA in free-throw shooting (.891 percent). ... The Sixers played the third of a four-game road trip. They finish the trip Monday night against the Utah Jazz. ... Kings fans booed Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes during pre-game introductions. Hawes, a former first-round draft choice of the Kings, was outspoken earlier this season in favor of the Kings being sold and moving to Seattle. Hawes was born and raised in Seattle and grew up a SuperSonics fan. Hawes also was booed moderately throughout the game. ... Said one member of the Philadelphia organization of all-star Jrue Holiday: "He's really improved this season and if we had more guys who could make open shots, he'd double his assists total." Holiday entered the game ranked 15th in the league in scoring at 18.6 points per game and fourth in assists at 8.7.
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