Kings 91, Magic 82
The Kings went small and came up big.
Isaiah Thomas scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Kings leaned heavily on an undersized second unit to beat the Magic in front of a crowd of 16,305 at Sleep Train Arena and head into a four-game road trip on a winning streak.
After watching a double-digit halftime lead vanish in the third quarter, the Kings started the fourth with a lineup of Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton, Chuck Hayes and rookie Thomas Robinson.
"I think we had to push the tempo and make this team run," head coach Keith Smart said. "Half-court wasn't going to work for us."
The change of pace was evident immediately. Fredette's three-pointer with 8:29 left gave the Kings a 69-68 lead that they stretched to nine on a pair of free throws from Thomas before holding the Magic off down the stretch.
Thomas -- who didn't get off the bench in the Kings' win over Toronto on Wednesday -- and Fredette played the entire quarter and combined for 22 points and eight rebounds in the fourth.
"We just played hard," Thomas said. "I tell him, when I'm in, I pass to you, just shoot it. He was aggressive, I was aggressive and we fed off each other."
The Kings made just six shots from the field in the fourth quarter but made 16 of 18 free-throw attempts, including 7 of 8 by Thomas. They held Orlando to 7 of 24 shooting in the quarter and 37.5 percent for the game, and out-rebounded the Magic 41-34.
The Kings (6-12) scored 25 fast-break points, including 11 in the fourth, and turned 16 Orlando turnovers into 25 points.
"We were getting stops as a defensive team, and we got rebounds and just went," Thomas said.
Smart didn't break up the second-unit lineup until John Salmons entered with 3:32 left in the game, later saying he felt he had "the right chemistry" on the floor.
Knowing they were at a size disadvantage, Fredette said, the Kings compensated by "pressuring on defense -- make them drive the ball and kick, scramble on defense, use your quickness and then get out on transition and push the ball up the floor."
Fredette, listed at 6-foot-2, chased the bigger J.J. Redick around the floor the entire fourth quarter, in which Redick missed all four of his shot attempts.
Glen Davis led the Magic (7-12) with 20 points and 11 rebounds but fouled out with 38.4 seconds left, committing five fouls in the final quarter.
At one point, Davis found himself on the ground wrestling for a loose ball with Robinson. The rookie finished with just one point but made an impact with hustle plays, recording seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"He changed the whole game," said DeMarcus Cousins. "I told him, that's how you should play every night."
Cousins followed one of his best games of the season against Toronto with another double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds against the Magic. Jason Thompson added 12 points and six rebounds.
The Kings have won consecutive games for just the second time this season, and the first since Nov. 5-7.
They go on the road to play the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Smart said he isn't sure whether Tyreke Evans, who was scratched from the starting lineup Friday night with knee soreness, will be available.
Magic 64, Kings 62
After a cold-shooting first half, the Magic came out of the locker room on a 20-8 run and have taken the lead going into the fourth quarter.
Orlando's Arron Afflalo leads all scorers with 16 points, and forward Glen Davis has 15 points and 10 rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings with 13 points and 13 rebounds, and also has four assists. Jason Thompson has 12 points and six rebounds, and Aaron Brooks has 11 points.
Cousins picked up a foul trying to draw a charge from Davis late in the quarter but has mostly managed to stay out of foul trouble. It was just his second.
The Kings have 15 assists but have also turned the ball over 14 times.
Kings 46, Magic 35
The Kings are still in control, limiting Orlando to 35 percent shooting in the first half.
Jason Thompson has 10 points and six rebounds for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins and Aaron Brooks each have nine points. Cousins also has eight rebounds and four assists.
The Kings haven't taken care of the ball with 11 turnovers but have only allowed six points off their mistakes. The Kings have turned nine Orlando turnovers into 12 points.
The Kings have to take care of the ball in the second half, but it might not matter if Orlando continues shooting so poorly.
Glen Davis is the only Magic player in double figures with 10 points.
The Kings are also outrebounding Orlando 27-18.
Kings 25, Magic 16
Tyreke Evans was a late scratch because his left knee is bothering him again, but the Kings have gotten off to a quick start with Francisco Garcia starting for Evans.
Aaron Brooks has nine points for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins has three points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Kings are shooting 52.4 percent (11 of 21) and have a 12-9 rebounding advantage.
The Magic are shooting 36.8 percent (7 of 19). Glen Davis leads the Magic with eight points.
The Kings already have nine fast break points and have scored 11 points off six turnovers by Orlando. The Kings already have five turnovers but have only allowed two points off their turnovers.
Without Evans playing, the Kings have already used both backup point guards with Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas getting rare first quarter playing time together.