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.