SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sixers started their season by surprising fans and people around the league with three straight wins.
Some tough times followed that perfect start, including a 13-game road losing streak that was snapped against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
The Sixers were presented with another opportunity to win three games in a row on Thursday night when they played the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Mission accomplished.
The Sixers earned a physical 113-104 win to improve their record to 11-21 and push their mark to 3-1 on this West Coast swing.
For a second consecutive night, the Sixers scored more than 60 first-half points. They led 61-51 at the break.
Both Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes fouled out late in the fourth quarter, an indication how tough a guard DeMarcus Cousins is on the court.
The third quarter’s numerous runs proved to be key in the game’s outcome.
The Sixers built a 15-point lead early in the third quarter before the Kings used a brief run to cut that lead to nine.
The Sixers ripped off their own burst to build their advantage to a game-high 18 points only to allow the Kings to go on a 12-2 run of their own.
The Sixers weathered the storm yet again and were able to hold a 15-point advantage heading to the fourth quarter.
Follow the leader
Thaddeus Young had 11 third-quarter points before finishing with a team-high 28. Tony Wroten scored 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Evan Turner added 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Cousins had 22 points by halftime, but foul trouble limited his playing time after intermission. He finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds.
Isaiah Thomas had 23 points and Rudy Gay added 18.
The Sixers held the Kings to 42.2 percent shooting and just 7 of 23 from three-point range. They also forced the Kings into 23 turnovers.
If defense has been the Sixers’ focus post-Christmas, it is definitely showing.
Take a bow
Jimmer Fredette had all of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. He made his first four shots in the quarter, including two three-pointers. As he did during his BYU playing days, Fredette ignited the crowd with every made basket. He finished 5 of 9 and grabbed four rebounds in his 16 minutes.
The Sixers will conclude their six-game road trip on Saturday night against the Trail Blazers.
Portland has the best record in the Western Conference at 26-7.
The Blazers beat the Sixers, 139-105, on Dec. 14 behind LaMarcus Aldridge’s 20 points and 16 rebounds.