In possibly the biggest win of the season, the Kings upset the Magic 111-105. Sacramento was playing the second night of a back-to-back and were also without star Tyreke Evans (plantar fasciitis) and Carl Landry (traded to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton today).
Dwight Howard had a dominating game, scoring 31 points and grabbing 17 rebounds, while also getting the Kings big men in foul trouble (both Dalembert and Cousins finished with 5 fouls). Howard didn't get much help from his teammates though, especially defensively.
Sacramento was led in scoring by Jermaine Taylor, who scored a career-high 21 points in 28 minutes to go with 5 boards. It was a bit of a homecoming for Taylor, who played at nearby Central Florida in college.
The Kings also got good contributions from Beno Udrih (21 points, 10 assists), Jason Thompson (17 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) and Samuel Dalembert (17 points, 9 rebounds).
It was a guy who didn't put up that many points who might have made the difference for Sacramento though. Luther Head came into the game for defense on Jameer Nelson, who scorched the Kings early in both the first and third quarters. Nelson would finish the game with 15 points, but most of that was scored before Luther Head was guarding him. Head pestered Nelson all night, forcing him into tough shots or bad passes. Nelson finished with a game-high 5 turnovers.
The Kings got off to a good start, leading after the first quarter, but the Magic seemed to take control in the 2nd and 3rd. Hedo Turkoglu did most of his damage during this time, and he would finish with 19 points and 8 assists. Orlando would go up by as much as 12 during the 3rd but Sacramento managed to cut it down before taking the lead back in the 4th quarter on an Omri Casspi three. The teams would trade leads for most of the quarter until Sacramento was able to get a few stops and scores near the end (courtesy of Samuel Dalembert and Luther Head) and held on to win.
Sacramento now has a day off before heading to Charlotte as the road trip continues. With Marcus Thornton coming aboard and momentum off a nice win, it'd be nice if the Kings could finish strong after a poor start.