Deng scores 22, Cavs avenge loss vs. Kings
CLEVELAND (AP) - Luol Deng scored 22 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers avenged a 44-point loss to Sacramento with a 109-99 win over the Kings on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers, who were routed 124-80 in Sacramento on Jan. 12, took a double-figure lead early in the second quarter and were in control the remainder of the game. Cleveland has won three in a row for the second time this season.
Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the draft who has struggled most of the season, recorded career highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Dion Waiters added 20 points for Cleveland.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 points to lead the Kings, who have lost 10 of 12 and seven straight on the road.
The Cavaliers built a 67-49 lead in the third quarter. The Kings cut their deficit to seven points early in the fourth, but Cleveland went on a 7-0 run, sparked by Kyrie Irving's 3-pointer, to go ahead 91-77.
Cleveland also won three straight from Dec. 7-13. The Cavaliers will go for a season-high, four-game winning streak in their final game before the All-Star break on Wednesday at Detroit. Cleveland has won all three games since general manager Chis Grant was fired last week.
Bennett, who has looked more comfortable for several games, hit two 3-pointers in a little over a minute in the second quarter. He scored 11 points in the first half. His 3-pointer with 4:40 left in the game gave Cleveland a 100-85 advantage.
Irving, who was 3 of 14 with seven points in the first meeting, had 13 points and six assists.
The Cavaliers broke a three-game losing streak against the Kings.
Cousins, taking advantage of a matchup with Cleveland center Tyler Zeller, had 11 points and six rebounds in the first quarter. The Cavaliers played without starting center Anderson Varejao, who missed the game with a sore back. Cousins didn't score again in the half.
The Cavaliers used a combination of Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Henry Sims in an attempt to neutralize Cousins, who was averaging 22.7 points going into the game. The 6-foot-11 center attempted only two more shots the rest of the game and was 11 of 16 from the foul line.
Tristan Thompson had 16 points and 13 points for the Cavaliers.
Isaiah Thomas scored 16 points, and Rudy Gay added 14 for the Kings.
Sacramento has dropped the first three games of a four-game trip that ends Wednesday against New York. The Kings are 6-19 on the road.
C.J. Miles (sore right foot) also missed the game for Cleveland.
NOTES: Asked to describe Varejao's injury, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said, "With Andy, it's his back and really his whole body that is sore, so it will be good to get him some rest, but obviously, you hope that it's not a long-term thing." ... Kings coach Mike Malone spent five seasons as an assistant under Brown with the Cavaliers from 2005-10. ... Thomas and Kings F Jason Thompson each picked up two fouls in the first quarter. Thompson committed his third foul 34 seconds into the third quarter and was scoreless for the game.