SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The only thing that stopped DeMarcus Cousins from scoring on Monday night was his sixth foul.
Cousins set a Sacramento record with 56 points, most by an NBA player this season, but the Charlotte Hornets beat the Kings 129-128 in double overtime after Troy Daniels hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9 seconds left.
Daniels made eight 3s and scored a career-high 28 points, enough to help the Hornets overcome a dominant performance down low by Cousins. The All-Star centre grabbed 12 rebounds before fouling out early in the second overtime. He surpassed his previous career best of 48 points set one game earlier in Saturday’s victory over Indiana.
"He’s so gifted and talented. Cousins is one of the best big men I’ve ever played against," Charlotte guard Kemba Walker said. "He’s pretty unstoppable."
So was Daniels.
Coming out of a timeout and trailing by two, the Hornets set up a play for the reserve guard and he connected on a long 3 off a pass from Jeremy Lin.
Daniels acknowledged he didn’t want the game to go into a third overtime.
"The play was for me. I was just thinking, go for the win. I knew the guys were tired," he said. "I think we only had like seven guys (after three fouled out). We didn’t have any bigs, so I just trusted myself and shot the ball."
Darren Collison missed a jumper in the final seconds that would have given Sacramento the victory.
Rajon Rondo had 20 assists and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who had won a season-high five in a row. Cousins broke Chris Webber’s mark of 51 points for a Sacramento team, also in an overtime game.
"It was a tough loss. I was just sitting here (in the locker room) thinking how a lot of the plays early on could have changed the game," Cousins said. "But I think through all of the mistakes, we all left it on the floor. You hate to lose games like this."
The Hornets improved to 5-0 in overtime this season. The latest victory was the third overtime win in the past five games for Charlotte, including two that went to double OT.
Walker scored 24 points for the Hornets, who won their third straight overall. Marvin Williams had 21 points and fouled out in the first overtime.
Lin added 20 points and 11 assists. Spencer Hawes scored a season-high 18 and fouled out late in regulation.
Rudy Gay had 20 points and nine rebounds, Collison scored 15 and Omri Casspi 13 for the Kings.
Casspi found Willie Cauley-Stein underneath for a dunk, giving the Kings a 128-126 lead before Daniels responded with his clutch 3.
"We played together in Houston. He is a great shooter," Casspi said. "He had one heck of a game."
The Hornets made a franchise-record 20 3-pointers, including nine in the third quarter. They outscored the Kings 5-4 in the second overtime.
Cousins had 14 points in the fourth quarter and nine more in the first overtime. He made 21 of 30 shots overall and 13 of 16 free throws.
"He’s having big nights, but we just aren’t shooting the ball very well," Kings coach George Karl said.
Walker hit two free throws to put the Hornets in front by two in the first overtime. Cousins followed with two foul shots to tie it at 124 with 25.6 seconds left, leading to a second OT.
Cousins made two free throws to give the Kings a one-point lead with 5.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Walker was fouled and made the first free throw but missed the second, sending the game to overtime.
Hornets: Williams scored 16 points and Hawes hit four 3s and had 12 points in the third quarter, when Charlotte outscored the Kings 42-28. … An ex-King, Hawes was booed and heckled the entire game. … The Hornets played without two starters. Nicolas Batum, the team’s second-leading scorer, was out with a sprained right toe and starting centre Cody Zeller might miss significant time with a strained right shoulder.
Kings: Gay made two free throws to open the scoring in the second overtime, but was poked in the eye and didn’t return. … Earlier in the day, Cousins was selected Western Conference player of the week. He averaged 32.5 points and 14.2 rebounds in helping the Kings win three consecutive games. … Rondo has handed out 10 or more assists in 12 straight games, a Sacramento record. … Cousins was called for his 10th technical foul in the third quarter, second-most in the NBA.
Hornets: At Utah on Wednesday.
Kings: At Portland on Tuesday.