76ers 125, Kings 91


Kareem Rush and Donyell Marshall have to hope the way they almost flawlessly buried all those open looks earns them a second look at a bigger role in the rotation.

Thaddeus Young scored 18 points, Lou Williams had 17 and the 76ers led by as many as 40 points in a 125-91 rout of the winless Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Marshall and Rush went a combined 6-for-7 from 3-point range and each played their season-high in minutes, even though most of their playing time came when the game was put away.

The 76ers were last in the NBA last season in 3-point percentage and 3s made. So they signed Rush as a free agent and hoped he would boost those numbers.

Instead, Rush earned a DNP-CD the last game and had attempted only one 3-pointer this season.

"It's very discouraging," Rush said. "I didn't plan on this when I signed here, but it's the way it is. A lot of these guys have been here for a number of years and played with (coach Maurice) Cheeks a number of years, so I think it's a familiarity thing that he has with these guys."

Willie Green scored 16 points and Elton Brand had 15 for the Sixers, who were up 20 points at halftime and were able to stretch the lead in the second half instead of blowing it like they did Saturday at Atlanta.

In that one, the Hawks rallied from a 23-point deficit to stun the Sixers. This time, role players like Green and Williams kept making shots in the third quarter and to keep the road-weary Kings from rallying.

"We talked about coming out in the second half and being more aggressive than we were," Green said. "We weren't going to let that happen again."

No need to worry about blowing this one against the Kings.

Jason Thompson scored 17 points and Spencer Hawes had 15 for the Kings (0-4), who can't wait to head home after a dreary season-opening road trip.

The Kings, off to their worst start since 1997-98, open a four-game homestand on Wednesday against Memphis.

"You can't win in the NBA if you give up 120 points a game," coach Reggie Theus said. "I told them that is not acceptable, from the leaders all the way down. In order to win, you have to be tough-minded, and right now we're not tough-minded."

The Sixers shot only 32 percent (13-for-41) on 3s in their first three games, but seemed to discover their long-range form against the Kings, finishing 10-of-13.

"This is what I do," Rush said. "That's what they brought me here for. That's what I can bring to this team. Hopefully I can find a way to get some regular time, crunch time, instead of blowout games."

Cheeks said he learned a lesson after blowing the big lead over the weekend and would try and play a deeper rotation late in the game.

He used 10 players in the third quarter and all but Samuel Dalembert scored. Rush scored 10 points and hit a 3 for a 92-65 lead.

Philadelphia blew the game open early with a 12-2 run early in the third. Brand converted a three-point play and Young hit a 3 during the spurt that gave the Sixers a 29-point lead.

Marshall, who didn't play the last two games, sank a 3 to make it 122-83. Exhibition games are usually more exciting than the final 12 minutes of this one, and the Sixers turned it into a 3-point contest.

Marshall, who went 4-for-5 on 3s, knows he's not going to be counted on for heavy minutes. Marshall, a Reading, Pa., native who grew up rooting for the 76ers, had some family members at the game and wanted to play well for them.

"For me to get a chance to go in there and play and finally put some points up for the Sixers, it was good," he said. "My little brother was here so it was all good."

Four Kings played at least 30 minutes and Hawes, the starting center, was in there until the end.

Notes:@ Many of the 76ers who played with Allen Iverson were surprised to see their former teammate traded from Denver to Detroit on Monday. "Yeah, I'm surprised because of the caliber of player that he is," Williams said. "Sometimes things don't work out like people planned and you have to move on." Cheeks wasn't looking forward to facing Iverson on a more regular basis. "It's not being traded again, it's just that he was traded to the East," Cheeks said. ... The Sixers hit 10 or more 3s in a game only twice last season.

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