SACRAMENTO, California — Deep in talent once again this season, the San Antonio Spurs pulled away in the fourth quarter Monday night against the Sacramento Kings, and it was their bench doing much of the damage.
Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points, San Antonio's bench produced 24 points during the fourth quarter and the Spurs beat the Kings 106-88 for Sacramento's sixth straight loss.
The Spurs broke open a close game in the fourth, outscoring Sacramento 34-19 to win their second straight and fifth in six games since dropping their season-opener to Oklahoma City.
Patty Mills was a key factor in the fourth quarter when the Spurs made 15 of 20 shots and caused havoc on defense with eight turnovers. A reserve guard, Mills had seven points, six assists and four steals in the fourth.
Mills finished with nine points and eight assists.
"I understand you can't live and die off your shot, so if my shot is not falling I have to do other things," said Mills, who missed 6 of 7 shots through three quarters. "I'm trying to become more of an all-around player."
Newcomer David West had four points in the fourth, along with fellow reserves Boris Diaw and Rasual Butler. In his 12th NBA season, West is enjoying the attitude that he says starts with coach Gregg Popovich and is reinforced by the Spurs' longtime veterans.
"We consistently take a serious approach every night -_there's never a let up," said West, who had eight points and six rebounds. "Every night is important."
DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the lineup but the Kings dropped their sixth straight game. Their 1-7 start to the season is the worst since the 1991 season.
"I've been in positions where you have bad starts. I've had everything in my life, from six straight to nine straight," Kings coach George Karl said. "We just have to play more 48 minutes of basketball, more solid basketball and more together basketball."
With the scored tied at 55 in the third quarter, the Spurs ran off 11 straight points. But Cousins had 13 points and converted 9 of 12 free throws in the period, helping pull the Kings to within 72-69 going into the fourth.
Cousins picked up his first technical foul of the season with 13 seconds left in the first half. He was called for a personal foul, and on his way to the bench, he yelled an expletive at referee Ben Taylor.
The Kings have used seven different starting lineups through eight games. Cousins (Achilles tendon strain) missed the previous four games, all losses.
"We've got some issues in the house we need to figure out. It will be a players-only meeting (tomorrow)," Cousins said. "But just to make it clear, I believe in every single person in this room. We got to stay together. I feel like when those issues are fixed, winning will come."
Rondo played all 48 minutes because Sacramento was short-handed in the backcourt with both Darren Collison (strained hamstring) and Seth Curry (sprained ankle) sidelined. Rondo played 44 minutes Saturday against Golden State.
Leonard had another extremely solid game. He made 10 of 13 shots overall, including 3 of 4 3-pointers. He also had two blocks and two steals and helped limit Rudy Gay to 10 points.
Spurs: The game marked the first regular-season meeting with two female assistant coaches — Nancy Lieberman of the Kings and the Spurs' Becky Hammon. The two headlined a girls' basketball clinic Sunday in Sacramento. ... Parker made a 3 in the third quarter and is now 2 for 2 this season.
Kings: Rapper Drake sat courtside in the second half near Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. . Cousins recorded his 200th double-double, the second most in the Sacramento era. Chris Webber has the most at 245.
Spurs: At Portland on Wednesday night.
Kings: Host Detroit on Wednesday night