"We can't take a play off," Scott said. "We can't take a quarter off. We just can't do that right now and our guys have to understand that."
Irving hit a shot in the lane with 12.3 seconds left, cutting the lead to 94-92. Jimmer Fredette's two free throws with 8.9 seconds remaining made it a four-point game. Dion Waiters' basket cut the lead to two. Brooks split two free throws with two seconds remaining. Irving fired a desperation shot from beyond halfcourt that hit off the rim at the buzzer, but the officials ruled the shot would not have counted.
Francisco Garcia scored 14 points and Brooks added 13 for Sacramento.
Waiters scored 20 points for Cleveland while Alonzo Gee added 16. C.J. Miles scored all 12 of his points in the first quarter.
Evans, who has missed 13 games because of a sore left knee, will rejoin the team Friday in Toronto. The Kings said Wednesday that a second opinion Evans got on his bothersome knee from Dr. Steve Lombardo in Los Angeles supported the team's treatment and rehabilitation plan.
Miles, starting at shooting guard in place of Waiters, cooled off after his hot start. Waiters, taken with the No. 4 pick in the draft, had started in all 24 of his previous appearances.
NOTES: Thornton (sprained ankle) missed his second straight game. ... The Kings are 3-13 without Evans, who is averaging 15.1 points. ... Thompson was hit with a technical after being called for an offensive foul in the third quarter. ... Cavaliers G Daniel Gibson (concussion) was out for the second straight game. ... G Shaun Livingston, claimed off waivers last week, made his first appearance for Cleveland. He scored two points in 13 minutes.