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  • RANDALL BENTON / rbenton@sacbee.com

    Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, right, works the ball past the Utah Jazz's Jamaal Tinsley on Saturday night.

  • RANDALL BENTON / rbenton@sacbee.com

    The Jazz's Jamaal Tinsley is guarded by the Kings' Aaron Brooks in Sacramento's victory at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday night

Suddenly, the Sacramento Kings can score

Published: Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 - 8:15 am

The Kings spent 10 games trying to find their offensive flow. All it took was for Tyreke Evans to find his and, suddenly, the Kings can score.

A night after blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter to Utah in Salt Lake City, the Kings came back to beat the Jazz 108-97 Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena.

And it was Evans in the middle of the flow with a season-high 27 points to go with five rebounds and a team-high five assists.

"Me being aggressive, that sets the tone," Evans said. "And when (DeMarcus Cousins) is aggressive, that sets the tone. We've just got to keep doing that to be in game-winning situations and win games."

Evans was left to be aggressive without Cousins to finish the game after the center was ejected with 1:35 to play in the third quarter.

And after playing just three minutes in the fourth quarter Friday night, Evans played 8:18 in the fourth Saturday and scored 10 points, eight coming on free throws.

Evans is averaging 21.3 points in his last four games. And along the way, the Kings are figuring out ways to score.

"I think his pace is picking up," Kings coach Keith Smart said of Evans.

"We're obviously running more now. … I never had a problem with trying to figure out how our offense would catch up. I knew at some point we would start making shots."

After scoring 100 points or more once in their first 10 games, the Kings have topped 100 in three consecutive contests.

And after failing to shoot 50 percent or better in their first 10 games, the Kings (4-9) have done so in three consecutive games.

Over that span the Kings are shooting 52.8 percent (124 of 235). The Kings have also gotten hot from three-point range, making 23 of 48 (47.9 percent).

Evans said his approach against the Jazz (7-7) during his recent success has been simple.

"I'm just attacking the basket and taking what the defense gives me," Evans said.

And that's worked, but ideally Smart would like to have Evans and Cousins available together.

Cousins picked up two quick technical fouls in the third quarter and was ejected for the first time this season.

The sequence began when he was called for a foul on Enes Kanter in the post. The first technical was called when he slapped the ball out of Kanter's hand after the foul. He walked over toward official Gary Zielinski after the first technical foul. Moments later, he was called for a second technical and ejected.

Cousins then put his head down and ran off the court.

The technicals were Cousins' fourth and fifth of the season. Cousins is tied with New York's Carmelo Anthony for the league lead with five.

Cousins had 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists when he was tossed.

When asked what the Kings could do about Cousins, whose reputation for having a bad temper has been highlighted by the technicals and his two-game suspension for confronting Spurs television analyst Sean Elliott after a game, Smart said: "We're going to still love him and coach him. That's all we can do."

Smart said the Kings are doing all they can with Cousins.

"We're not just sitting there whistling Dixie and watching him blow up," Smart said. "We are communicating, talking with him. Some guys just have it like that and sometimes it takes a while in the situation and a person grows out of it."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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