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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    DeMarcus Cousins makes his way around Washington center Emeka Okafor. The Kings center had 21 points and 16 rebounds.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Tyreke Evans charges into Washington's Bradley Beal. The Kings guard had 21 points and made the decisive free throw.

Kings notes: Thomas eyes berth in Rising Star Challenge

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Isaiah Thomas would love an opportunity to take part in NBA All-Star Weekend, with his sights set on the Rising Stars Challenge. The game features first- and second-year players selected by NBA assistant coaches.

Those players are then drafted by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal for their respective teams.

Thomas entered Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards seventh among second-year players at 11.3 points per game. Thomas averages 2.8 assists, fourth among sophomores. He is eighth among second-year players from three-point range (34.6 percent).

"Hopefully, I can attain (the goal)," Thomas said. "More importantly, I'm trying to focus on getting wins as much as possible."

Now that Thomas has regained the starting job at point guard and his minutes have become more consistent, he would appear to have a better chance of being selected for the Rising Star Challenge.

Thomas averages 13 points and 3.2 assists as a starter.

Thomas realizes that if he can lead the Kings to victories, he'll receive all the attention and accolades he can handle.

"Wins take care of a lot of things, a lot of individual accolades," Thomas said. "If we can pile some wins up in the next three weeks and I keep playing well, hopefully I do get in."

Good to go – Aaron Brooks returned to action after recovering from the flu.

Brooks sat out Saturday's loss to the Miami Heat but was active for Monday's win over Cleveland. Kings coach Keith Smart, however, elected not to play Brooks and allow him time to practice Tuesday.

Brooks checked in during the first quarter Wednesday.

With Brooks back and Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans healthy, the player that could see his playing time cut is second-year guard Jimmer Fredette.

Not only are Evans, Thornton and Brooks back, Smart has kept veteran swingman Francisco Garcia in the rotation.

Pack your bags – Wednesday's game was the last of a five-game homestand.

Nine of the Kings' next 11 games will be on the road.

That stretch begins Friday with a three-game trip through Memphis, Charlotte and New Orleans.

After two home games, the Kings will have a season-long six-game trip.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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