Kings notes: Injured Cousins misses second straight game

Published: Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 - 4:36 pm

LOS ANGELES – Once again, the Kings had only 11 players available for a game.

Center DeMarcus Cousins missed his second consecutive game because of a left quadriceps contusion when the Kings faced the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night.

Cousins, who did not travel to Los Angeles, will test his quad today at practice to see if he might play Tuesday against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.

"He did some things on the floor (Saturday) but more treatment than anything else," coach Keith Smart said. "He won't do anything until (today)."

Smart said Cousins' ability to move laterally and conditioning will be the main factors in determining when he returns.

Cousins was injured last Sunday when he was hit in the leg on a box-out by Milwaukee forward Mike Dunleavy.

Meanwhile, forward James Johnson missed his third straight game. He has been away from the team for personal reasons.

"I talked with him (Saturday) and just said get back when you're ready to get back," Smart said.

The Lakers were without guard Kobe Bryant (sprained left ankle, flu) and forward Pau Gasol (foot).

Tourney time – The announcement of the NCAA Tournament bracket always sparks plenty of trash talk among teammates.

The Kings' contingent of Kentucky players (Cousins, Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson) won't have much to say since the Wildcats didn't make the field.

But John Salmons is feeling good about Miami's chances.

"We have a couple guys with teams that made it, but they don't have a chance to win it," Salmons said. "Memphis, Kansas, but they got no real chance."

Miami is seeded No. 2 in the East Regional. Cole Aldrich's Kansas squad is the top seed in the South.

Smart's school, Indiana, is the top seed in the East.

"I have to pick them," Smart said.

Smart admitted the last time he didn't pick the Hoosiers to win, he ended up looking bad. That was 2002, when Indiana reached the title game but lost to Maryland.

Smart didn't get into forecasting the field, saying that aside from updates from his alma mater, he doesn't have time to keep tabs on college basketball.

"It's up for grabs," Smart said. "I have no idea what's happening in the college basketball world."

Maloof sighting – The Maloof family has not been seen at Kings games in Sacramento for some time with the pending sale of the team. But Gavin and Phil Maloof took in Sunday's game.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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