OKLAHOMA CITY -- Carl Landry finally made his return to the court for the Kings.
Landry, who signed a four-year deal made his season debut in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 108-93 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Landry had been out all season after tearing his left hip flexor during training camp.
Landry and coach Michael Malone discussed the idea of Landry playing after Saturday’s practice in Memphis and Sunday morning shootaround.
“I told him I think you should wear your uniform tonight, warm up with the guys,” Malone said. “And if there’s an opportunity, to play you 8-10 minutes. I was hoping we’d be up 20 when we put him in but we were down 20.”
Landry checked in the game with 8:51 to play and the Kings down 96-74 and finished the game. Landry had six points and four rebounds.
“It was great to see Carl in, get some game minutes, work on his conditioning,” Malone said.
Landry said he was nervous checking in. He hadn’t played in a game since losing in the Western Conference semifinals as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
“Coach is a man of his word,” Landry said.. “We felt me just getting my feet wet and getting me back in the groove of things was best. He just didn’t want to throw me into the fire with 25, 30 minutes a game.”
Landry last played for the Kings during the 2010-11 season before he was traded to New Orleans for guard Marcus Thornton. The Kings were hoping Landry would add a veteran presence that could be an effective scorer off the bench when they signed him.
Malone said Landry’s rebounding ability and his communication on defense should help the Kings, too.
*The Kings are 1-3 on this road trip and failed to score 100 points in all three losses.
Isaiah Thomas said the Kings need to “trust” the offense and not break off plays to keep the offense going.
*Thomas said he “could have been a little more aggressive” in the second half. He had 27 points in the first half and finished with a career-high 38.
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