Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas has made a three pointer in 37 straight games.

Kings notes: Gray is helping offense, just not like Cousins

Published: Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 - 10:43 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 - 6:05 pm

The Kings are not expecting to replace DeMarcus Cousins’ scoring when he’s in the game. That doesn’t mean Aaron Gray isn’t a key part of Sacramento’s offense.

Gray started his second game for the Kings on Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena.

Cousins missed the game because of a sprained left ankle.

Kings coach Michael Malone said there was thought of not starting Gray against the Nuggets’ smaller lineup, but film from Gray’s game against Indiana showed how valuable he was to the offense.

Gray won’t command a double team in the post, and the Kings won’t give him the ball expecting him to mimic all that Cousins does.

But Gray does things that make him appreciated.

“One of the stats we keep is something called screen assists,” Malone said. “The guy that makes the pass all the time gets the assist, but for us just as important is the guy that creates the separation. Aaron had 13 screen assists (against Indiana), and that’s why guys like playing with Aaron, because he’s going to give his body up and he’s going to get you open.”

Gray had six points, eight rebounds and five assists in Sacramento’s 125-117 loss to Denver.

Second place – Kings guard Isaiah Thomas has made a 3-pointer in 37 consecutive games to pass Peja Stojakovic for the second-longest streak in Sacramento history. Mitch Richmond holds the record at 39 games.

Thomas has the second-longest active streak in the NBA, trailing Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, who has made a 3-pointer in 112 consecutive games, an NBA record.

Thomas made one of his six three-point attempts Sunday.

Guessing game – Malone knows he has to be careful when playing Denver’s Nate Robinson.

The 5-foot-9 guard is usually a fun matchup to watch against Thomas, Sacramento’s 5-9 starting point guard.

“I always laugh because Nate’s a guy that always has both coaches nervous,” Malone said. “His own coach is nervous because you have no idea what he’s going to do. The other coach is nervous because he can go out there and get 30 (points), and that’s the type of player he is. I’ve coached Nate before (with Golden State) and I have a lot of respect for him, so he’s a dangerous weapon off the bench.”

Robinson had 12 points, a team-high eight assists and two steals for the Nuggets.

Out – Kings assistant coach Corliss Williamson was not at the game due to illness.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at

Read more articles by Jason Jones

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