The Kings are not expecting to replace DeMarcus Cousins scoring when hes in the game. That doesnt mean Aaron Gray isnt a key part of Sacramentos 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 Grays game against Indiana showed how valuable he was to the offense.
Gray wont command a double team in the post, and the Kings wont 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 thats why guys like playing with Aaron, because hes going to give his body up and hes going to get you open.
Gray had six points, eight rebounds and five assists in Sacramentos 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 Atlantas 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 Denvers Nate Robinson.
The 5-foot-9 guard is usually a fun matchup to watch against Thomas, Sacramentos 5-9 starting point guard.
I always laugh because Nates a guy that always has both coaches nervous, Malone said. His own coach is nervous because you have no idea what hes going to do. The other coach is nervous because he can go out there and get 30 (points), and thats the type of player he is. Ive coached Nate before (with Golden State) and I have a lot of respect for him, so hes 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.