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  • Sharon Ellman / MCT

    The Dallas Mavericks' Jae Crowder (9) dunks as the Sacramento Kings' Rudy Gay defends in the first half at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. (Sharon Ellman/ Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ MCT)

  • Jose Luis Villegas /

    Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins rallies the fans after a Magic timeout late in the fourth quarter and the Kings leading by double digits on Friday night, January 10, 2014 between the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California.

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  • Postame notes: No Cousins forces Malone to lean on Thomas, Gay even more
  • Kings notes: Cousins says All-Star snub didn’t surprise him
  • Live blog replay: Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks
  • TODAY’S GAME KINGS (15-31) AT SPURS (33-13) Time: 5:30 p.m. Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio TV/radio: Ch. 10, 1140, 950 THREE KEYS • 1. All about Parker: With Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard both out with injuries, San Antonio’s primary source of perimeter offense is All-Star point guard Tony Parker. The Kings cannot allow Parker to dictate the pace of the game with ease or he’ll have a big game. • 2. Poise under pressure: The Spurs were able to win the last meeting with the Kings by using precise execution on offense and defense. The Kings have to counter that with patience on offense and discipline on defense. • 3. Wing advantage: With Leonard out, the Spurs are without their best wing defender. That means Rudy Gay could have a big game. The Kings will need that with DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) doubtful. PROBABLE STARTERS KINGS
    No. PlayerPos.
    22Isaiah ThomasG
    23Marcus ThorntonG
    8Rudy GayF
    34Jason ThompsonF
    33Aaron GrayC
    No. PlayerPos.
    9Tony ParkerG
    25Nando de ColoG
    7Othyus JeffersF
    11Jeff AyresF
    21Tim DuncanC
    – Jason Jones

Thomas struggles as Kings suffer sixth straight loss

Published: Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 - 10:34 pm
Last Modified: Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 - 1:57 pm

There was plenty to pick through and dislike from the Kings’ latest loss.

Point guard Isaiah Thomas couldn’t have been more bothered by anyone’s play than his own.

As the Kings have piled up losses lately, injuries have put more responsibility on Thomas, and he hasn’t played up to his standards.

“I’m frustrated with myself,” Thomas said. “My shot’s not falling, and I’m not making enough plays for my team to win. I’ve got to pick it up.”

Thomas isn’t the only one after the Kings suffered their sixth straight loss, 107-103, Friday night at American Airlines Center. The losing streak matches the team’s longest of the season.

The Kings have been without leading scorer, DeMarcus Cousins, for the last five games. Rudy Gay missed three games during the streak.

Thomas has tried to will the Kings to victories that aren’t coming. He’s shooting more than he’d like and less effectively.

Thomas has taken 107 shots in the last five games, making only 42 (39.3 percent), including an 8-of-21 outing against the Mavericks.

He is 18 of 42 in the last two games with Gay back in the lineup.

“Ideally, with those two back, I’m shooting 13, 14 shots a game,” Thomas said. “I’ve got to figure it out. I’m a pro, and I’m going to figure it out and keep playing.”

Kings coach Michael Malone said Cousins is doubtful for Saturday’s game at San Antonio with his sprained left ankle.

“Hopefully DeMarcus gets back soon, because it makes my job a lot easier,” Thomas said. “I understand I have been shooting a lot more than usual, but those are the shots I’ve been getting. I think I’m going to keep taking those shots and playing with confidence.”

Thomas is averaging 22.6 points in the five games without Cousins but said he must be more efficient and break out of his shooting slump to give the Kings a chance to win.

“It happens; it’s a long season,” Thomas said. “I’ve just got to keep my confidence up and keep playing.”

The Kings (15-31) were doomed against Dallas by turnovers (15 for 18 Mavericks points) and defensive problems, especially in the second and fourth quarters.

Dallas scored 30 points in the second and 32 in the fourth. Dallas trailed by 14 during the third before rallying thanks largely to Dirk Nowitzki (team-high 34 points) and Monta Ellis (20).

The Kings led 78-64 with 3:27 to play in the third before Dallas took control with a 28-10 run to lead 92-88 with 4:56 left in the game.

“We just had no defensive presence or mindset in that fourth quarter,” Malone said. “And that’s been our challenge all (season) long – we’ll defend in spurts, but we’ll very rarely put together a 48-minute effort on the defensive end.”

For the second game in a row, Gay (35 points) and Thomas (19)were the only Kings to score in double figures.

Gay shot 10 of 16 from the field and 15 of 17 from the free-throw line. Both of the free-throw totals were career highs. Gay added 12 rebounds and six assists. Thomas also had six assists.

Gay said there was no one reason for the loss.

“You can say it was the first half,” Gay said. “You could say it was the first quarter or the fourth. But we have to play a whole, solid game. We haven’t done that in a while.”

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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