BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Kings coach Michael Malone had a hard time sitting through his teams latest effort in which the idea of playing for each other was non-existent most of the night.
Right now, what I see on both ends of the floor is the disease of me, Malone said. I think were becoming a selfish basketball team on both ends.
There was plenty of evidence to support that in the Kings latest loss, 104-89 to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Sunday night. The Kings matched their season low with 11 assists, were slow to help each other on defense and committed a season-high 24 turnovers.
Eleven assists in a 48-minute game is absurd, Malone said.
The Kings have lost their past two games playing this way. Malone said hes not going to change his starting lineup or rotation, but he will be searching for combinations that will be unselfish.
The turnovers and selfish play is whats hurting us right now, said center DeMarcus Cousins. Coach is right, were not playing for one another right now. Were playing for ourselves. Were not going to win games playing that way.
Sharing the ball and playing efficiently on offense is key for a Kings team that is not equipped to win low-scoring games. Sacramento is 3-23 when scoring fewer than 100 points.
Cousins said Malones message is consistent, but the players arent taking heed.
When thats being said, its more like, thats not pertaining to me, Cousins said. And I feel like everybody should take whats being said in some type of way and apply it to themselves and ask themselves, How can I make my teammate better this game? When we do that, I feel like well take a step forward.
The Kings did that in their last win in Milwaukee, which has the worst record in the NBA. In consecutive games against teams with winning records, the Kings reverted to a style that usually ends in a loss.
We were unselfish (in Milwaukee), Malone said ... I think what happens is we win playing the right way and then some guys want to get back to getting their numbers and that maybe leads to guys not playing the right way.
Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas said in Toronto the Kings (22-41) seem to play the wrong way after wins, too. Players try to score on the first pass instead of looking for a better shot. Or they force things and give the ball to the opponent.
Guys are trying to do it on their own, Thomas said. I guess thats what happens when youre on a young team thats losing. When adversity hits, guys kind of go their separate ways, and the last two games its definitely felt that way.
Cousins had 28 points and 20 rebounds but also had six turnovers. Thomas matched his career high with seven turnovers. Rudy Gay had 20 points but no assists.
The Kings also got little production from their reserves. Brooklyns bench outscored Sacramentos 59-19.
Leading the way for the Nets (31-30) was former King Marcus Thornton, who scored a team-high 27 points. It was Thorntons first time playing against the Kings since being traded to Brooklyn for Reggie Evans and Jason Terry last month.
Brooklyn scored 28 points off Kings turnovers and shot 53.2 percent.
Weve just got to take care of the ball, including myself, Thomas said. Its not a good thing. Were just giving them extra possessions, especially good teams that dont need extra possessions. Were giving it up, just because of our turnovers. And on top of that, were not the best defensive team and were giving up things they like to do and its hurting us.