DeMarcus Cousins had 36 points and 13 rebounds in a 116-101 win over the visiting –and slumping – Thunder, which lost its third game in a row and seventh in nine games. Two days after a 117-104 home loss to the Rockets (who took an NBA-record 50 3-point shots), the Kings beat the Nets 122-105 on the road behind 37 points and 11 rebounds by Cousins. The Kings moved up nearly two full places from last week’s 23.3 average ranking.
The Bee’s Jason Jones ranked the Kings 21st, up from 24th. The Cavaliers remained at the top of his rankings for a third week in a row, and the Mavericks took over for the 76ers at the bottom.
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Toast of the week
ESPN on the Rockets, who rose to 7th from 9th:
“ … Nine of James Harden’s 10 assists on Sunday were for layups or dunks, but he’s still on pace for 415 assists on 3-pointers, which would crush the record of 284, set by Steve Nash when he played for Mike D’Antoni.”
Roast of the week
NBC Sports on the Nets, who dropped from 26th to 30th:
“… The combination of an absolutely terrible defense and no Jeremy Lin to create some unlikely offense has this team both losing and being almost unwatchable.”
And so to the polls:
Ranking: 18th, up from 19th. From the site: “… They’ve trailed after the first six minutes in 12 of their 17 games and they’re the league’s worst team in those six minutes, getting outscored by 24 points per 100 possessions (and allowing 123). …”
Best: Warriors (Last week 3rd)
Worst: Mavericks (LW30)
Ranking: 24th, same as last week. From the site: “ Forget all the talk of offensive fit, the real problem on the court in Sacramento is on the other end – they have the fourth worst defense in the NBA. …”
Best: Warriors (LW1)
Ranking: 24th, up from 25th. From the site: “Sacramento was just 1-6 when (DeMarcus Cousins) cracked the 30-point plateau before blowing the Nets out and frankly had to win to launch a vital six-game road trip … .”
Best: Cavaliers (LW1)
Worst: Nets (LW26)
Ranking: 21st, up from 26th. From the site: “… Garrett Temple and Matt Barnes are giving them solid minutes and contributions.”
Best: Cavaliers (LW2)
Worst: Nets (LW22)
Ranking: 21st, up from 22nd. From the site: “… When you spend most of a game just focusing on (DeMarcus Cousins’) actual basketball-related actions (which even excludes griping to refs), he’s downright frustrating, because you wonder what could happen if he tried hard, like, even 80 percent of the time. … ”
Best: Warriors (LW3)
Worst: Mavericks (LW29)