Sarcasm can hide anger.
If you needed an example of that, DeMarcus Cousins provided one.
Don’t be fooled. Losing to the Chicago Bulls 102-99 Saturday night at United Center stung. Especially when you consider that Cousins was called for a foul with 14 seconds to play for fouling Dwyane Wade on a dunk attempt.
Replays showed Wade had lost control of the ball before Cousins was near him and any contact from his hand was inconsequential at best.
Still, Cousins wasn’t about to lose any money for criticizing the officials.
So he praised them, even though the Kings were miffed by the foul call.
“I think they made the absolute right call,” Cousins said. “Incredible job by the referee crew tonight. I don’t have a complaint in the world. I think they should get more recognition for how well they ref these games. I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. Kudos to them, and I applaud them.”
Cousins’ clapping masked the frustration of the Kings’ fifth consecutive loss and 10th in the last 12 games. Cousins said he received no explanation of the call.
I think they made the absolute right call. Incredible job by the referee crew tonight. I don’t have a complaint in the world. I think they should get more recognition for how well they ref these games. I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. Kudos to them, and I applaud them.
Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins
“They made the right call, so it’s all good,” Cousins said.
The Kings appeared headed for a fast-break opportunity off a Wade missed dunk, if not for the whistle that most of the players did not even hear.
Sacramento had a chance to take the lead after Wade made one of two free throws, but he stole the ball from Cousins, leading to a dunk by Michael Carter-Williams.
It was a strong finish for Wade, who scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth.
“I think I took off a little too far (from the rim),” Wade said. “The refs saw (Cousins) come close to me, and I thought he probably nudged me a bit. Hey, sometimes you get the call, sometimes you don’t. So I was able to get to the line and put us up one.”
Cousins scored 14 of his game-high 42 points in the fourth. He also had a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Bulls had no answer for Cousins, who made 16 of 28 shots.
With Cousins carrying the offense and the Kings holding the Bulls to 41.0 percent shooting, Sacramento was in position to win before Wade stole the ball from Garrett Temple and drew the disputed foul.
“We played great, offensively, defensively; we made plays,” Temple said. “We did exactly what we were supposed to do. We should have won this game. We battled, battled, battled. That’s really all I can say to keep from losing some money.”
It was the Kings’ second game since learning Rudy Gay would miss the rest of the season with a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon.
We played great, offensively, defensively; we made plays. We did exactly what we were supposed to do. We should have won this game. We battled, battled, battled. That’s really all I can say to keep from losing some money.
Kings guard Garrett Temple
The Kings (16-27) used the same starting lineup for the second consecutive game, with Temple taking Gay’s spot alongside Cousins, Arron Afflalo and Kosta Koufos.
Besides Wade’s performance, the Bulls (22-23) got 23 points and seven assists from All-Star Jimmy Butler.
“DeMarcus had a great game,” said Kings coach Dave Joerger. “There was just too much Butler and Wade to overcome. Twenty-five free throws (between Wade and Butler) is really hard to stay ahead of.”