Sacramento Kings

Winning helps Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins take Western Conference Player of Week honors

DeMarcus Cousins continues to make the case that he is one of the best centers in the NBA.

Cousins was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Nov. 17-23.

The Kings were 2-1 during that span, and Cousins dominated. The fifth-year center averaged 25.7 points (on 57.7 percent shooting), 16.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 blocks in 31.7 minutes.

It’s the second time Cousins has won the award; the first was last season in January.

“The team played well, the team went 2-1, and I don’t want to be the only one acknowledged,” Cousins said Monday. “I know it’s a player award, but it was a team thing. And without the team, it wouldn’t have been able to be won.”

Kings coach Michael Malone said he spoke with Cousins after last season and rhetorically asked the center what he did to win Player of the Week honors.

“He said, ‘Because I had a great week.’ And I said, ‘No, it wasn’t because you had a great week. You won it because we went 3-0,’” Malone said.

Malone wanted to emphasize that winning would bring accolades to Cousins.

“I think he understands now, for him to get all the recognition that he deserves, whether it’s Player of the Week, All-Star, All-NBA, he’s only going to get that when we win and he proves he can be a force on a winning team,” Malone said.

The Kings (8-5) have been one of the surprise teams of the NBA this season, and Cousins has been a big reason.

Cousins is averaging 23.2 points, a league-best 12.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. His 10 double doubles are the second most in the NBA.

“He gets the recognition he deserves as the most talented big man in the NBA in my eyes, but it really is a team award,” Malone said. “We couldn’t have won those games without everybody on our roster.”

Injury report – Rudy Gay (right Achilles’ tendinitis), Darren Collison (left quadriceps contusion) and Ramon Sessions (right knee strain) are listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

New Orleans announced Monday that guard Eric Gordon will be out indefinitely because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder.