Kings call for better care of ball after 21 turnovers to 76ers
Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins was named the NBA Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Jan. 23-29.
The Kings were 3-1 over the week. Cousins led Sacramento by averaging 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.
“I’m happy for him,” said Kings coach Dave Joerger. “I thought he could have won it at different points of the season. We went 3-0 around Christmas, and he had 55 (Dec. 20 against Portland). There’s a lot of good players in this league, so different weeks have different winners, but it’s a good recognition for him. He’s put in his work to get better on the court and the way he approaches the game.”
It’s the fifth time in Cousins’ seven seasons that he’s won the award. The last time came last season on Jan. 25, 2016.
Cousins was named to his third consecutive All-Star Game last week.
Makeup date – Monday’s game against Philadelphia was a makeup from Nov. 30, when moisture on the Wells Fargo Center court made it unsafe to play.
The date worked because the Kings were on the East Coast, the 76ers were off, and Wells Fargo Center was available.
It was the seventh game on an eight-game trip for the Kings and added a back-to-back to the 76ers’ schedule. Philadelphia played Sunday at Chicago.
“This period of time is dense; there’s not much time off,” said 76ers coach Brett Brown. “They found a date to cram it in. We appreciate the effort; (the league) did a really good job of finding this time. It’s rare that you can actually find something that’s palatable. This one is as palatable as it gets.”
If not for Monday’s game, the Kings would have had two days off before playing at Houston on Tuesday.
“The frequency of games ... is what separates this league from any league around the world,” Brown said. “It is crushing; it is demanding; it just never goes away.”
No rematch – Philadelphia rookie Joel Embiid did not play because of a left knee contusion. The last time Embiid and Cousins squared off, they provided an entertaining duel Dec. 26 in Sacramento. Cousins had 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Embiid had 25 points and eight rebounds.
Health update – Omri Casspi has been out for two weeks, which was expected when he sustained a calf injury Jan. 16 in practice. His workload has increased, and he’s improving, but Casspi is expected to be out the rest of the week before being re-evaluated.