Kings Blog

Postgame notes: Kings figuring out how to maximize the play of Cousins, Gay and Thomas

When DeMarcus Cousins was in foul trouble, Rudy Gay carried the Kings.

Gay scored 22 of his season-high 33 points in the first half of the Kings’ 111-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday at Target Center.

When Gay wasn’t scoring, Cousins and Isaiah Thomas picked it up.

Cousins scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half. Thomas scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half.

“I started off slow tonight, rough start for me,” Cousins said. “Rudy carried us most of the game and even in that fourth quarter he hit a big shot at the end and he did a great job and Isaiah as well.”

In the 16 games prior to the win over Minnesota, Cousins, Gay and Thomas were accounting for 61 percent of the Kings’ offense. They scored 71.2 percent of Sacramento’s points against the Timberwolves.

*That’s not to say all was good in the win. Cousins called it “ugly” while Thomas agreed it was “shaky” at the end.

The Kings led 102-91 with 3:18 left in the game before allowing the Timberwolves to go on an 8-0 run. That made the game close with 1:01 to play.

Cousins then scored out of a timeout, but the Kings allowed Kevin Love to make a three pointer, one of two he’d make in the final 40 seconds. Thomas also fouled J.J. Barea on a made layup with 4.6 seconds to play. The free throw cut the Kings’ lead to 109-108.

Thomas made two free throws and the Kings survived.

The Kings gave up 35 points in the fourth quarter.

“There are some positives but at the same time we have to focus on the negatives just as much,” Cousins said. “And like I said, it was an ugly win but I’ll take it. But at the same time we can’t keep making those same mistakes when we are in a close game.”

Kings coach Michael Malone on the fourth quarter:

“The turnovers, the fouling when we shouldn’t be fouling, poor execution coming out of timeouts, all those things that we have to improve on and we will because we’ll learn from it and watch film. You’ll never accept in victory what you wouldn’t accept in defeat.”

*After playing back-to-back games the Kings will not practice Thursday in Memphis. They play the Grizzlies Friday.

*Former King Luc Mbah a Moute picked up a DNP-CD tonight.

*Tough times out here for Ricky Rubio. He didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter. Neither did former King Kevin Martin. Alexey Shved and J.J. Barea finished the game for Minnesota.

Martin had 14 points. Rubio had five points, five assists and five turnovers.

*Stat of the night: Cousins only attempted two free throws. Those came in the fourth quarter. Odd that he would go so long without free throws playing against a physical player like Nikola Pekovic.