Rudy Gay has been a King for about six weeks, but even he had fun for the team’s reputation and habit for selfish basketball.
“I never had people tell me to be more aggressive you have a bunch of points,” Gay said with a grin. “Especially not on this team.”
Gay matched his career high with 41 points in the Kings’ 114-97 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at New Orleans Arena.
“I didn’t even realize he was scoring like that until later on in the game,” said center DeMarcus Cousins. “He definitely had a great game.”
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Gay said he wasn’t trying make up for his six-point outing at Oklahoma City.
“If we want to win I have to be aggressive, offensively and defensively,” Gay said.
The Kings needed Gay to play well after one of their worst quarters of the season.
The Kings were outscored 36-26 in the second quarter after building an 18 point lead after the first quarter.
The Kings allowed New Orleans to shoot 78.6 percent, the best by an opponent in a quarter this season.
Kings coach Michael Malone called the second quarter the “Jeff Withey Show.”
The rookie from Kansas had 12 points.
The Kings opened the third quarter on a 19-4 run and managed to outscore the Pelicans 60-41 in the second half.
*Cousins had six assists and three turnovers. Malone has wanted to see Cousins cut down on his turnovers.
“I’m going take responsibility for that because I think I’ve been overaggressive in some of the last few games and I went away from making the guys around me better,” Cousins said. “When I’m doing that I’m making the team better, making the guys on the floor better. So I’m going to take full responsibility for that.”
*Isaiah Thomas had a career-high 38 points against Oklahoma City. Gay matched his career high tonight.
Malone’s prediction: Cousins is probably ready for a big game Wednesday at Houston.
Cousins’ career high is 41 points.