Kings Blog

Postame notes: No Cousins forces Malone to lean on Thomas, Gay even more

Monday night at Utah, Isaiah Thomas was so sick he couldn’t finish the game.

As teammates dressed and headed for the team bus, Thomas was on a training table, covered in towels with a thermometer in his mouth.

It would stand to reason if he was that sick on Monday that he might not be back to full strength. Thomas, however, still played a game-high 42 minutes in the Kings’ 107-103 loss to the Dallas Mavericks Friday night at American Airlines Center.

“I am a little tired,” Thomas said. “Coach kept me out there but I’ve got to make plays.”

Thomas missed six of his team-high seven shots in the fourth quarter.

Malone normally plays Jimmer Fredette to start fourth quarters. Fredette had played well in the first half with seven points and two assists.

But without DeMarcus Cousins unavailable for the fifth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle, Malone stayed with Thomas.

“Without having DeMarcus I was really nervous to take both Rudy (Gay) and Isaiah out at the same time,” Malone said. “Rudy had a great quarter in the third and I wanted to give him a blow. I was nervous that if I took both of them out that all of a sudden we have our two rhythm scorers who were playing fairly well in that third quarter on the bench and how were we going to be able to score. So it was not a knock on Jimmer at all, it was just kind of the rhythm of the game worrying about if we took both of our scorers out, who was going to score down the stretch.”

Thomas was shooting 7 for 14 before the fourth.

*The Kings shot 50.7 percent and that still wasn’t good enough, mainly due to their bad defense in the second and fourth quarters (62 total points).

And the Kings still haven’t mastered how to defend without fouling. Dallas shot 36 free throws, 13 more than the Kings.

Gay shot 17 of the Kings’ free throws. Gay’s attempts and makes (15) from the line were career highs.

*Aaron Gray matched his career high with three blocked shots.