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For three Kings, preseason finale is a Kentucky homecoming

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, center, talks with point guard Rajon Rondo, left, and forward Willie Cauley-Stein during a preseason game on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. All three played collegiate ball at Kentucky, where the Kings will play their final preseason game of 2015 on Saturday.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, center, talks with point guard Rajon Rondo, left, and forward Willie Cauley-Stein during a preseason game on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. All three played collegiate ball at Kentucky, where the Kings will play their final preseason game of 2015 on Saturday. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Though the preseason can be tedious, three Kings have been looking forward to Saturday’s finale against New Orleans at the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.

Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein starred for the Wildcats, making Saturday’s game part business, part homecoming.

Cousins laughed last week at the inference he wouldn’t enjoy himself because it was a work trip.

“It’s a preseason game. It’s all business,” he said, tongue in cheek.

But that business was delayed when mechanical issues kept the Kings from leaving on their charter flight Thursday. They departed Friday and canceled a scheduled practice in Lexington.

After Saturday’s game, the Kings will have 10 days to prepare for their season opener Oct. 28 against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings (4-1) began the preseason with four games in six nights, then had only two games this week before the extended break.

“Normally, the last game I usually sit everybody,” coach George Karl said, “but usually I’ve had seven or eight games. But it’s six (this season), and I’m sure there are three guys who are going to want to play a lot of minutes.”

Karl plans to use 10 players at most and give some a longer look.

“We haven’t had many guys play 30 minutes, but I think we’ll see some guys in Lexington play 30 minutes,” Karl said after Tuesday’s preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Las Vegas.

The Pelicans have a connection to Kentucky, too. Anthony Davis played for the Wildcats in 2011-12. Cousins played for Kentucky in 2009-10, Cauley-Stein last season, and Rondo from 2004 to ’06.

When it comes to handling Davis, one of the NBA’s premier big men, Cousins said the Kings will be all business.

“I’m not having fun with those guys, not at all,” Cousins said. “He’s like a brother to me, but I’m not having fun with him. But it’ll feel good to be back.”

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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