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Rudy Gay finding his game at right time for Kings

Kings forward Rudy Gay, right, missed a game last week because of an illness, but has returned full stregnth. Gay is defended here by Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.
Kings forward Rudy Gay, right, missed a game last week because of an illness, but has returned full stregnth. Gay is defended here by Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (3) during an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Rudy Gay has seen enough of hospitals for a while.

Gay was there before the season for a joyous occasion, the birth of his second son.

Last week, Gay was at the hospital again, this time as a patient after feeling extremely sick late Thursday night.

It wasn’t as stressful as the birth of a child, but Gay knew his stomach illness required more than an over-the-counter remedy.

“I had an idea what was wrong with me,” he said. “I called our trainer and he called the doctor; he said he basically just thinks I can get an IV in and get some tests in. I wouldn’t say (it was) scary. I don’t like hospitals at all. I don’t intend on being in another one anytime soon. But that’s just something you got to do.”

The trip to the hospital forced Gay to miss Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. But last week brought more positives than negatives for Gay and the Kings, who begin a five-game trip Wednesday at Atlanta on a three-game winning streak.

I think me and Cuz (DeMarcus Cousins) are a big part of what happens here, along with (Rajon) Rondo pushing it. For us to be good, we have to be good.

Kings forward Rudy Gay

Gay, who had been in a slump, began to look like part of the 1-2 punch with DeMarcus Cousins that gives the Kings the best chance to be competitive.

In the two games Gay played during the winning streak, he averaged 26 points, six rebounds and three assists and made 20 of 30 shots.

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As the season got underway, Gay often looked out of sorts. He refused to use the fatigue from having a new child at home, Cousins’ four-game injury absence or anything else to explain his funk.

Since coming to Sacramento from the Toronto Raptors in December 2013, Gay had been a much more efficient player. But his shot wasn’t falling to start this season, and he was an inefficient volume shooter.

During that time, coach George Karl questioned Gay’s fitness and conditioning. Gay shrugged off those concerns.

“If I’m out there, I’m fine,” Gay said. “If I decide to play through whatever is wrong with me, I have to be OK with it. It’s the NBA. Everybody’s got their kind of aches and pains.”

Gay is pleased that his improved performance has coincided with the team’s.

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“It’s always good to play good when you win,” Gay said. “I think me and Cuz are a big part of what happens here, along with (Rajon) Rondo pushing it. For us to be good, we have to be good.”

Much has been made about the impact of last Tuesday’s team meeting, which came after the Kings’ sixth consecutive loss. During that skid, Gay shot 39 of 108 ( 36.1 percent). Without Cousins for four of those games, it was even harder for Gay to find his offense.

Gay, however, declined to speculate whether the meeting turned things around for himself or the team.

36.1 Rudy Gay’s field-goal percentage during the Kings’ six-game losing streak

“I don’t know, I mean, we’re just playing together,” Gay said. “I’ve been in team meetings, I don’t know if the team meeting (improved our play). Personally, I just feel like after a matter of time we would’ve got it, and we’re starting to get it now.”

The Kings could get a boost in the backcourt on this trip. Darren Collison, who has missed five games because of a strained left hamstring, is expected back as soon as Wednesday.

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Karl hopes the late-game defense that keyed Sunday’s comeback win against Toronto carries over on the road.

“Rondo, Rudy and Ben (McLemore), I think the last three minutes was really where they were confident on the ball,” Karl said. “We made good reads, good decisions. We’re having pretty good games.”

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

On the road

The Kings will play five games on the road in the next eight days (all games on CSNCA):

  • Wednesday: At Atlanta, 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: at Miami, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: at Orlando, 2 p.m.
  • Monday: at Charlotte, 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 25: at Milwaukee, 5 p.m.
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