Kings Blog

Cousins playing big minutes after illness

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins pumps his first after the Kings scored in the closing moments of their 108-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins pumps his first after the Kings scored in the closing moments of their 108-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. AP

DeMarcus Cousins was supposed to be on a minutes restriction after missing 10 games because of viral meningitis.

So much for that plan.

Cousins has played 70 minutes in two games back, including 37 in Sunday’s 108-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Sleep Train Arena.

Cousins had 29 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks.

He hasn’t played like someone who had been out since Nov. 26, but he feels the toll as he regains his timing and conditioning.

“If you all knew how I really felt out there ... ” Cousins said with a laugh. “It is a surprise. I’m just playing my part – coming in, doing my job every day. That’s all I can do.”

Kings coach Tyrone Corbin planned to monitor Cousins in six-minute spurts, which he did in the first half of Thursday’s loss to Milwaukee, but Cousins played the entire fourth quarter.

With a game Monday night at Golden State, it’s uncertain how Cousins will hold up. The medical staff has kept close tabs on Cousins to ensure he does not have a setback.

When asked if there will be restrictions on Cousins’ playing time Monday night, Corbin said: “Not that I know of. We’ll talk to the trainers and doctors and see. He’s been responding very well, so we’ll see how he’s feeling and go from there.”

Adjustments – The coaching staff still could change under Corbin.

He might replace assistant coach Chris Jent, who agreed not to return after Michael Malone was fired.

With Corbin taking over, Corliss Williamson became the lead assistant, with Micah Nori also inheriting more responsibilities.

Dee Brown will take on more as an assistant coach, along with serving as director of player development. Ryan Bowen’s role as an assistant coach also will expand while he also serves as assistant director of player development.

Greg St. Jean, whose job title is “analytics and player development nexus,” also will have a larger role.

Injury update – Forwards Omri Casspi (left knee bone contusion) and Reggie Evans (left knee and hip contusion) and guard Ramon Sessions (lower back strain) were active for the game.

Casspi, who had missed the previous four games because of the injury and Sessions did not enter the game. Evans played seven minutes.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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