Video: Coach, players reactions to victory against Rockets
George Karl only said what many have been saying about the Kings for months.
“I’ve got a crazy team, and I’m kind of crazy,” Karl said.
Karl was commenting on some decisions his players make on the court, but there was plenty of crazy to go around Tuesday as the Kings defeated the Houston Rockets, 107-97, at Sleep Train Arena.
Perhaps the Kings embracing their label as the NBA’s reality TV show will be the team’s rallying point.
“There’s some type of saying,” said Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. “A team usually matches the coach.”
Tuesday night was filled with a lot of the unusual, from notable fan ejections to visits from celebrities.
And there was a victory for the Kings – even if some statistics indicate it should have gone otherwise.
The Kings committed a season-high 29 turnovers, which Karl filed under crazy. The player to whom he gave the game ball, point guard Darren Collison, racked up a game-high eight turnovers.
Collison had 14 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds while filling in for Rajon Rondo, who served his one-game suspension for a gay slur toward referee Bill Kennedy.
Tuesday’s game had its own drama, as DeMarcus Cousins’ manager, Andrew Rogers, was ejected after making contact with Houston guard Jason Terry.
Rogers knocked Terry’s hand away after Terry made contact with him while running past the basket, following a Ben McLemore dunk.
Cousins ran to that end of the court when he saw what was happening, and security was ready to defuse the situation.
“My biggest thing is, I didn’t want the situation to escalate too far,” he said.
Cousins declined to discuss the incident in detail. Rogers is a close friend who he’s known since he played at Kentucky.
“It just shows I’ve got some ride or dies,” Cousins said.
Cousins led the Kings with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Also with big games in Sacramento’s frontcourt, Omri Casspi had 19 points and Rudy Gay had 17 points and a career-high six steals.
The Kings forced 22 turnovers and held the Rockets (12-14) to 41.5 percent shooting.
“We’re trying to make the playoffs, so I’ll take the win,” Collison said.
That playoff talk isn’t as crazy as it might sound.
At 10-15, the Kings are only a game out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, even amid all the drama.
“When you’ve been in a drought for so long of not making the playoffs, we’re looking at that (standings) board every day,” Collison said. “... We want to make the playoffs. That’s the whole goal this year, nothing else.”
Rap superstar Drake sat courtside for his second Kings game with team majority owner Vivek Ranadive.
It seems as if Drake, the Grammy-nominated rapper, has become quite chummy with Ranadive, the tech mogul. Last Thursday, rapper T.I. joined Ranadive.
The Kings are 9-8 since starting 1-7, capped by a loss that featured an uncomfortable visit by Drake to the same locker room that had just seen a heated blowup.
But are they crazy?
“I don’t think I’m crazy,” Gay said. “Crazy people don’t usually think they’re crazy.”