The search for consistent defense continues.
At the start of the second half Sunday against Utah, Kings coach George Karl used Seth Curry instead of Darren Collison at one guard spot and Willie Cauley-Stein instead of Quincy Acy at power forward.
Karl has touted the defense of Cauley-Stein and Curry, but their playing time has been inconsistent. Curry has been the fifth guard in a four- man rotation.
Karl said the second-half starting lineup – which also included Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins – could start games as the season winds down.
The Kings limited Utah to 47 points in the second half of their 108-99 loss at Sleep Train Arena.
“I’m looking for defense,” Karl said. “I’m looking for some pressure, some presence. I thought Seth did a great job of being into the ball. So yes, that could be a starting lineup.”
The Kings have struggled defensively all season, especially on the perimeter, and Karl has called Curry the team’s best perimeter defender.
Curry, however, didn’t expect to start the second half against the Jazz.
“I think we had a good momentum going towards the end of the second quarter, but I never really started the second half or started this year, so it was a little bit different,” Curry said. “I was trying to carry over what we did in that second quarter over into that third quarter.”
Sacramento gave up 36 points in the first quarter and 25 in the second.
Curry has waited all season for a chance to contribute and would welcome an opportunity to start.
“(It would) help my confidence, help my rhythm,” Curry said. “Just to get more comfortable on the floor out there and play with the starters and make it easier for them. (It would) change the game and add a different element.”
Karl said who starts is not the priority.
“At the end of the day, it’s not (about) starting,” Karl said. “It’s (about) rotating the game differently and trying to keep more defensive players on the court.”
Another high allowed – Utah’s 61 first-half points were its season high. The Jazz had scored 60 in a first half twice.