DeMarcus Cousins is ailing and the Kings playoff hopes have faded, but there are no plans to sit the center down or reduce his minutes.
Cousins has been bothered by tendinitis in both feet all season. He plans to have platelet-rich therapy after the season in an effort to earn a spot on the Olympic team.
Foot and ankle problems ended Cousins’ 2014-15 season, when he was limited to 59 games.
Cousins has not missed any time because of his feet this season and has not asked to sit out any of the Kings’ final nine games. But he clearly is uncomfortable running up the court at times.
Cousins usually has his feet in a bucket of ice after games.
“He’s dealing with something that not only he’s dealt with this year, he’s dealt with, I think, in past years,” said Kings coach George Karl. “As of now, I think I’m not going to burn him out, but I’m not sure I have a minute limitation on him unless he or (trainer) Pete (Youngman) say that he wants that.”
Cousins played 28 minutes in Sunday’s 133-111 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Sleep Train Arena, collecting 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. He entered the game averaging 34.7 minutes and 27.1 points per game, both career highs. Cousins also made his second All-Star team this season.
More minutes – Kings reserve center Kosta Koufos did not play in Friday’s win over Phoenix. It was the first time this season he missed a game while healthy.
Karl figured Koufos might not play much against the Suns, who use a lot a small lineups.
“I told Kosta before the game, ‘There’s not a lot of minutes here for you,’ ” Karl said. “I didn’t expect him to get zero, but they got into foul trouble. When they got into foul trouble, they went skinny all night, so Willie (Cauley-Stein) was fine.”
Koufos played 15 minutes against the Mavericks, scoring 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbing six rebounds.
McLemore returns – Kings guard Ben McLemore scored 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench against Dallas after missing the previous 10 games because of a fractured finger.
McLemore has started 50 of the 59 games in which he has played in this season.
Karl started Rajon Rondo and Seth Curry in the backcourt for the second consecutive game. Curry, who has played sparingly this season, scored 14 points in 23 minutes.