Sacramento, CA – The Kings avoided the season series sweep by the Los Angeles Lakers. Rookie Ray McCallum set another career-high and has been a key component in the last five games he’s started in place of Isaiah Thomas. After being sideline for his fifth straight game, Thomas who has a deep thigh bruise watched McCallum lead the offense and defeat the Lakers 107-102.
“Every time I think he can’t get any better, he finds a way to prove me wrong,” said head coach Michael Malone. “The biggest thing that impresses me isn’t his scoring or his assists. It’s his demeanor, his composure, and his poise.”
McCallum started his fifth straight game, recording a career-high 27 points, four rebounds and five assists in 46 minutes. In each of the last three contests, the rookie has surpassed his career high in scoring. He is averaging 17.6 points per game, setting a new Sacramento-era record for most minutes played by a rookie in five consecutive games.
“Sometimes in this league the opportunity only comes once,” McCallum said. “I’m trying to take advantage of it. The game is definitely slowing down and I’m getting more comfortable.”
“He’s taking advantage of Isaiah (Thomas) being hurt and he’s playing really well,” said Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni. “He’s got a nice game and he hurt us.”
With help from his teammates, Rudy Gay led all scores with 31 points for his 10th 30-point game of the season, eight with the Kings. Despite foul trouble DeMarcus Cousins added 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal, recording his 43rd double double.