Sacramento, CA – The last time these two teams met, DeMarcus Cousins was not in the lineup. Last night Cousins was out with a sprained left ankle when his team took on Jason Kidd’s young Bucks. They had no answer on how to contain Rudy Gay who dominated them once again to sweep the season series.
Gay shined bright in the Kings 111-104 victory over Milwaukee. He finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists as Sacramento snapped a five-game losing streak. Gay scored 36 points on Nov 25th against the Bucks and continued to out play his opponent in the second half.
“Gay touches the ball a lot more when Cousins is not in and he displayed that again tonight,” said Kidd.
The Kings didn’t have the best start, Milwaukee dominated in the paint early. Sacramento kept cutting the lead down to three but the Bucks kept pace staying ahead in the first half. By the third period Gay was in a zone. He made 13 of 20 shots while Rajan Rondo made four three’s and had 19 assists.
“DeMarcus being out had a lot to do with it,” Gay said. “Obviously, he’s been carrying us for the most part of the season. When guys go down, not just him Ben [McLemore] is out, guys have to step up.”
It wasn’t a hard task for the Kings as Milwaukee continued to struggle with closing games out. With the number of injuries, the Bucks bench failed to keep any lead the starters built. Thus, Sacramento took over and cruised in the final minutes for the win.
“We’re not healthy. There are no excuses at this level, and you have to go with the guys you believe in off the bench that can help us,” said Kidd. “We’ve got to get more guys involved off the bench that can help the starters. The starters are playing a lot of minutes.”
The Kings used their 17th different starting lineup of the season. Sacramento is 2-7 this season with Cousins in the lineup. McLemore missed his first game as a King, playing in 211 straight contests before missing tonight’s game with a sprained right wrist. Gay recorded his 3rd 30-point game of the season, with 2 of those games coming against the Bucks with a season-high 36 points against Milwaukee earlier this season.
Notes – The Sacramento Kings recalled their Chinese New Year T-shirts after center DeMarcus Cousins walked into the arena noticing the image on the shirts. Players from both the Kings and Milwaukee Bucks were donning Black History Month t-shirts honoring during their pre-game warmups.
Cousins felt the shirts were offensive, it’s the year of the monkey for Chinese New Year. Cousins immediately stopped and asked Bucks TV analyst Marques Johnson his opinion on what he thought of the free give-away for the fans. Kings staff gathered and confirmed that the shirts would be removed before the doors were open to the fans.
“I walk into the building and DeMarcus Cousins says, “Olskool, what you think about this T Shirt?” Johnson said. “I told him a little insensitive on 1st day of Black History Month. They pulled the shirts…”
“We all need a lesson in sensitivity,” Kings president Chris Granger said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “In an effort to celebrate Chinese New Year, we had some concerns about the T-shirt giveaway, so we pulled them all before the doors opened. Certainly we don’t want to offend anybody, and we acted as soon as we heard the concern.”