The Kings arrive as one of the league’s most discussed teams, but for all the wrong reasons. DeMarcus Cousins, their talented young center, has been suspended for a shouting match with coach Keith Smart, one of the most laid-back people in world history. It’d be a surprise if Cousins is still with the team following the trading deadline. The Cavs, meanwhile, have lost two straight, and are again without veterans Anderson Varejao (knee) and Daniel Gibson (concussion).
Venue: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
TV/Radio: 7 p.m. FOX Sports Ohio/WTAM
All-Time Series: Cavaliers lead, 53-52.
SACRAMENTO KINGS (11-20) C DeMarcus Cousins PF Jason Thompson SF John Salmons SG Francisco Garcia PG Isaiah Thomas
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (7-25) C Tyler Zeller PF Tristan Thompson SF Alonzo Gee SG Dion Waiters PG Kyrie Irving
• Varejao will miss his seventh straight game and eighth this season. Despite rumors, the Cavs are holding him out for no reason other than they want the injury to fully heal. It’s nothing serious, but could be if he’s rushed back too soon.
• Cousins has been linked to every team from Boston to Charlotte to Detroit and Orlando. The Kings say they aren’t looking to trade him, but it’s hard to envision them keeping this experiment going if they’re offered the right deal. The Cavs, it is believed, are not interested.
• Like the Cavs, the Kings have their own set of injuries to key players. Swingman Tyreke Evans has missed seven straight games with a sore knee and is out again tonight. Also, shooting guard Marcus Thornton missed Tuesday’s loss at Detroit with a sprained ankle. He is a game-time decision for tonight.
• The Cavs have won 10 of 11 against the Kings, including last season’s lone meeting, when Irving hit a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds left to ice a 93-92 victory.
• Waiters is averaging 14.2 ppg, third among rookies.