Bucks Wednesday: Depth tested against Kings

MILWAUKEE — The depth of the Milwaukee Bucks will be tested Wednesday night as they will be without four players against the Sacramento Kings.

Forward/center Ekpe Udoh (sprained left wrist), point guard Beno Udrih (sprained right ankle) and small forward Mike Dunleavy (bruised left knee) all missed practice Tuesday and won’t play against the Kings.

Just an hour before tip, Bucks coach Scott Skiles found out that forward Larry Sanders also would be unavailable because of an illness.

With two starters out, Skiles will start Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at power forward and Samuel Dalembert at center.

“We would have started Luc anyway because Ekpe is out,” Skiles said. “We would have started Luc and Larry. We want to take a look at Luc at the four and we want to continue to bring Ersan off the bench. Plus, we didn’t know if Ersan was going to be able to play. I just found out he could play.

Sacramento will be shorthanded, as well. The Kings do get guard Tyreke Evans back after he missed three straight games and five of their last six with a bruised right knee, but will play without leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins. The 6-foot-11 forward was suspended for Wednesday’s game by the NBA for striking O.J. Mayo of the Dallas Mavericks in the groin area.

“Obviously you miss a tremendous piece to your team when you have been playing pretty decent as of late,” Kings coach Keith Smart said of Cousins, “When you lose a guy like Cousins it’s tough because you can’t replace what he brings to your team. We are going to try, but it won’t be easy.”

The incident occurred Monday, but Sacramento didn’t find out Cousins would be suspended until 2 p.m. local time Wednesday.

“They are making the message very clear,” Smart said. “There is nothing that you can do that won’t be seen by the league.

“DeMarcus has to be the bigger man and move away from anything that may distract him because it hurts our team. The skills he has and he not being on the court affects us and one thing is very clear, the league will not tolerate any of this.”

Reserve guard Marcus Thornton also won’t play for the Kings, as he has left the team to tend to his ill mother.

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