Rudy Gay liked what he saw from his sky box seat after arriving
in Sacramento. Now he’ll get a chance to help his new Kings
teammates win three in a row for the first time this season.
Acquired in a multiplayer trade, Gay is expected to make his
debut Wednesday night when the new-look Kings try to deal the Utah
Jazz their fifth straight defeat.
Sacramento (6-13) completed its second deal in two weeks Monday,
getting Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy from Toronto in exchange for
Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck
The Kings also traded Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for forward
Derrick Williams on Nov. 25 in a swap of forwards.
Gay, Gray and Acy weren’t available Monday, but Gay watched as
Sacramento defeated Dallas 112-97. DeMarcus Cousins led the way
with 32 points and 19 rebounds for the short-handed Kings, while
Williams had a career-high 31 points and shot 12 of 16. Isaiah
Thomas added 24 points and 12 assists in his first start.
”I guess I came on a good day because the team was playing
great,” said Gay, the centerpiece of the deal. “Obviously DeMarcus
and Derrick played well. So this is a good start and I can’t wait
to get out there with the guys.”
Gay, averaging 19.4 points and a career-high 7.4 rebounds, adds
scoring punch to a Sacramento team that ranks near the bottom of
the Western Conference with 98.7 points per game.
The Kings have shown improvement recently, averaging 106.4
points in their last five contests. They shot 46.9 percent from the
field and outscored the Mavericks 23-5 on fast-break points despite
using only 10 players.
”We didn’t care if we had 10 or 15 players, we had enough
talent to win this game,” coach Michael Malone said. ”… Our
next challenge is to figure out the new guys and how they’re going
to play and at what position.”
While Gay is expected to join Thomas and Cousins in Malone’s new
starting lineup, it’s uncertain who will take the other two spots
between Williams, rookie Ben McLemore and Jason Thompson.
That question will be answered when the Kings go for their
second victory in five days over the Jazz (4-19). Cousins had 28
points and Thomas scored 26 to help the Kings pull out a 112-102
overtime win at Utah on Saturday.
Gordon Hayward and Trey Burke combined for 41 points for the
Jazz despite going 11 for 36 from the field, while Alec Burks added
19 off the bench.
NBA-worst Utah dropped its fourth straight Monday, 105-94 to
visiting Portland. Burks – averaging 17.4 points over his last five
games – finished with 20 while Enes Kanter had 19.
”I thought we were doing a better job out there,” coach Tyrone
Corbin said. ”I thought execution on the offensive end is getting
a lot better.”
The Jazz might have to continue that improvement without
starting forwards Derrick Favors (back) and Marvin Williams (heel),
who remain day-to-day.
The Jazz will also look to tighten up defensively after allowing
108.7 points over their last seven games. They gave up 99.2 over
the first 16.
In the teams’ most recent matchup in Sacramento, Thomas scored
25 points, Marcus Thornton had 24 and Thompson added 21 for the
Kings in a 120-109 victory Feb. 9.
The Kings have won five of the past seven home meetings.