Kings' star Cousins faces emerging Embiid
The Sacramento Kings' latest loss left All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins feeling frustrated. He and his teammates will be looking to right the ship when the Kings play the third game in a six-game road trip Wednesday night against the 76ers in Philadelphia.
The Kings (7-11) lost 101-95 to the Washington Wizards in overtime Monday despite Cousins' 36 points and 20 rebounds. Cousins, fifth in the NBA in scoring (28.7) and 11th in rebounding (10.4), poured in 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, including the tying basket with 10.1 seconds left.
The Wizards then reeled off the first seven points of the extra period to take command. Sacramento's only points in OT came on Rudy Gay's 3-pointer with 16.8 seconds remaining, and Cousins missed all three of his shots from the floor and both his free throws.
“Overtime, I'm sick about that,” he told the Sacramento Bee. “I feel like I completely choked in overtime. I'm not happy about the overtime.”
Gay finished with 18 points and Ty Lawson scored 12 off the bench for the Kings, who have dropped two of their last three games.
“This was a very winnable game,” Cousins told the Bee. “Hopefully this doesn't come back to bite us in the butt later on.”
Gay is averaging 19.6 points a night, while Darren Collison checks in at 12.9 per game.
The Sixers also played Monday night, losing 122-97 in Toronto. Philadelphia, which rested rookie center Joel Embiid, suffered its 22nd straight road loss, one shy of the franchise record established from March 29 to Dec. 23, 2015.
The Sixers (4-14) have dropped four in a row overall to sink to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, a position they assumed the previous three years as well.
Embiid leads the team (and all NBA rookies) in scoring (18.2), rebounding (7.8) and 3-point accuracy (50.0 percent), and is expected to return against Sacramento. The third overall pick in the 2014 draft, he missed his first two seasons following a pair of foot surgeries. The team has also been limiting him to 24 minutes a game as a precaution, and plans to continue to do so until at least Christmas.
While Embiid figures to be back Wednesday, the status of veteran point guard Jerryd Bayless is far less certain.
Bayless, signed as a free agent in July, tore a ligament in his left wrist in the preseason and missed the first 13 games. He played the next three, then sat out Sunday's loss to Cleveland as well as the game in Toronto with soreness in the wrist.
“Personally, I'm a little bit worried,” coach Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Sixers have been without forward Ben Simmons and center/forward Nerlens Noel all season.
Simmons, the top overall pick in the last draft, broke his right foot in training camp and underwent surgery. He is not expected to return until January.
Noel underwent minor surgery on his left knee in late October and is expected to miss a few more weeks.