The Sacramento Kings were able to win just hours after DeMarcus
Cousins was told to stay away from the team for apparently
demanding a trade. However, the Kings’ chances of remaining
competitive in the Western Conference likely increase with the
second-year center in the lineup.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ hopes of making a second straight playoff
appearance could be dashed if Zach Randolph can’t stay healthy.
Cousins could miss a second consecutive game Tuesday night when
the Kings try to avoid a fourth straight road loss to the
Grizzlies, who could be without an injured Randolph.
The Kings (2-3) have received solid production from Cousins, who
is averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 11.3 rebounds, but he was
told to stay home Sunday by coach Paul Westphal after the team said
he asked to be traded following Saturday’s 114-92 loss to New
It wasn’t the first outburst from the 21-year-old since
Sacramento drafted him fifth overall in 2010.
“Maybe it takes him a couple of more years to really get it,”
veteran forward Chuck Hayes said after Sunday’s 96-80 victory over
New Orleans. “As good as he is talented, that’s how emotional he is
as well. You have to have a short-term memory in this game. That’s
my young fella, my teammate. If he wants to come back everyone on
his team would love to have him.”
Westphal said in a statement before Sunday’s victory that
Cousins’ return is “pretty much up to him,” but it’s uncertain
when, or if, he’ll be back in the Kings’ lineup.
“He’s a good player and we need him,” guard Tyreke Evans said
after Sacramento was outrebounded 60-41 on Sunday.
The Grizzlies (1-3) need Randolph in the lineup after they were
outrebounded 55-40 in Sunday’s 104-64 loss at Chicago. Randolph
finished with two points and three rebounds after leaving late in
the first quarter with a bruised right knee.
“This loss had nothing to do with Zach going down,” coach Lionel
Hollins said following the team’s most lopsided defeat since
falling 111-66 in Chicago on Jan. 13, 2007. “We were getting beat
The Grizzlies could use Randolph on Tuesday after he averaged
team highs of 26.5 points and 13.8 rebounds as Memphis took three
of four from Sacramento in 2010-11.
Even if he doesn’t play, the Grizzlies could get a nice boost
with the return of starting point guard Mike Conley, who has missed
the last two games with a sprained left ankle.
Conley averaged 9.8 points and 6.0 assists last season against
In Sacramento’s last game at FedEx Forum, Randolph had 27 points
and 15 rebounds and Conley added 12 points with eight assists as
the Grizzlies clinched the West’s final playoff spot with a 101-96
victory April 8.
Memphis had its best offensive performance of the season in the
Kings’ previous visit, a 120-92 win Feb. 26.
Evans, who played one season at the University of Memphis before
being drafted fourth overall by Sacramento in 2009, scored a
season-high 27 points Sunday. He is averaging 22.0 points, 6.5
boards and 5.0 assists in two games visiting the Grizzlies.
Memphis has won 11 of 14 at home against Sacramento since the
beginning of the 2003-04 season.