The return of DeMarcus Cousins from a brief absence wasn’t
enough to help the Sacramento Kings snap their lengthy skid.
The Kings would appear to have a better chance of ending their
woes Saturday night with a visit to the Utah Jazz, the owner of the
league’s worst record.
Cousins had 20 points and 11 rebounds Friday against the Los
Angeles Lakers for his eighth double-double after missing Tuesday’s
97-95 loss to Oklahoma City because of an ankle injury. Rookie
guard Ben McLemore also scored 20 points versus the Lakers –
setting a career high – but the Kings couldn’t hold on to a late
lead in a 106-100 defeat, their season-high sixth in a row. Four of
the defeats have been by a combined 11 points.
“This is just ugly,” point guard Greivis Vasquez said. “There’s
no other name. There’s no other adjective I could give to describe
The Kings (4-13) remained tied for the fewest wins in the NBA
with Utah (4-17) and Milwaukee.
The Jazz, who have won two of four at home after dropping five
of their first six in Salt Lake City, led early in the fourth
quarter against NBA-best Indiana on Wednesday before losing 95-86.
They didn’t put up much resistance against Western
Conference-leading Portland two nights later.
The Trail Blazers scored 39 points in the opening quarter and 40
in the third period en route to a 130-98 victory. With 16 points
off the bench, Alec Burks was the only Utah player to score more
than 10, and Gordon Hayward was the only starter in double
The Jazz trailed by as many as 42 and allowed the Trail Blazers
to make 17 of 23 attempts from 3-point range.
“It wasn’t a lack of effort,” Hayward said. “It just started to
snowball on us.”
The Jazz have alternated losses and wins in their last 10 games
against the Kings but won both home meetings last season. They were
beaten by 11 points in each of their other two games against
Sacramento in 2012-13.
Jason Thompson topped 20 points in each of last season’s final
two matchups with Utah but is averaging a career-low 6.9 this
season and has scored in double figures just five times.
Cousins averaged 12.8 points against the Jazz last season, his
second-fewest against any West opponent. He averaged 21.3 points
and 14.8 rebounds in four matchups against them in 2011-12.
Hayward sat out the final two matchups with a sprained right
shoulder after averaging 17.0 points in his previous seven.
Burks averaged 20.0 points and shot 56.5 percent in his two
games against Sacramento last season and has scored in double
figures in a career-high five straight games.
The Kings haven’t lost seven straight contests since April 3-13,