DeMarcus Cousins couldn’t stand that he was called for his third foul in the just second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Warriors, so he took it out on his seat.
After the mercurial center approached the bench, he unloaded on his chair with a kick and several punches before sitting down; those actions resulted in Cousins’ 12th technical foul of the year.
DeMarcus Cousins is heated.https://t.co/p6GmeTHy0p
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) January 9, 2017
The 26-year-old finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds but added seven turnovers in Sacramento’s 117-106 loss to Golden State. While the Kings committed just one more turnover than the Warriors (18-17), the Golden State made their defense count, coming out of halftime on 19-7 run before outscoring Sacramento 39-22 in the frame.
”We always have that one quarter or one little stretch where we have bad basketball,” Cousins said (via NBA.com). ”It comes back to bite us in the end.”
Stephen Curry, who has faced criticism for his lack of production and shooting efficiency in recent games, has scored at least 30 points in each of his last three games. He finished Sunday’s contest with 30 points (5-of-11 from three-point range), six assists, and four rebounds, pacing a surging Warriors offense.
”It’s deflating for other teams when we can get stops and protect the rim, get steals, force them into tough shots and tough misses and on the other end we’re just running it right back down the paint,” Curry said. ”We have to allow that part of our game to shine.”
Curry’s evening included a spectacular play with just over three minutes left in the third quarter. Following a block of Cousins by Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia corralled the loose ball, flipped a no-look pass to Curry to finish with an acrobatic layup against two nearby Sacramento defenders.
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 9, 2017
However, Durant’s block of Cousins was not his only significant contribution. The lanky forward finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, and six assists on offense while adding four blocks on defense. In fact, Durant recorded the 700th block of his career with a second quarter rejection of Garrett Temple.
Klay Thompson (18 points, six rebounds), Draymond Green (nine points, 10 assists), and Pachulia (10 points, seven rebounds) all contributed to Golden State’s triumphant win. Pachulia, in particular, continues to make a strong case for an All-Star selection; the Warriors’ big man was second-highest vote-getter among Western Conference frontcourt men in early returns with 439,675 votes, behind his teammate Durant (541, 209).
“I’m definitely voting for Zaza,” Green joked with reporters on Friday (via Anthony Slater of San Jose Mercury News). “We’re gonna start campaigning for the players to vote for him, too.”
Following the loss, the Kings’ record dropped to 15-22, tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the Portland Trail Blazers (whose record dropped to 16-23 after a double overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons).
Rudy Gay had 15 points in the first quarter but finished with 23 points on the night; Temple (14 points), Darren Collison (14 points), Ty Lawson (15 points), and Anthony Tolliver (17 points) were the other Kings players to reach double figures.
Coming off a 128-119 loss to the Grizzlies in a game the Warriors led by 24 points, the team improved its league-best record to 32-6. Golden State has now played 124 consecutive games without suffering back-to-back losses as the team heads home to face the Miami Heat on Tuesday. The Kings also head home tonight as they welcome the Detroit Pistons, fresh off their double-OT victory.
[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]