Kings

Cousins ready for Sacramento return vs Kings: 'Oh my God, I can't wait'

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USATSI

Cousins ready for Sacramento return vs Kings: 'Oh my God, I can't wait'

New Orleans Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins is excited to play the Sacramento Kings this season. In other news, the Earth is round and the Moon is not made of cheese. 

“I can’t wait,” Cousins told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears during the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camp in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Oh my God, I can’t wait. I’m praying it’s the first game. I just got a lot to get off my chest. I can’t wait.” 

Cousins played his first six-plus seasons in the NBA with the Kings before being dealt, along with Omri Casspi, to the New Orleans Pelicans during All-Star weekend earlier this year. 

The 26-year-old All-Star planned on signing a long-term deal and hoped to finish his career with the Kings before the surprising trade. Clearly it will be an emotional evening for the star center when the Pelicans roll through the Capital City. 

Cousins was a fixture in the Sacramento community, donating to local high schools and sponsoring a free basketball camp at Sacramento High. Despite being traded, Cousins returned again this summer to continue his camp.

“I miss the community. I miss the people. I miss the fans. That’s it,” Cousins told Spears. 

A polarizing figure on the court, Cousins grew into one of the most dominating big men in the league during his time with the Kings. At the time of his trade, the Kings were just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They finished the season 8-17 after the trade, nine games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the final postseason berth.  

The NBA schedule is due out sometime in the next few weeks.

Fox bangs knees with Towns, ruled out with quad contusion

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Fox bangs knees with Towns, ruled out with quad contusion

Rookie down. De’Aaron Fox banged knees with Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns in the first quarter Thursday evening at the Target Center. The Kings’ 19-year-old point guard was diagnosed with a right quadricep contusion and was ruled out.

Fox has played in all 28 games for Sacramento this season, posting 10 points and 3.9 assists in 26.3 minutes per game coming into Thursday evening. He left the game after just seven minutes of action, finishing with two points, two assists and two turnovers.

The fifth overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft will likely be listed as day-to-day moving forward.

Gameday: Kings start four-game road trip against T'Wolves

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Gameday: Kings start four-game road trip against T'Wolves

The Sacramento Kings hit the road for another trip across the country beginning Thursday in Minnesota. They’ll face a Timberwolves team that is finally living up to their talent level after a couple of disappointing seasons. 

Sacramento is coming off a home win against the Suns on Tuesday, but the road has been unkind this season. Veteran George Hill stepped up big against Phoenix after missing the previous game due to personal reasons. The Kings need more from their big free agent signing. 

Minnesota is coming off an overtime loss to the 76ers on Tuesday, but they have a formidable starting lineup and a chance to snap their 13-season playoff drought this year. The offseason additions of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague have made a huge impact for the T-Wolves, who currently sit in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.

LINE 

Timberwolves by 10

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 9-18 fourth in the Pacific

T-Wolves: 16-12 first in the Northwest

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Karl-Anthony Towns -- These two know each other well from their season together at Kentucky. Towns has developed into a perennial 20 and 10 guy for Minnesota. Cauley-Stein is finding another gear with the Kings. They’ll see plenty of time against one another Thursday at the Target Center.

INJURY REPORT 

Kings:  PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) is out until January at the earliest.

T-Wolves:  PF Nemanja Bjelica (foot) out, C Justin Patton (toe) out. 

SERIES HISTORY 

Sacramento won the season-series 3-1 last season, including an April 1 victory over the Timberwolves at the Target Center. Minnesota holds a slight lead in the all-time series 54-53.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

More George -- George Hill has struggled both on and off the court early in the 2017-18 campaign, but he came alive against the Suns. Sacramento needs the 31-year-old point guard to find some consistency and start leading the starting unit. 

Bench Dominance -- Sacramento leads the NBA in bench scoring at 49.7 points per game and they’ll need the second unit to come up big if they hope to knock off the Wolves. Minnesota’s reserves score just 25.7 points per game which ranks 28th in the league. If the Kings starters can keep it close, the bench might be enough to put them over the top.

Make the T-Wolves Work -- Minnesota has improved on the defensive end, but they still allow 106.7 points per game. If the Kings can push the tempo and make the Wolves work on the defensive end, they can make life difficult.