In desperate need of a win, the Sacramento Kings went to battle without star big man DeMarcus Cousins Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Without their defensive anchor, the Kings turned up the pace and ran a young Bucks team off the court for a 129-118 victory on the road.
Looking for a scoring punch, George Karl turned to Rudy Gay as his focal point early and the veteran delivered. Gay finished the night with a game-high 36 points on 13-for-21 shooting, leading the Kings to their second road win of the season.
Rajon Rondo posted another near triple-double, dropping in 10 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds in 39 minutes. The four-time All-Star needed to ice his left hamstring early in the fourth, but he returned to the game and helped finish off the Bucks.
Karl used just three men off the bench and the the group shined. Omri Casspi dropped in 19 points and seven rebounds. Darren Collison added 18 points and three assists and Marco Belinelli chipped in 17.
Starting for the injured Cousins, Kosta Koufos posted a solid 14-point, nine-rebound performance.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks, finishing with 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting. John Henson kicked in 15 points and 11 rebounds and Khris Middleton scored 15 while handing out six assists.
Bucks coach Jason Kidd was ejected late in the game for slapping the ball out of the officials hands.
With Cousins out with a strained back, the Kings turned to Gay to carry the load. The veteran win came out hot, scoring 20 of his game-high 36 in the first half.
Leading by just four entering the fourth, Sacramento continued their hot shooting and aggressive offensive style. They pushed the lead to 12 at the 5:22 mark and held on for the victory.
DeMarcus Cousins missed the game in Milwaukee with a strained lower back. George Karl was also without the services of Caron Butler, who is struggling with a sprained left ankle.
The Kings return to Sacramento to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday evening, before hitting the road again on Saturday for a battle with the Golden State Warriors.