SACRAMENTO -- Rudy Gay is back. After missing the previous six games with a strained right hip flexor, the 10-year veteran returned to action for Sacramento in their 102-100 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I’m glad to have him back,” DeMarcus Cousins said following the game. “He played big, he played well for us. You thought the guy would be rusty. I don’t know how many games he missed - you though he would have been rusty, but he came in and it was like he never missed a game.”
Despite Cousins’ glowing review, Gay struggled early to find a rhythm, scoring just eight points on 4-of-11 shooting with three turnovers through three quarters.
But then the 30-year-old forward came came out swinging in the fourth.
“He was aggressive and put us on his shoulders there for a couple of minutes,” coach Dave Joerger said.
With Cousins sitting on the bench to start the final quarter, Gay went off for nine points on 3-of-5 shooting. He finished the night with 17 total points on 7-of-16 shooting and added nine rebounds, two assists and a block in almost 36 minutes of action.
OMRI CASSPI SIGHTING
Like Gay, forward Omri Casspi has missed time over the last 10 days. Casspi sat five straight games due to illness, although he was available to play in the Kings’ 109-105 victory over the Timberwolves on Friday night.
The 28-year-old finished Monday night’s win over the Sixers with two points on 1-of-4 shooting, but he hit the glass for five rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Joerger went deep in his rotation for one of the few times in recent memory, playing 11 players 12 or more minutes.
Casspi finished out the final five minutes of the game defending Dario Saric, holding him scoreless down the stretch after the rookie scorched the Kings for 12 points in the third quarter.