Kings teammates on Gay's Achilles injury: 'It kind of hurt my soul'

Kings teammates on Gay's Achilles injury: 'It kind of hurt my soul'

SACRAMENTO -- The news couldn’t be any worse for the Sacramento Kings. A 106-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers sent the Kings to their sixth loss in seven tries on the homestand. But an injury to Rudy Gay had the locker room as quiet as it’s ever been.

“Somber, very somber,” Garrett Temple said of the team’s mood. “We have a team of good character guys. Guys that have the right mindset and it’s tough to see people get hurt, especially a guy like Rudy. I’m going to be praying for him and hopefully he can bounce back stronger than before.”

Gay, 30, went to the floor hard in the late third quarter after trying to make a move on the baseline. He laid on the floor for a few seconds before slapping the ground in disgust. Eventually he had to be carried off the court by Willie Cauley-Stein, Omri Casspi and the team’s medical staff.

The initial report is a torn left Achilles tendon. An MRI is set for Thursday morning, but CSN California has learned the diagnosis is correct. There is no timeline for what comes next for Gay, but surgery is required for the team’s second leading scorer.

“Rudy’s a good guy and for him to go down like that this time of year, in this point of his life is kinda tough,” Lawson said. “I’m probably one of the closest to him on the team. It kind of hurt my soul.”

It was a non-contact injury for Gay and the veteran appeared to know the severity of the injury right away.

“Once I seen him on the ground, I felt sick, I felt like something in me just dropped,” Lawson added.   

Gay made his way into the locker room while media was still present. He wore a dark hoodie and a walking boot and moved with the aid of crutches. He grabbed his belongings and left without speaking to the media.

The veteran forward has had issues with his Achilles in the past and even underwent shock wave treatment over summer on the area to prepare himself for the upcoming season. He missed time over the previous two seasons with Achilles tendonitis.

Gay was set to opt out of the final season of his three-year contract extension signed in November of 2014 and become an unrestricted free agent. If he opts in, he is owed $14.4 million next season by the Kings.

Even before the injury, the Kings had began to sputter. After leading by as many as 22 early in the game, Indiana had cut the lead to ten at the point of the injury and momentum had clearly shifted the Pacers way. Without Gay on the court, All-Star Paul George scored two points to end the third and another 11 in the deciding fourth quarter to finish the night with 24.

DeMarcus Cousins tossed in a 25-point, 12-rebounds, 10-assist triple-double, but he shot 0-for-9 in the second half as the Pacers collapsed on the All-Star center.

After falling to 1-6 on the seven game homestand, Sacramento is scheduled to hit the road for a brutal stretch away from Golden 1 Center beginning Friday in Memphis.

“We’ve got an eight game road trip, we’ve got to come together closer and closer, not drift apart,” Lawson said.   

The Kings will play eight games in 12 night’s including three sets of back-to-backs. Gay is clearly out of action, but the team may be without forward Omri Casspi on the trip as well.

Casspi was injured in practice earlier in the week and underwent an MRI on Monday. Tests revealed a strain to his right plantaris tendon and he is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.

“It’s tough, other players are going to have to step up that weren’t playing,” Lawson said. “Hopefully everybody’s been working hard to be ready for this moment.”

With the loss, Sacramento fell a season-high nine games under .500 at 16-25, but they remain just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.

“Guys are going to have to step up, next man up, next man up,” Temple said.

Instant Replay: Cousins' triple-double not enough; Kings fall to Pacers, lose Gay

Instant Replay: Cousins' triple-double not enough; Kings fall to Pacers, lose Gay

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- Disaster. The Sacramento Kings stumbled down the stretch against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center and fell by a final of 106-100. But the bad news didn’t end there.

Veteran forward Rudy Gay went down in a heap in the late third quarter and the scene wasn’t good. The mood in the building was somber as the preliminary report revealed a torn left Achilles for Gay.

Veteran Al Jefferson kept the Pacers in the game early, scoring 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting and grabbing three rebounds.

The Kings made a concerted effort to slow Paul George and for the most part, they found success early. But with Gay sidelined Indiana’s All-Star wing got it going, finishing the night with 24 points and four rebounds.

Jeff Teague turned on the jets in the second half. The veteran point guard attacked the rim to come away with 22 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. Myles Turner added 16 points in the win.

With the ball flowing from one side to the next, Rudy Gay found space to break free from Paul George. The 30-year-old forward finished the night with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting and grabbed four rebounds before going down in the late third quarter.

DeMarcus Cousins put on a show. The two-time All-Star big man attacked the Pacers in the post, hit the glass hard and found open teammates for easy looks. The end result was a 24-point, 12-rebounds, 10-assist triple-double for the star center.

Darren Collison found success against his former team, scoring 11 points and handing out nine assists.

Kosta Koufos chipped in 11 points and four rebounds off the bench and Arron Afflalo hit the Pacers for 11.

After starting the previous four games, Garrett Temple supported the first unit off the bench. Temple played hard nosed defense and finished the night with nine points and four rebounds.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Gay was as good as he’s been all season before hitting the floor.

TURNING POINT

The Kings jumped all over the Pacers in the first half to take a 60-41 lead into the intermission, but then they fell apart. The game was slipping before Gay’s injury, but the entire tenor of the game changed down the stretch as news started to spread of the injury.

INJURY UPDATE

Gay went down hard and was in visible pain leaving the floor. An MRI is scheduled for Thursday, but all signs are pointing towards a torn left Achilles tendon. Ty Lawson turned his left ankle late in Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He tried to give it a go in warm ups, but had limited mobility and had to sit out Wednesday’s game. Omri Casspi underwent an MRI on his right calf and will miss a week or two with a strain of the right plantaris tendon.

WHAT'S NEXT

Sacramento finished their season-long seven-game homestand and now venture out on an eight-game road trip beginning Friday evening with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Kings will play eight games in 12 nights, including three sets of back-to-backs.