Road trip continues as Kings visit Martin, Rockets

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Road trip continues as Kings visit Martin, Rockets

KINGS (4-7) vs.HOUSTON (3-7)
(APCSN) -- The Houston Rockets can finally settle in at home following a road-heavy portion of their schedule.The Sacramento Kings are looking for more success on the road as their five-game trip continues.Houston opens a stretch of nine of 11 at home Friday night when the Kings try to win two straight for the first time this season.Following Wednesday's 101-95 overtime loss at San Antonio, the Rockets (3-7) have won just once while playing a Western Conference-high seven road games.

Houston, playing its fifth road game in nine nights, shot 42.7 percent after missing eight of 10 in the extra session. The team is hitting 43.2 percent from the field on the road compared to 46.9 in three home games."That's just how the game goes," said former King Kevin Martin, averaging 14.1 points on the road versus 22.7 in Houston. "Percentages always catch up in this league, so that's just how it went. It wasn't in our favor."Sacramento (4-7) begins this season series on the heels of its first road win, 98-91 over Toronto on Wednesday. The Kings had lost their first four road games by an average of 23.3 points.
REWIND: Thomas, Cousins spearhead win
"I told our guys when you get a road win it's like winning two because you actually get the win and you get a confidence booster that you know you can play well on the road," coach Keith Smart said.Since Smart took over for the fired Paul Westphal last week, second-year forward DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 18.3 points and 13.5 rebounds while posting a double-double in all four games.He had 21 points and a career-high 19 boards Wednesday."He's a new player, man," said Tyreke Evans, scoring 24.5 points per game since the coaching switch. "I'm happy for him. He's done a great job just going out there and playing, helping us, not arguing with anybody on the team, just staying focused."Cousins averaged 17.8 points with 10.3 rebounds as the Kings dropped three of four to the Rockets last season. Cousins had 15 points and 15 boards as Sacramento snapped Houston's four-game home winning streak in the series with a 104-101 road victory April 5.Samuel Dalembert also had 15 rebounds for the Kings in that game, but they opted not to re-sign the veteran center and he joined the Rockets last month. Dalembert has been in Houston's starting lineup for the last three games, averaging 4.7 points and 6.3 boards.Rookie forward Chandler Parsons has scored 30 points while starting Houston's last three games in place of the injured Chase Budinger.Rockets forward Luis Scola has posted a double-double in each of the Kings' last six visits to Houston, averaging 20.7 points and 11.8 boards.Sacramento might be without leading scorer Marcus Thornton for a third straight game due to a thigh injury. He totaled 37 points in two games versus Houston last season after being acquired from New Orleans on Feb. 23.If Thornton is out, rookie Jimmer Fredette could make third straight start. He's gone 5 for 17 from the field in the first two.Martin is averaging 22.3 points in six games against Sacramento since being dealt to the Rockets on Feb. 18, 2010. He scored 30 in the Kings' last visit April 5.

NBA Gameday: Kings, Pistons going in opposite directions

NBA Gameday: Kings, Pistons going in opposite directions

The Sacramento Kings are in a free fall. They come into Detroit mired in a five-game skid and they are a season-high 11 games under .500 when they face the Pistons on Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

DeMarcus Cousins was the only Kings player to score in double-figures in the team’s 102-99 controversial loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening. The NBA’s two-minute report conceded that the officiating crew made an error in the final minute of the game when they called Cousins for a push foul on an attempted dunk by All-Star Dwyane Wade.

The game was tied at 99-99 at the time of the infraction and Sacramento should have had the ball with 14 seconds remaining. Instead, Wade went to the line to give the Bulls a one point lead.

Detroit is riding a three-game win streak, including a big 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Marcus Morris led the way for the Pistons, scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against his twin brother Markieff. Detroit has had an up and down season, but they definitely playing better than when they faced off with the Kings two weeks ago in Sacramento.

LINE

Pistons by 5

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 16-27, third place in Pacific

Pistons: 21-24, fourth place in Central

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Anthony Tolliver vs. Tobias Harris -- The last time these two teams met, Tolliver dropped in 17 points on 3-of-7 shooting from long range to help the Kings erase a big deficit and come away with the win. Harris went blow for blow with Tolliver, scoring 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting, but it was the Kings who prevailed. Cousins versus Andre Drummond is always a marquee matchup, but the game will likely be decided by someone other than the two All-Star bigs.   

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SF Rudy (left Achilles tendon) out for the season, SF Omri Casspi (calf strain) out.

Pistons: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (rotator cuff) questionable, SG Michael Gbinije (forearm) out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings lead the season series 1-0 after coming away with a win at Golden 1 Center Jan. 10. Detroit holds a 133-118 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 36-25 edge during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTABLE

“I think our team’s effort was incredible tonight. I think we did everything the right way to have a chance at winning this game, we just fell short.” -Cousins following the loss to the Chicago Bulls

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.