Tyreke turning the corner?

694880.jpg

Tyreke turning the corner?

While Tyreke Evans' resurgence has lifted the Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to reap the full benefit of Kevin Love's return to the lineup.

The Kings hope to get another standout performance from their star guard Tuesday night as they seek a third win in four games and try to deal the Timberwolves a sixth consecutive defeat.

Evans has averaged 21.3 points and 52.5 percent shooting in the last four contests for Sacramento (4-9), which had dropped five in a row before taking two of three. He scored a season-high 27 points in a 108-97 victory over Utah on Saturday.

Evans averaged 11.6 points and 38.8 percent from the field in his first nine contests.

"If I miss one shot, I'm (still) trusting my shot. I've been coming here after the games and before games just to get extra shots up and it's working for me," he said.

With Evans' help, the Kings have topped 100 points and shot at least 50.0 percent in the past three games after averaging 91.2 points and 41.8 percent in their first 10.

"I think this team is always growing and learning," coach Keith Smart said. "I think it's going to be a process for us. We've shown we can compete and play with everyone. Now, our offense is catching up."

The Kings might have a chance to keep rolling against the Timberwolves, who have struggled to contain opponents lately. Minnesota (5-7) has allowing an average of 101.5 points in its last four games after giving up 88.5 in its first eight.

The Timberwolves allowed Golden State to outscore them 26-11 in the fourth quarter of a 96-85 defeat Saturday, including a 19-2 run. They were also outrebounded 48-39 with Love the only Minnesota player pulling down more than six boards.

Love totaled 15 rebounds but also scored a season-low 15 points and shot 6 of 20 while struggling with a protective pad on his injured right hand. The All-Star forward scored a combined 58 points in his first two games back.

"(The pad is) very restricting," Love said. "I can't bend my hand all the way back and I couldn't get a good feel for the basketball. The doctor said it was OK to play but at the same time he warned that I'm coming back two weeks early and I have to keep working on my conditioning, my range of motion and shooting."

The Timberwolves didn't need Love's help in a season-opening 92-80 win over the Kings on Nov. 2, but injuries and Evans' recent play could result in a different outcome this time. Minnesota is without Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy and Ricky Rubio.

J.J. Barea, who scored a team-best 21 points against the Kings, has totaled 24 points and shot 32.0 percent in his three games since returning from a sprained left foot.

The Timberwolves have lost six of seven on the road to Sacramento. Evans had 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a 116-108 victory April 2 after missing a 115-99 win March 18 due to a sprained ankle.

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.