Jan 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) pushes towards the basket during the first half of the game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Game 38 Preview: Kings (13-23) @ Wolves (18-19)

The Sacramento Kings are fresh off a 116-92 loss at the hands of the Indiana Pacers last night in Indianapolis which broke their 3-game winnings streak — consisting of wins over the Portland Trail Blazers, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers, all in Sacramento.

For all the talk of the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins this season, he’s averaging 23 points on the season with just under 12 rebounds, 2 steals and a block thus far, the most noticeable improvement could be his field goal percentage jumping from 45 to 50% with 3 more shots per game (14 to 17). He’s still at over 3 turnovers a game, but for super high usage player like DMC, that’s acceptable.

Kings likely starting lineup:

PG Isaiah Thomas

SG Ben McLemore

SF Rudy Gay

PF Jason Thompson

C DeMarcus Cousins

The Kings are 5-5 over their last ten games and 9-9 since the trade that netted Rudy Gay for Greivis Vasquez (and pieces). Gay has seen an improved efficiency — 53% shooting from the field, 20 points per game and 6 rebounds with almost 3 assists, a block and a steal over his last ten games.

Isaiah Thomas is free of his platoon with Vasquez and is scoring 20 and dishing over 7 assists with 42% shooting in over 35 minutes a game over his last ten.

Rookie McLemore is averaging around 20 minutes a night, shooting under 30% from the field, but 36% from three and averaging under 5 points over the last ten games.

Wolves likely starting lineup:

PG Ricky Rubio

SG Kevin Martin

SF Corey Brewer

PF Kevin Love

C Nikola Pekovic

Both Kevins Love and Martin struggled against a physical defense in the Wolves loss in San Antonio. Pek continued to feast and should provide a very entertaining matchup against Boogie Cousins. The Wolves look to get back to .500 against a King’s defense that allows the 3rd most points in the league.

I would like to point out to all the doomsday predictors that Derrick Williams has been less than an uncaged lion in Sacramento — short of the highlight reel dunks (they don’t show misses on those things) — D-Will is averaging 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds on 50% shooting in 23 minutes over his last ten games.

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Tags: DeMarcus Cousins Isaiah Thomas Kevin Love Kevin Martin Minnesota Timberwolves Pregame Preview Ricky Rubio Rudy Gay Sacramento Kings

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