Five years in, and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins remains among the league leaders when it comes to head-scratching plays. Cousins struck again during Sacramento's 121-96 loss to Golden State on Tuesday.
With a little under four minutes remaining in the third quarter and Golden State leading Sacramento 83-66, the two teams broke from their huddles after a 20-second timeout. Well, nine players did.
Cousins took the court, rested his hands on his knees near the three-point line and barely reacted as Stephen Curry tossed an easy alley-oop pass to Marreese Speights for a dunk. Cousins' teammates reacted to the giveaway basket by looking around at each other in an attempt to determine what had happened.
What in the world? The possible explanations for the sequence include: 1) Cousins didn't realize that Golden State had possession, 2) Cousins was momentarily distracted at the worst possible time (he seemed to look over at the Kings' bench) or 3) Cousins couldn't muster the energy to play defense (or decided not to) during yet another blowout loss.
Regardless, there's no excuse for that on a sideline inbounds play, especially after a timeout that presumably involved some level of preparation for the possession.
The loss marked the Kings' ninth defeat in their last 10 games and Sacramento is now 6-17 since abruptly firing coach Michael Malone in December.
Cousins finished with a game-high 26 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. Rudy Gay added 20 points and three rebounds.
Curry led the Warriors with a team-high 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Speights added 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Golden State improved to 38-8. Sacramento fell to 17-30.