Coach Smart and Isaiah Thomas discuss Wednesday’s contest with Golden State. Plus, find out how Cousins suffered a cut under his eye and get the latest on Evans’ status.
– With 14 of the past 18 meetings decided by eight points or less – including five overtime contests – Kings-Warriors matchups have routinely gone down to the wire.
“I don’t know what it is,” said a smiling Isaiah Thomas on Tuesday. “It’s just the cross-city games – they always come down to the last few possessions.”
Kings Head Coach Keith Smart – who served as an assistant and head coach in Golden State for eight seasons prior to joining Sacramento – has enjoyed the long-time, entertaining rivalry.
“No matter what the records have been, no matter the score in the basketball game – a team can be up 15 and before you know it, you end up having a close (game) down the stretch,” said the Kings leader.
“I think it’s going to be great for us to go down there in that building to play (on Wednesday). It’s a game they have to have, so we have to bring our best to try and pull the game out.”
– While Thomas commends the skill set of Warriors standout Stephen Curry, No. 22 says Kings point guards are prepared to once again slow down the NBA’s seventh-leading scorer (22.5 points per game). On March 6, Sacramento’s backcourt held Curry to 13 points on just 3 of 11 from the field.
“You just have to make it tough for him … I’ve seen (in) previous games, guys pressure him and he doesn’t really like it,” said Thomas. “For the most part, Toney (Douglas), Jimmer (Fredette) and I have to try to pressure him and make him do things he’s not comfortable with.”
In addition to contending with the Warriors’ versatile guard, the Tacoma native reveals he’ll need to use his speed and strength to get into the lane against Golden State’s interior defenders.
“With shot-blockers, you just have to attack them,” said No. 22. “You have to know that when you go in there, they might block your shot a couple of times. At the same time, if you’re very aggressive in there, try to create the contact and you get a foul on them, they kind of think about it and they might not jump the next time.
“With (David) Lee in there and (Andrew) Bogut, you have to … get in the paint and create for somebody else and then create for yourself when you can.”
– Sporting a large gash under his right eye, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins disclosed the inadvertent wound came from a teammate during Sunday’s game.
“Patrick (Patterson),” cited Cousins with a laugh.
UC Davis Health System Injury Update
Although No. 15 isn’t listed on the team’s injury report, Tyreke Evans – who exited the prior contest due to a stomach ailment – sat out Tuesday’s practice session and is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s outing at Golden State.
Smart believes the Memphis product is battling a case of food poisoning and will be reevaluated in the morning to determine his status.