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04/14/2014 12:31 AM EDT
McCallum, Cousins rally Kings past Timberwolves
SACRAMENTO 106, MINNESOTA 103
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Barring a change of heart from the
league offices, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins has played
his last game of the season.
He definitely went out with a bang.
Cousins recorded his eighth straight double-double with 35
points and 15 rebounds but picked up his 16th technical foul of
the season late in the fourth quarter of the Kings' 106-103 win
over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.
By NBA rules, Cousins must sit out Sacramento's final regular
season game at home against Phoenix on Wednesday.
"I'm not going to talk about it," said Cousins, who had sat for
several minutes in front of his locker with his head hung low.
Kings coach Mike Malone was willing to discuss it and said the
team might contact the NBA to get the technical removed, citing
Cousins' most recent behavior. The technical was his first since
Feb. 25 and ended the longest stretch of his career without one.
"I feel for him," Malone said. "He has made a concerted effort
to handle his emotions and not get that last tech. We'll try to
do whatever we can to get that rescinded but it's disappointing
because I know it meant a lot to him."
The Kings trailed by 11 in the third quarter and were down 82-81
before going on an 11-2 run to go in front for good. Cousins
started the surge with a thunderous dunk and McCallum followed
with consecutive 3-pointers, one from the left corner and the
other from the right.
The Timberwolves pulled to 100-98 with 1:13 left to play on
three free throws by Kevin Love after Cousins was charged with
the technical foul. Cousins then drove the baseline and dunked
with 24.2 seconds remaining, helping Sacramento end a five-game
losing streak while evening the season series with Minnesota.
"We're still a team trying to grow and find ourselves," said
Cousins, breaking his silence. "I think we took steps forward
today. We've been in those situations a couple times this
season. Sometimes it went well, sometimes it didn't. We did a
pretty good job tonight of handling the situation and overcoming
J.J. Barea missed a 3-pointer and Love was off on a 16-foot
jumper in the final 20 seconds for the Wolves.
Love had 43 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota after sitting
out Friday's 112-110 win over Houston because of a hyperextended
"Our defense just wasn't good enough in the second half," Love
said. "Offensively we were fine, but they kind of went on a run
and never looked back."
The Timberwolves lost after leading 62-51 with eight minutes
left in the third in what might have been former Kings coach
Rick Adelman's final appearance at Sleep Train Arena. The
67-year-old Minnesota coach remains a beloved figure in the
state's capital, having guided the Kings from 1998-2006.
Sacramento made the playoffs in each of his eight seasons and
haven't been back since.
Adelman clearly has fond memories of those glory days in
Sacramento and he's been back numerous times as a visiting coach
This game, however, might hold special significance since it
might be Adelman's last. He has taken time away from coaching
each of the past two years to take care of his wife, Mary Kay,
who has had health problems. Speculation around the NBA now is
that Adelman will step away for good at the end of the season.
"I've always said that the eight years here were a tremendous
experience," Adelman said. "We had a lot of fun, we had really
good team and the fans during that run were terrific."
Minnesota trailed by 11 early before going on a 12-0 run in the
second quarter capped by Dante Cunningham's three-point play
that put the Wolves up 40-32.
Love finished the half with 13 points, including two free throws
to give Minnesota a 52-47 halftime lead.
The Timberwolves extended their lead to 62-51 with 8:03 left in
the third, then Sacramento went on its big run.
NOTES: Kings F Rudy Gay (lower back strain) sat out for the
third time in four games. ... Cousins moved past Vlade Divac for
eighth on Sacramento's career scoring list.
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