In a matter of seconds, the Kings went from the possibility of their biggest win of the season to another embarrassing moment on the court.
DeMarcus Cousins’ meltdown ended any chance of an upset as the Golden State Warriors finished off the Kings, 122-103, Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Cousins’ frustration began when he picked up three fouls in the first quarter. That kept him out the entire second quarter before he was called for two more fouls, the fifth being when he fouled Golden State guard Stephen Curry with the Kings up 66-64 with 8:57 left in the third quarter.
That foul sent Cousins into a tirade that led to two technical fouls and an ejection. Teammates and assistant coach Corliss Williamson had to keep Cousins away from referee Mitchell Ervin, who called Cousins’ fifth foul and first technical foul.
That Cousins tried to confront Ervin rather than leave the court could lead to a suspension for failing to leave the court in a timely manner by the NBA for Wednesday’s game against Philadelphia.
Kings General Manager Vlade Divac said he expects the league to suspend Cousins, but if he isn’t suspended, there will be no discipline from the team.
After the game, Divac met with Cousins near the exit for the team bus. The former University of Kentucky star did not speak to the media.
“He said he understands what he did, but he didn’t do anything wrong in my opinion,” Divac said.
Divac said it’s hard to keep emotions in check, especially when you feel as an underdog that the officiating is not going your way.
“It just seemed to me there were cute, soft fouls called on DeMarcus and he got his fifth and he lost his cool,” Kings Coach George Karl said.
After Cousins lost his cool, the Kings lost control of the game. Golden State (29-1) went on a 15-0 run and the Kings never mounted a threat after that.
“We had a tough, bad refereed game but we can’t emotionally lose it,” Karl said.
Karl hoped the Kings would remain close in a game they led by 11 in the first half. Instead the Warriors crushed them in the third, outscoring the Kings 32-14.
Omri Casspi did all he could to keep the Kings in the game. With Cousins and Rajon Rondo limited by foul trouble in the first half, Casspi scored 19 of his career-high 36 points in the second quarter.
He set franchise records for most threes made in a quarter (six) and in a half (seven). He made nine for the game, tying Mike Bibby for most threes made in a game in franchise history.
The seven three pointers in the first half were also the most allowed by the Warriors in their history.
But Casspi wasn’t exactly celebrating his night, or the three-point duel he had with Curry in the final three minutes of the first half when they traded long-distance shots.
“I’m not really happy about it,” Casspi said. “We lost.”
The Kings lost by giving up a season-high 20 three pointers to Golden State, including 11 in the second half, also a season high.
Curry had 23 points, a career-high 14 rebound and 10 assists. Klay Thompson had 29 points and Draymond Green added 25 points. Curry’s six three pointers matched the most by a Kings opponent (Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, Nov. 15)
The Kings have now lost 11 in a row to Golden State. Cousins had seven points and four rebounds when he was ejected. Rondo played only 18 minutes and had four points and two assists.