Live from the locker room: Kings vs. Pacers


Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:

  • The Sacramento Kings (9-9) are still without the services of star big man DeMarcus Cousins, who is expected to return from illness on Monday.  After losing four straight, coach Michael Malone is going to need more from his team tonight against the Indiana Pacers (7-12) and 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert.  “The offense is fine (without Cousins),” Malone said.  “We need guys to step up on the defensive end.  We can’t let (teams like) Toronto take turns – Terrence Ross, James Johnson, Kyle Lowry.  We have to all take the challenge individually and collectively to get stops.”
  • With Cousins out, reserve center Ryan Hollins will get his fourth straight start for coach Malone.  The veteran center has been completely ineffective over the last two games, totaling just two points and two rebounds in a combined 24 minutes of action.  Malone will need big games out of veteran bigs Reggie Evans and Carl Landry if the Kings hope to win this game.  “I’m going to go with Ryan,” Malone said.  “Roy Hibbert is one of the last true centers in the NBA and Ryan gives us length and athleticism.”
  • 34-year-old power forward David West is working his way back into game shape.  After missing the Pacers’ first 15 games due to injury, the 12-year vet is averaging 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds over Indiana’s last four games.  “He looks good,” coach Frank Vogel said.  “His shot making is there.  His rhythm and timing is a little bit off, as it should be.  It takes a week or so or a couple of weeks before you really get your legs under you, before you really get your rhythm and timing.”
  • Indiana is without two of their starters from last year in All-Star forward Paul George (broken right leg) and point guard George Hill (left knee/quad).  Former Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey will start at the point guard spot.  Second-year wing Solomon Hill will slide to shooting guard while Chris Copeland gets the nod at the three.
  • Paul George is traveling with the Pacers and was on the floor shooting during pregame.  He is not expected back this season after his devastating lower leg injury with Team USA this summer.
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