Rudy Gay could return tonight vs. Minnesota


The Sacramento Kings fell to the Utah Jazz 101 – 95 on Sunday night. DeMarcus Cousins had another huge 26 point, 12 rebound game, but it wasn’t enough to beat the surprisingly competent Jazz.

Jazz rookie Rodney Hood scored a career-high 25 points in this one. I don’t know what it is about the Kings, but if you want to set a new career high, or break some kind of NBA record, play against the Kings.

I didn’t think the Jazz looked particularly good in this win. The Kings limited Gordon Hayward to just 5 points in 19 minutes, and at times the defensive effort was solid. I would credit this loss to turnovers more than anything else. Sacramento didn’t value the ball against the Jazz, and they lost because of it. Turnovers have been an issue for this team all season. It’s been an issue for multiple seasons, really. It’s an area that George Karl needs address going into next season.

But hey, at least we got this –

Here is George Karl after the game –

The Minnesota Timberwolves are in Sacramento tonight to play the Kings. The Kings have ten more wins than the Timberwolves this season, and considering how disappointing this year has been, that is a little hard to believe.

The Wolves are bad, but they are supposed to be bad. Context is everything. I will never forget that Vivek Ranadive and the Kings front office expected this team to be good this season. They thought firing Michael Malone and hiring Tyrone Corbin would improve their playoff chances. I’m not making this stuff up.

Minnesota had to start their rebuild over again after trading Kevin Love to Cleveland last summer, and I really like the core they’ve put together.

We won’t see most of that core tonight. The Wolves have seven players on their injury report. The list includes Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Garnett, and Gorgui Dieng.

They still have Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Adreian Payne in the lineup, which is a testament to all of the young talent they’ve been able to acquire. It’s still a fun roster, but not something that should beat the Kings.

The Kings seem optimistic that Rudy Gay will be able to return to the lineup tonight. Gay has missed the last three games with a concussion, but he’s been working out on the court over the past couple of days. If he’s not ready tonight, he will be very soon.

If the Kings have DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay on the court vs. the Timberwolves, I like their chances. The Kings still have an outside shot at winning thirty games this season, and a win tonight would be essential with that goal in mind.

As always, check back in to A Royal Pain after tonights game for our postgame coverage.

Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Where: Sleep Train Arena – Sacramento, CA

When: 7:00 PM, 10:00 PM EST

Broadcast: Comcast Sportsnet California

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

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