DeMarcus Cousins dominated in his return, but the collective Kings defense let him down.
The big man finished with 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists but missed a deep shot in the closing seconds as the Kings fell to the visiting Bucks 108-107.
Cousins played a total of 31 minutes despite being on a restriction as he plays his way back into game shape after missing ten games due to viral meningitis. The Kings (11-15) relied on him heavily in the fourth as they tried to overcome multiple eight point deficits, but Cousins' found himself double-teamed and his 15-foot game-winning look didn't fall.
Little of the loss could be blamed on the exhausted Cousins, especially when the Kings defense allowed the Bucks–who average 6.3 three pointers a game–to shoot a combined 13-23 from distance. Milwaukee (14-13) was on the second night of a back-to-back and were without two starters, but they burned down the Sleep Train Arena around them as they torched the Kings repeatedly with three pointers upon three pointers. The Bucks were without center Larry Sanders (suspension) and rookie forward Jabari Parker (ACL tear, out for the season).
Sacramento lost despite shooting a combined 57.6% from the floor. It was the sixth loss of the season were the Kings have had a double-digit lead at one point (a 14-4 advantage in the first quarter). Rudy Gay added 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Darren Collison added 15 points and five assists. Ben McLemore had 22 points on 8-10 shooting but had only two shot attempts in the fourth quarter.
Brandon Knight led the way for Milwaukee with 20 points and six assists, and the Bucks got a combined 36 points off the bench from Jerryd Bayless and Jared Dudley,
Aside from an excellent first quarter, Sacramento never seemed to be in complete control. The team finished with a combined 21 turnovers and mustered just six fast break points while allowing the Bucks to score 18 of their own. The Sacramento bench unit struggled again, adding just 20 points while Milwaukee's reserves combined for 45.
For the opponents' perspective, make sure to check out Brew Hoop.