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DeMarcus Cousins says Kings on right path, still room for improvement

The Kings are learning how to close out games.

Kimani Okearah

The Sacramento Kings won their fourth game in a row at home Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Kings closed out yet another close game in the fourth quarter by executing on both sides of the ball. DeMarcus Cousins, specifically, came up big with a key block on Joel Embiid to the end the game.

After the 102-100 win, which featured the return of Rudy Gay after a six-game absence due to injury, head coach Dave Joerger and his players talked about the current winning streak and what has been working.

Dave Joerger

"The locker room feels good. They were singing on the plane on the way home from Minnesota. Two weeks ago where were we? That's why you don't get too low. I don't slit my wrists over four losses in a row and I don't that we're going to win the championship yet, we're just going to keep building. We might win the championship." [With a smile.]

DeMarcus Cousins

"Even with this win I think we made a lot of mistakes tonight. I think we made this game hard on ourselves - 19 turnovers, I had five myself. We can't have these types of games because this could have easily slipped away from us."

On the defense: "I think we're starting to get it. I think the team is starting to realize what's going to win games for us and it's not who can score the most points or highlights or whatever the case may be, but it's us playing defense, us getting stops, us getting stops in a row. So I think guys are starting to buy in. Like I said, we're on the right path, but scary thing is we've still got a lot of improvement. We still got a lot of room for improvement."

Garrett Temple

"I think we're executing a little more. We're understanding defensively how coach wants us to play and the game plan in terms of defending pick and rolls or defending pin downs. We're being more efficient on defense rather than a guy like Gerald Henderson, we won't chase him off a screen, we'd much rather shoot the gap and meet him because he wants to get to the paint, understanding things like that. Guys like Ben McLemore understanding things like that. Willie [Cauley-Stein] is understanding what to do on pick and rolls. So the younger guys are understanding what the coaching staff wants us to do defensively and it's turned into us being productive."

Ty Lawson

"Staying together through tough times. In the beginning of the season probably more bickering going back and forth, instead now we're trying to work together and everybody is trying to win. We're all working together, talking to each other, just trying to figure it out. It's a long season we're going to go through ups and downs just got to to stay together."

The Kings currently sit at the 8th seed in the Western Conference (14-17) with both the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers having one fewer win. The Kings travel to Portland on Wednesday to see if they can put some space between them and the Blazers.