At the 3:03 mark of the third quarter, with the Kings leading by 15, Minnesota’s Luke Ridnour lost his cool and pushed Kings rookie, DeMarcus Cousins. The officials called Ridnour for a technical, Cousins appeared vindicated and then all hell broke loose. With Ridnour jawing, Cousins went to give the 6′-2″, 175-pound guard a piece of his mind. After giving a pretty good shove to both Nikola Pekovic and Martell Webster, Cousins was sent packing, while his teammates dropped the ball.
After this incident, the Timberwolves went on a 13-4 run in just a little over two minutes, cutting the Kings’ lead to six. After a pair of Dalembert baskets stretched the Kings’ lead back to ten to finish the third, the visiting team continued to pour it on, scoring 21 unanswered in total, effectively ending the game. The T-Wolves lost both Michael Beasley and All-Star Kevin Love to injury during the game and the Kings took full advantage, blowing out the home team to a tune of 127-95.
This is the second time this season Cousins has been tossed from a game. The first was back on February 9th when Cousins got caught chirping at the refs a little too much. Although tonight’s disqualification didn’t effect the outcome of the game, it still stuck out as a moment that never should have happened. The initial push by Ridnour was caught by the officials and the situation was under control. Cousins, however, re-inserted himself in the situation, pushing an opponent who was trying to cool the situation, not once but twice.
Cousins has run into trouble every few weeks in his rookie season. Strangely enough, it has been a different kind of trouble almost every step of the way. Coach Westphal and DeMarcus have both talked about Cousins being the type of person who learns from doing, not from watching or being told. Cousins has been fined, tossed from practice, given the choke sign, fought with a teammate and now, kicked out of a game two different ways. Hopefully he is running out of mistakes that he needs to learn from for himself.
For today, the Sacramento Kings are no longer in last place in the Western Conference. Monday night, they take on the 49-19 Chicago Bulls who are tied with the Boston Celtics for the best record in the Eastern Conference. They will need DeMarcus Cousins to be the good kind of unstoppable force of nature that he has proven to be countless times this season if they hope to have a chance of upsetting the Bulls.