SACRAMENTO -- Over the last decade, the Sacramento Kings have often chosen the road less traveled. More often than not, it's a road that leads to bad things. On Saturday afternoon against the Grizzlies, that path led them under screens instead of over them, and Memphis made them pay dearly.
The Grizzlies lit the Kings up from the perimeter, knocking down a franchise-record 17 3-pointers on the afternoon to come away with the 112-98 victory at Golden 1 Center.
Following the game, All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins wasn't in any mood to mince words.
"It was just a bad effort all around," a somber DeMarcus Cousins said. "We took a step back tonight. It's definitely not the direction we want to go as a team. We took a step back."
When pushed on the subject, Cousins responded with a longer explanation on where his Kings team is currently at after falling to 14-19 on the season.
"At the end of the day, it comes down to you just having some type of pride, dignity in stopping your man," Cousins added. "That's what it comes down to. Forget a scheme, forget a rotation - one-on-one I'm going to make sure I stop my man. I'm not going to let this guy drive past me or into get in the lane and create something for somebody else. At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to and until we accept that and hold ourselves accountable...at the end of the day, that's what it comes down to. So until we're ready to buckle down and do that, guys are going to continue to kill us from behind the 3-point line, guys are going to continue to get in the paint and get what they want. Teams are going to come in here and run us over. At the end of the day, that's what it comes down to."
Cousins isn't the only frustrated Kings player, but he might be the only one to express himself with such honesty.
Sacramento allowed the visiting Grizzlies to feast on their defense, embarrassing them in front of their home crowd. Seven different Memphis players knocked down 3-point shots as the Kings continuously went under screens or sagged off players in the corner.
"You can't let a team shoot 50 percent on you and then give up 12 offensive rebounds," Dave Joerger said. "We were slow. It was a season low in deflections tonight; we ended up with 12 deflections."
"They just didn't feel us at any point tonight," Joerger added.
Memphis shot 50.6 percent from the field and an astounding 48.6 percent from long range on their way to the 14-point win. It's the second straight loss for Sacramento after they had rattled off four straight.
Cousins led the Kings with 26 points on 7-of-18 shooting, but the Grizzlies frustrated him the entire game. After being called for his third and fourth fouls in the early third quarter, Cousins was hit with his eight technical of the season by official Ed Malloy.
Despite the foul trouble, Joerger stuck with his star big, playing him almost 21 minutes of the second half before pulling him in the final three minutes when the game was out of hand.
"Like I've been saying, it's on us if we want to change this thing around," Cousins said. "That's it. I'm tired of these f-ing excuses. It's on us."
Matt Barnes stuffed the stat sheet for Sacramento, scoring 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from long range. He added eight rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes.
Darren Collison found his missing stroke, knocking in 16 points on 8-of-16 shooting and Anthony Tolliver chipped in 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3.
The Kings travel to Denver where they will meet the Nuggets on Tuesday night. They return home to face the Miami Heat on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday at Golden 1 Center.