Dallas Mavericks

Kings will be a challenge on the boards for the Mavs

DALLAS – One challenge the Dallas Mavericks will be confronted with when they host Sacramento on Tuesday is the Kings’ ability to physically pound the glass.

Behind DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Reggie Evans and Jason Thompson, the Kings have pounded the boards so well that they lead the NBA in rebounds with 47.4 per game. That presence on the boards has enabled the Kings to jump off to a 5-2 record going into Tuesday’s game against a Mavs’ team expecting to be severely tested.

"We’ve got to have a physical mindset and a physical disposition headed into the game,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "They’re bigger and stronger than us from top to bottom, there’s no doubt about that.

"We’ve got to offset that with persistence and hard together play. That’s what’s going to do it for us.’’

Cousins is eight in the NBA in rebounds with 11.1 per game, Gay averages 7.1 per contest, Evans is hauling down six rebounds per game, and Thompson is grabbing 5.7 boards per outing. The play and attitude of Cousins drew rave reviews from Carlisle.

"He’s a tremendous young player,’’ Carlisle said. "His experience with USA Basketball this year was really positive.

"You see great strides of maturity in his game and in his demeanor on the court this year. He’s become one of the leaders of their team and that’s one of the reasons they’re having big success.’’