DALLAS – There’s a lot of talk about the overall impact center DeMarcus Cousins is having on the Sacramento Kings on both ends of the court.
But Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said folks shouldn’t sleep on small forward Rudy Gay either.
Gay is averaging 22.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season for the Kings. He’s also averaged 32.3 points and shot a robust 62.3 percent form the floor in three games against the Mavs since he joined the Kings in a trade with Toronto on Dec. 9, 2013.
"There’s no player in the league that averaged more points his last two games in here than Gay,’’ Carlisle said after Tuesday morning’s shootaround at American Airlines Center. "He’s averaged (32.5) the last two times in here last year.
"He’s a great player, he’s a great offensive player and we’ve got to do a job on him.’’
Gay and the Kings (5-2) play the Mavs (4-3) tonight at 7:30 at AAC.
The Kings played two games in Dallas last season. In the first one – a 107-103 Mavs victory on Jan. 31 -- Gay scored 35 points on 10-of-16 shots and 15-of-17 free throws, and also added 12 rebounds and six assists.
Then in a 103-100 Mavs win on Mar. 29, Gay poured in 30 points and was 11-of-19 from the field and 8-of-10 form the charity stripe. He also added seven rebounds and seven turnovers.
Chandler Parsons, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jae Crowder and Richard Jefferson will all likely spend time trying to defend Gay tonight. It’s a matchup the Mavs hope to win if they plan to extending their streak of beating the Kings in Dallas to 21 games in a row.
"It’s a hard cover,’’ Carlisle said. "We’re going to hope he misses.
"In (the Jan. 31 game) last year he had 18 points in the first half on six (of six) shots. That’s the kind of efficiency you’re dealing with.’’