The message has been consistent from everyone to DeMarcus Cousins when it comes to fouls.
"Stop reaching," Cousins said. "Every time I see them hold the ball out I've just got to go for it. That's something I've got to continue to work on and stop picking up the cheap fouls."
Foul trouble kept Cousins out for a significant part of the fourth quarter in Sunday's 104-97 loss to the Orlando Magic.
Cousins picked up his fifth foul with 6:53 left in the third quarter. He didn't go back into the game until there was 4:48 left in the game.
Fouls were a problem as a rookie and continue to be for Cousins, who is averaging 4.9 fouls per game, most in the NBA.
Cousins realizes he has to keep fouls at a minimum.
With Chuck Hayes out with a dislocated shoulder, the Kings only have three bigs. And of the three, Cousins is the only one the team runs plays for. Cousins had 16 points and 10 rebounds Sunday, but could have had more and possibly fouled out Dwight Howard if he didn't pick up the cheap fouls.
*Howard has had his problems with officiating in the past and offered this advice to Cousins:
"I just told him to not to get into it with the referees. I said learn from me. Learn from somebody that's got on the wrong side of the refs and it's cost him a lot of money with technical fouls and stuff like that. I told him that you don't want to have a reputation with the refs and to stay off of them as much as possible. We're not going to get the calls that we want because we are big guys. I told him to just keep playing. You don't want to get that reputation. I said learn from me. He said 'OK.' He was just trying to get in my head. I know that but I just want him to just play basketball and be great."