OAKLAND -- DeMarcus Cousins was having his way inside through three quarters on offense against the Golden State Warriors' Jeremy Tyler and Mickell Gladness, with 26 points on 8-of-18 shooting and five assists.
But as has happened multiple times this season, the Kings went away from a hot-shooting Cousins down the stretch in a close game.
Cousins attempted just two shots in the fourth quarter and did not get to the free-throw line. He finished with 28 points and 18 rebounds, both team-highs, as the Kings lost to the Warriors, 111-108.
Kings head coach Keith Smart said the Warriors went to a zone defense in an attempt to deny Cousins the ball, and the Kings' guards were reluctant to throw the ball into the zone.
"He dived in deep into the middle of the zone and we were reluctant to make that pass over the top," Smart said. "One thing I've got to get our players to understand -- if you throw the ball up high to a big guy, I have yet to see one let it sail over his head and not go get it."
Cousins agreed that there was room for the Kings to try to get him the ball over the top.
"I was still taller than the defender," he said. "I mean, we couldn't make the plays, but besides that we were still in the game, still had opportunities to win the game. We've just got to perform down the stretch."
Asked if it was hard to believe he only attempted two shots in the fourth quarter, he answered: "It is hard to believe, but like I said, we've got to play smarter and just know situations."
Cousins finished 9-of-20 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.
This is what Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after the game about the switch in defending Cousins:
"We battled and we decided to play some zone and give him different looks -- the zone was very effective," Jackson said. "The guys did a very good job of multiple effort plays, and by that I mean our perimeter guys were able to tag him or soft double-team him and keep him off-balance and stay at home on their own man.
"A lot of the time you get guys not committed and they only do one or the other; tonight we were locked in and helped each other. It was a thing of beauty the way we communicated."