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December 22, 2012
The Morning After: Keith Smart enforces standard with Cousins' discipline

LOS ANGELES - Keith Smart is one of DeMarcus Cousins' biggest supporters.

Apparently that doesn't mean Smart will allow Cousins to speak to him however he likes. And that's why DeMarcus was left in the locker room for the second half of Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cousins went at his coach verbally after Smart said something to him at halftime. So Smart decided the Kings were better off without their leading scorer and rebounder.

"We're trying to set a standard for all of our players and all our guys who are here," Smart said after the game. "When guys don't fall in line to that we've got to move on."

Smart intends to maintain this stance, too. You have to assume that means penalties will escalate if the behavior does not change.

Smart wouldn't address whether Cousins would play in Sunday's game against Portland. If he does, another blowup could mean suspensions for conduct detrimental to the team.

Cousins doesn't believe Friday's incident will be held over his head and that he and Smart can move past the incident.

"It happens all the time between players and coaches," Cousins said. "I believe we'll talk about it, get past it and we'll move forward."

*With all the Cousins news and a tight deadline (the later start cuts of 30-40 minutes of working time) I barely mentioned what happened during the game in the story. Well here it goes:

*Jimmer Fredette led the Kings with 16 points. And on a night the Kings allowed 24 points off 16 turnovers, Fredette had no turnovers.

*The Clippers destroyed the Kings on the glass wit a 53-32 rebounding advantage. Rebounding was a concern of Smart's to start the season.

*Why are the Clippers so good? Two of their best players (Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford) aren't starters. And Eric Bledose is pretty good, too.

* Thomas Robinson had four fouls and just one rebound in 18 minutes. The Kings need more than that from their backup power forward.

*The Kings' starting five had 12 assists. Chris Paul had 13 by himself for the Clippers.

*After shooting 50 percent on Wednesday in beating the Warriors, the Kings shots 41.8 percent Friday.

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