A 9-4 run to start the fourth quarter by the Los Angeles Clippers was exactly what Kings coach Michael Malone wanted to see from his team.
And he called a timeout to let it be known the effort he'd seen was unacceptable.
"That was old Sacramento Kings basketball," Malone said. "Nobody playing together on either end of the floor, no gameplan discipline."
Malone said it wasn't his intent to diminish the entire effort during the Kings' 99-88 preseason win Monday night at Sleep Train Arena.
But in no way does he want the Kings to believe sloppy play late in a game - even with a double-digit lead - is acceptable.
"We did some good things in stretches but overall I felt we were very lax with how we closed that game out," Malone said. "We've got to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We've to play as close to 48 minutes as possible and I was not happy with how we finished that game out."
DeMarcus Cousins had 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings. Greivis Vasquez had two points, two rebounds and an assist in 11 minutes in his first preseason action as a King after offseason ankle surgery.
"I was moving good," Vasquez said. "I was running fine. I felt good. So hopefully the next game I will play more minutes."
Isaiah Thomas had 16 points and five assists off the bench for the Kings (2-1). Vasquez started at point guard, playing the first 11 minutes of the game.
Cousins dominated a frontline without starters Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan for Los Angeles (2-1). Chris Paul also did not play for the Clippers.
Cousins, however, echoed Malone's view that the Kings could have played a lot better.
"I think we executed well early on and kind of went away from it later on which is something we can't do," Cousins said. "Even though we did get a win I felt like we didn't play the best that we could. A lot of mistakes tonight."
The Kings had 18 turnovers and allowed 23 points in the fourth quarter. Malone's goal is not to allow more than 20 points in the fourth quarter.