The Kings (11-15), who are in the midst of a five-game losing streak, were back in the gym Saturday after a day off to begin preparations for tomorrow’s matchup versus the Lakers (8-18).
Recent events including DeMarcus Cousins’ 10-game absence after a bout with viral meningitis, before his return Thursday in a 108-107 loss to the Bucks, along with Sunday’s firing of Michael Malone, have taken an emotional toll.
However, the Kings appear ready to turn the page.
“I think this team is fine,” said Darren Collison after Saturday’s practice. “That’s not your normal situation where your coach gets fired just right off the bat . . . so we got to be able to adjust. We got to be able to just withstand and get through it and we’ll be fine.”
Sacramento’s bounced back before and that’s the expectation again at this juncture.
[EXCLUSIVE: Malone 'surprised' by dismissal from Kings]
“These guys have been showing resiliency all year long,” said interim coach Tyrone Corbin. “Other night we get down and fight back to take the lead (Tuesday versus Milwaukee).
“The Oklahoma City game we get down, we fight back, take a two-point lead with eight minutes left in that ballgame. We’re just making mistakes that cost us ballgames.”
Cousins put up big numbers in his return on Thursday night, scoring 27 points while garnering 11 rebounds, both of which were game highs.
The Kings were 2-8 without Cousins and the big man’s return cannot be underestimated.
“Every team is going to have to deal with DeMarcus now,” said Collison. “Before we were playing a lot of perimeter basketball -- drive and kick . . . We have a special talent inside that a lot teams don’t.”
“We have the guard game. B-Mac (Ben McLemore) is playing with a lot more confidence. Me and Rudy (Gay) are playing well together," Collison added. "Now we have DeMarcus back and everything is falling in sync in some ways.”
Winning has a way of curing all ills and the opportunity will present itself for the Kings when they host the Lakers Sunday in the final game of a five-game homestand.
“We need a win, man,” said Corbin. “These guys feel it. They want one so we can get over the hump and get back to winning ballgames.”
The point guard agrees with the interim coach.
“We’re trying the best way we can,” said Collison. “There’s no other way to look at it . . . We just got to go out there and find a way to get a win. We can say this, we can say that. At the end of the day, how we get the win, we just got to get it.”
Corbin provided an injury update on Cousins as Sunday's game approaches.
“He (Cousins) was fine," said interim coach Tyrone Corbin after Saturday's practice. "He had some little nagging injuries. His knee -- a little tendinitis, little banged up on that. His foot was bothering him a little bit but from the illness he’s fine.”