Shutdown possible for Cousins

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins missed Monday's 97-83 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies to rest nagging injuries as the team contemplates shutting down the All-Star big man for the rest of the season.

Kings coach George Karl said Monday that he spoke with Cousins about how they would approach the final weeks of the season. Cousins has been dealing with a calf strain, sore foot and a thigh bruise among other ailments for several weeks.

"We talked when he commented after one game that his body was beat up," Karl said before the Kings faced the Grizzlies. "I said, 'Instead of thinking about shutting it down, let's try to find some days that you can get your body rested.' We might schedule a piece of our games and (rest Cousins) again."

The Kings had to finish the game without Rudy Gay, who left late in the third quarter with what was later diagnosed as a concussion after he was elbowed on the side of the head by Memphis center Marc Gasol during a scramble in the lane for the ball.

Gay was taken to the locker room at the 2:23 mark of the third quarter and did not return.

Gay will have to adhere to the NBA testing protocol before he's cleared to resume basketball activities. He will miss Wednesday's game at Houston.

Cousins has missed 17 games this season but was coming off one of his most impressive outings when he finished with 39 points and 20 rebounds in Friday's 102-88 loss in New Orleans. The Kings end their four-game trip Wednesday in Houston.

Karl said among the options under consideration is a plan that would allow Cousins to sit out of the Kings' five remaining road games but play in their four final home games.

Sacramento (26-47) was eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, and Karl wants to use what's left of the season to evaluate other players after taking over as the Kings coach during the February All-Star break.

"I think Cousins likes to play and I think he's doing it because he wants to play at a higher efficiency," Karl said. "It gives me an opportunity to experiment a little bit. At home, I'd like to go in and (let Cousins play) every game. But on the road, I might experiment a little bit more."

Cousins, who was picked by commissioner Adam Silver as an injury replacement for Kobe Bryant in February's All-Star Game, ranks fifth in the league in scoring and third in rebounding at 24.1 points and 12.4 boards a game.

His 44 games with double figures in both points and rebounds are the second-most in the NBA this season behind Chicago Bulls power forward Pau Gasol.