The Sacramento Kings' struggles this season continued on Friday night as they lost 119-128 to the Brooklyn Nets.
The Kings have now lost six of their last seven ball games and are sliding down the Western Conference. They sit tenth, three-and-a-half games back from the Utah Jazz in the final playoff spot.
Defeat at the Barclays Center to a Nets franchise, who themselves had lost five in a row, kicked off a four-game Eastern Conference road trip leading into All-Star weekend.
Following the loss, where Joe Johnson poured in 27 points for the Nets, two-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins cut a frustrated figure and insisted there were bigger issues than energy and effort.
He told CSN Bay Area: "I'm not gonna keep blaming these guys in the locker room. Energy and effort is a huge part of the game, but I'm not going to keep blaming it on that. We got a bigger issue, and we need to figure it out as a team.
"I'd rather keep it in-house but, we definitely have a bigger issue than energy and effort That can't be the excuse every night."
Cousins notched his first triple-double of the season with 24 points, 10 rebounds,and 10 assists but it was in vain.
The next three games are vital in the Kings' hopes of reaching the playoffs and they need to turn their fortunes around sooner rather than later.
Will the Sacramento Kings make the playoffs? Leave your comments below