The end of this season is beginning to feel a lot like the end of the Paul Westphal coaching era in Sacramento.

There are obvious issues between center DeMarcus Cousins and coach Keith Smart, like there were with Cousins and Westphal.

And just like the end of Westphal's time before he was fired early in the 2011-12 season, Cousins found himself in an unusual spot Friday night – coming off the bench.

Cousins played just nine minutes – all in the second quarter – of the Kings' 117-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Sleep Train Arena.

Cousins was benched for the first time this season when healthy and dressed for a game. In December, Smart left Cousins in Sacramento for a road game in Portland as part of a disciplinary action for a verbal altercation in Los Angeles.
Smart offered no reason for benching Cousins and not playing him in the second half.

"It was my decision," Smart said. "A coach's decision."

Cousins said there was no need to have a talk with Smart about the decision.

"Nope," Cousins said. "It's his decision."

Cousins then was asked if he was given a reason for the benching.

"I don't have to be given a reason why," Cousins said. "He's the coach."