Kings triumph over Delfino, Bucks 97-90

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Kings triumph over Delfino, Bucks 97-90

March 23, 2011BOXSCORE KINGS VIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD
MILWAUKEE (AP) John Salmons tried and failed to come up with just how the Milwaukee Bucks could come up with such a poor effort against the Sacramento Kings with the playoffs still seemingly within reach."It's a shame," he said. "That's all I'll say, it's a shame."Marcus Thornton scored 27 points, Beno Udrih added 25 and the Kings beat Milwaukee 97-90 Wednesday night to damage the Bucks' fading playoff hopes. Milwaukee (28-42) fell three games behind Indiana for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 left to play after the Pacers won earlier in the night."We just didn't have the type of intensity and focus you'd like to see and understanding the enormity of the game, we were kind of passive," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "It hurts for sure."Sacramento has won two of three on this five-game road trip and rebounded from an ugly 40-point loss to Chicago on Monday night, the Kings' worst in more than two years. Kings coach Paul Westphal said he challenged his young team after the blowout to the Bulls."I think they heard me in the second half. We really did crank up our defense," the coach said. "We got some really good performances from our backcourt, but mostly it was our defense and our rebounding in the second half that won it for us. It was first class."Milwaukee's Carlos Delfino scored 30 points for the second consecutive game to again match his career high, but had 22 of them in the first half.The Kings, who are expected to get Tyreke Evans back for Friday's game at Indiana, got contributions from all over, including 13 points from DeMarcus Cousins and 11 points and 12 rebounds for Samuel Dalembert to snap Milwaukee's two-game winning streak."Mixing Tyreke in there gives us a very strong backcourt rotation," Westphal said. "The way Beno and Marcus are playing, it shows we have a chance to have a really, really good backcourt."Andrew Bogut scored 15 points, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 11 and rookie Larry Sanders added 10 despite back spasms for Milwaukee, but the Bucks' schedule gets much harder from here.They play at New York on Friday and have a home game with Chicago on Saturday.Salmons, who started 1 for 9, hit a 3 that gave Milwaukee a 79-78 lead early in the fourth quarter, but finished 3 of 14 for the game as Milwaukee faded away."That's a shame, too," Salmons said. "I didn't feel in rhythm from the beginning for whatever reason."Jason Thompson answered with a big one-handed slam, Thornton had a dunk of his own and Thompson added a layup as Sacramento went ahead 86-81 with 5:44 to play.The Bucks, the worst-shooting, lowest-scoring team in the NBA, went cold at the wrong time, missing six of their final seven shots and committing three turnovers in the final 3:20.Delfino hit a 3 that cut the Kings' lead to 92-90 with 1:11 left, but after a miss by Udrih, Bogut was called for an offensive foul when Milwaukee had a chance to tie.Thornton missed a jumper, but Thompson grabbed the offensive rebound and Udrih was fouled with 18 seconds left and Sacramento hit five of their last six free throws to end it."We aren't going to just quit on the season," Thompson said. "We want to finish strong."Thornton, acquired from New Orleans with cash in exchange for Carl Landry this year, continued his run of strong performances, scoring in double figures for the 14th time in the last 15 games.Sacramento began the trip with a 32-point win at Minnesota before losing by 40 at Chicago.They rebounded in a big way against Milwaukee and should be even better when they get back Evans, the reigning NBA rookie of the year who has missed the last 19 games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot."It will be great to have him back," Udrih said. "It will be interesting to see how coach is going to divide up the minutes."Notes: Delfino finished 12 of 20 from the field and is 29 of 46 in his last three games, averaging 28.7 points. ... Sanders fell to the court untouched in the final seconds of the first half and had to be helped off by teammates after a back spasm. He returned late in the third quarter. ... Bucks PF Drew Gooden (left foot plantar fasciitis) was active for the first time in six weeks, but did not play. ... Bucks G Michael Redd now expects to play Saturday after initially planning to return on Friday. He has missed 14 months and the better part of two seasons after twice tearing the same ligaments in his left knee.

NBA Gameday: Warriors test offense against Clippers' top defense

NBA Gameday: Warriors test offense against Clippers' top defense

LOS ANGELES – In opening a five-game road trip Wednesday night, the Warriors are going right into an NBA war zone they know all too well.

They’re invading Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Clippers.

The teams, along with the San Antonio Spurs, are expected to battle for Western Conference supremacy. The Warriors (18-3) are 12 days removed from overtaking the Clippers (16-6) for sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. Though LA started fast, winning 14 of 16, it has since lost four of six.

The game is Kevin Durant’s introduction to the agitation that tends to accompany Warriors-Clippers, and he’ll see plenty of LA defensive ace Luc Mbah a Moute.

The Warriors are reuniting with popular former teammate Marreese Speights, who after three seasons in the Bay Area signed with LA in July.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 4

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Chris Paul. Several matchups deserve attention, but it begins with the two fabulous point guards. Paul’s task is to slow Curry, and he occasionally does. Curry simply wants to make sure Paul doesn’t impose his enough to supervise the action. The winner of this matchup tends to dictate the winner of these games.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Clippers: 6-4.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: No injuries listed.

Clippers: F Brice Johnson (lower back herniated disc) is listed as out.

ROSTER NOTE:
Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won six in a row and seven of the last eight, and are 24-12 over the last nine seasons against the Clippers.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
Tests for the best. The Warriors lead the NBA in scoring and overall offensive rating, while the Clippers are tops in overall defensive rating. Conventional wisdom is that good offense beats good defense. It’s certain that each team’s “1” is under the gun.

LA loves charity: No team in the NBA shoots more free throws than the Clippers. The Warriors won’t mind sending DeAndre Jordan to the charity stripe, maybe even intentionally, but they want to avoid fouls that give Jordan’s teammates easy money.

From the jump. While the Warriors are downplaying the significance of the game, the Clippers are not. So LA definitely will make an effort to make a statement in the opening minutes. Will they? And what happens if they don’t? The Warriors will be on alert.

Draymond's thought on Curry's alley-oop to Durant: 'Not about to work'

Draymond's thought on Curry's alley-oop to Durant: 'Not about to work'

With 9:25 remaining in the third quarter on Monday night, Zaza Pachulia and Pacers forward Paul George engaged a jump ball near the basket the Pacers were shooting at.

Pachulia won the toss by tipping the ball back to Draymond Green, who channeled his inner quarterback by throwing the ball down the court to Steph Curry, who promptly tossed the ball backwards for an alley-oop dunk to Kevin Durant.

Is that one of the coolest places Draymond Green has ever been involved in?

"Yeah, that was amazing," Draymond said on 95.7 The Game on Tuesday. "It was funny because before the tip, I looked at Steph and I just gave him a head nod to the left just to take off. And he just shook his head back, so as I soon as I caught it I was already in motion throwing the ball.

"And when I saw him throw it back I'm like, 'Whoa. That's not about to work.' And my man Durantula caught it and that was incredible.

"For Steph to have the mind to throw that pass back like that and for KD -- it was off center, way to the left -- and for him to catch it and dunk that basketball ... that was an incredible play. I couldn't believe it happened."