Cousins, Kings blown out by Sixers at home


Cousins, Kings blown out by Sixers at home

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) All five starters rested comfortably on the bench the entire fourth quarter Friday night for the Philadelphia 76ers.It was that easy of a victory for a team that's making a huge second-half push.There was no need for any fourth-quarter minutes for the starters, who helped build a 26-point lead through three quarters. Jrue Holiday had 15 points and nine rebounds in helping the 76ers coast past the Sacramento Kings, 102-80.The victory moved the 76ers ahead of the New York Knicks into sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is a half-game in front of the Knicks and three behind Atlanta, which is fifth."(Other) teams got losses and we get wins our last two games, so it was another good night for us," 76ers coach Doug Collins said.There have been a lot of good nights of late for the 76ers, which certainly wasn't the case early in the season.It's been a turnaround season for Philadelphia, which won only 27 games a year ago. After a horrible 1-10 start under new coach Collins, the Sixers have become a formidable team, going 23-12 since a Jan. 3 loss in New Orleans."He brought in a new system and has held us all accountable," veteran Elton Brand said. "We were all disappointed by the 3-12 start, no one was happy about that. We took it upon ourselves to all work hard and get better."The 76ers were certainly better than the Kings in practically every area. Struggling Sacramento shot 34 percent, committed 22 turnovers that led to 27 Philly points, and was never in the game after the opening quarter. It got so bad that disgruntled Kings fans were booing, a rarity at Power Balance Pavillion.The struggles continue for the Kings, who own the worst record (16-51) in the Western Conference and could be headed to Anaheim next season. The Maloof ownership was granted a relocation extension until April 18, five days after the regular-season ends. The Maloofs will have the opportunity to discuss their options at the NBA Board of Governors meetings on April 14-15."This was a bad game for us, I don't blame the fans for booing," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "It wasn't good basketball by us."DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Kings, who have lost eight of nine. Omri Casspi scored 14 points and Beno Udrih had 13.Lou Williams added 14 points and Andre Iguodala had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the 76ers. Iguodala will rest his sore right knee Saturday against Portland, the final game on the team's five-game road trip.After dominating the first half, the 76ers came out strong again in the third quarter. Jodie Meeks scored seven points in the first 6 minutes, including a 3-pointer at the 6:06 mark that put Philadelphia ahead 68-42.Iguodala credited defense for the lopsided victory. The 76ers had a season-high 16 steals and blocked five shots in beating the Kings for a sixth straight time."The Kings are a high-turnover team," said Iguodala, who had three steals, one less than Holiday. "You don't have to gamble or be aggressive and go for steals against them to get turnovers. We just let them make the mistakes."Holiday scored all his points in the first half for Philadelphia, which shot 48 percent and led 55-38.The game was the first meeting between Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes and his Kings counterpart, Samuel Dalembert, who spent eight seasons with the 76ers. The two were traded for each other in the offseason.Hawes, drafted by the Kings in 2007 as a 19-year-old with one year of college ball, was greeted with applause when the starting lineups were announced. He is enjoying a playoff run for the first time after three losing seasons with the Kings."It's great. You have so much on the line every night," said Hawes, who had six points, six rebounds and four assists. "Playing with so much on the line this time of year is really fun."Notes: Holiday scored 12 first-quarter points for the 76ers, who ran off 11 straight and led 32-23. ... Marcus Thornton appeared injured when he slipped and fell underneath the Kings' basket late in the first quarter. He was on the floor for several minutes, but eventually walked slowly to the bench, then returned to play the entire second quarter. ... The Kings shot 32 percent and had 12 first-half turnovers that resulted in 15 points for the 76ers. ... Meeks had made two or more 3-pointers in 10 straight games, but hit just one against the Kings. The streak was the longest by a 76ers player since Kyle Korver's 19-game run in 2004-05.

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors


SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Dolphins owner explains why he voted against Raiders' move to Vegas

Dolphins owner explains why he voted against Raiders' move to Vegas

PHOENIX – An overwhelming majority approved the Raiders’ relocation application Monday morning. They were given permission to move from Oakland to Las Vegas by a 31-1 vote at the league owners meetings, a massive show of support for the Silver and Black.

While the stadium and finance committees recommended Raiders relocation and the final meeting went smooth leading up to a vote, there was one voice of dissent.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross didn’t let his vote do the talking. He explained his rationale to reporters on Monday afternoon.

“I just don’t think everything was done to try and stay in Oakland,” Ross told reporters, via a video posted on San Diego-based 1090-AM’s website. “I was more or less interested in the thought that Oakland deserved…that a deal could’ve been done there.”

Ross said Raiders owner Mark Davis should’ve engaged with Oakland more in trying to find a long-term stadium solution in the East Bay.

“You can only make a deal when the owner wants to make a deal,” Ross said. “Who are you going to negotiate with? How’s it going to happen? The owner has to be a driving force.”

After some difficult negotiations with Oakland, Davis focused his efforts on Las Vegas, where he received $750 million in public funds for stadium construction, with an additional chunk earmarked for infrastructure improvements around a stadium site just off the Las Vegas Strip.

While Ross spent roughly $500 million in private funds to renovate Hard Rock Stadium, his dissent was rooted in part on ideological grounds. He believes stadiums should be largely financed privately.

“I think so,” Ross said. “You get a look around, and there’s very little public money available for teams today. I think owners have to have, when you own a team, you should have the deep pockets to deliver. Now, you need some public money for infrastructure and things like that but, with the cost of stadiums today, our country can’t afford to put all that money in that kind of place.”

Ross said he didn’t vote no to grandstand.

“That doesn’t do me any good. I didn’t do it for that,” Ross said. “I voted how I voted and I voted what I believed. You talk about the fans, and that’s what the National Football League is all about.”