Kings blow game-long lead; Magic swoop win

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Kings blow game-long lead; Magic swoop win

March 9, 2011BOXSCORE KINGS VIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD

SACRAMENTO (AP) Gilbert Arenas was watching his Orlando Magic teammates from the bench, seemingly headed for another ugly loss when it happened.Jameer Nelson just took over.Nelson scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Magic to a 106-102 victory over the lowly Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night, avoiding what would have been another embarrassing loss to one of the NBA's worst teams."I call it wonderman basketball," Arenas said. "He's out there, but he's not out there."At times, it seemed the Magic weren't out there at all.Dwight Howard returned from a one-game suspension to finish with 16 points and 15 rebounds but fouled out late, and Jason Richardson scored 19 points to help the Magic overcome an eight-point deficit in a sloppy effort that opened a five-game road trip."We played poorly. We didn't put much into the game, got crushed on the glass. I'm not happy, but we got a win. We'll take it and move on," said a frustrated Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who was uncharacteristically short on answers. "We've said (we'll change) a lot. We say a lot of things."DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and Marcus Thornton finished with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Kings, who collapsed late in a game they controlled for most of the way. Sacramento finished with 21 turnovers."There were so many really good things about that game for our team. I just hate to come in here and talk about that close loss against a good team, but that's what it was," Sacramento coach Paul Westphal said. "We had too many turnovers again and it wasted a really, really, good effort."Orlando flexed its muscles just enough to come out on top.The Magic took their first lead of the fourth quarter, 98-97, on Richardson's 3-pointer with a little more than three minutes left. The teams traded baskets, then Nelson answered with an 18-foot jumper to extend Orlando's lead to three.Howard, who was automatically suspended in a loss against Portland after picking up his 16th technical foul, fouled out with 61 seconds left, but the Magic closed out Sacramento without their All-Star center. Hedo Turkoglu followed with a 3-pointer that put the Magic ahead by five.Orlando missed three straight free throws and nearly let the Kings back. But Luther Head's potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds rimmed out, sealing another loss for a Kings franchise that has fallen on hard times.The Kings, who had another spotty crowd, are in talks about moving the franchise south to Anaheim. They were again without leading scorer and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, still trying to come back from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.Even so, they still had a chance to win."We didn't play well," Nelson said. "It's getting toward the end of the year, we can't continue to play this way and think that it's OK. It just doesn't change. Nobody can do it but us."Orlando was surely glad to have its star back.The game was the first since Howard served the NBA's first suspension for excessive technical fouls this season. Players are suspended one game on their 16th technical foul and every two technicals after that.The Magic lost 89-85 to Portland on Monday night without Howard, and they desperately need him in peak form if they have any hope to make it back to the Eastern Conference finals for a third straight year.Cousins, Head and Samuel Dalembert were called for technical fouls for Sacramento. Nelson also was whistled for a technical for arguing.The Kings saddled Howard in foul trouble to build an eight-point lead in the second quarter with him mostly on the bench. After Howard picked up his fourth foul with 10:58 remaining in the third quarter, Van Gundy decided to take his chances and stick with his big man.Howard helped the Magic go ahead 67-64 and stayed clear of picking up his fifth foul early. They Kings took a 79-76 lead after three quarters but never could pull away big."We've got to cut down on the turnovers," Cousins said. "That's really hurting us down the stretch."NOTES: Magic PF Ryan Anderson grew up near Sacramento rooting for the Kings. He said the possibility that the franchise could move and leave the area without an NBA team is a difficult scenario to imagine. "It would be weird. It would be tough for a lot of people. There are still a lot of Kings fans," he said. ... The Kings wore the retro uniforms of the Rochester Royals. ... Richardson played despite a severe cold and congestion.

A's acquire outfielder from Angels, move RHP Bassitt to 60-day DL

A's acquire outfielder from Angels, move RHP Bassitt to 60-day DL

OAKLAND -- The Oakland A’s acquired outfielder Ryan LaMarre from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, the club announced Sunday.

LaMarre will report to Triple-A Nashville. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A’s transferred right-handed pitcher Chris Bassitt to the 60-day disabled list.

LaMarre was batting .268 with seven RBI, six walks and four stolen bases in 10 games at Triple-A Salt Lake when he was designated for assignment on Tuesday. He was signed by the Angels as a free agent following the 2016 season and has a .267 average with 46 home runs, 222 RBI and 160 stolen bases in 656 games in the minors over eight seasons in the Cincinnati (2010-15), Boston (2016) and Angels (2017) farm systems.

The 28-year-old right-handed hitter made his Major League debut with the Reds in 2015 and also appeared in five games with the Red Sox last year.  LaMarre is 2-for-30 (.067) in 26 games over his two seasons in the majors.

The Oakland A's media services provided this report.

In return to San Jose, McLellan emerges victorious, ends Sharks' season

In return to San Jose, McLellan emerges victorious, ends Sharks' season

SAN JOSE – To borrow a phrase from Chuck Woolery, Todd McLellan was back in two and two.

Saturday’s Game 6 between the Sharks and Oilers marked exactly two years and two days since the Sharks-McLellan love connection was broken up, as the coach and his staff were all essentially fired on April 20, 2015. But McLellan and assistants Jim Johnson and Jay Woodcroft quickly resurfaced with the Oilers a few weeks later, and now they’re moving on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the expense of their former employer.

At what was his home for seven seasons, McLellan took the press conference podium at SAP Center as the victorious visiting coach after Edmonton’s 3-1 win clinched the series in six games. Asked what the moment meant to him, McLellan preferred not to focus on himself or his staff.

“It’s not about Todd, it’s not about Jay or Jimmy. It’s about the Oilers and the group of players there that are growing up in front of us,” McLellan said.

“We’re part of this team now. I obviously have a soft spot for a lot of the players that are here in San Jose. They gave us a hell of a series. They helped us grow up by pushing us, and we’re lucky to get through. That’s an important thing for us.”

Amazingly, the Oilers managed to prevail with just one even strength point from Connor McDavid, who led the league in scoring in the regular season. That point came with less than a second remaining on the clock on Sunday when McDavid converted on an empty net.

The focus from the outside, among many of the Edmonton and San Jose media, was that the Sharks were doing an admirable job of defending the 20-year-old, who had 30 goals and 100 points in the regular season. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, in particular, were keeping McDavid frustrated.

While that may be the case, McLellan said after Game 6 that he had no problem with the McDavid vs. Vlasic showdown. In his view, the Oilers could win the series elsewhere.

“There was a lot of talk in this series about us trying to get Connor away from Vlasic and Braun. Obviously we don’t want to talk about it during the series, but we had an eye on [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins] against [Joe Thornton’s] line, especially since they put them together. That was a match we were looking for.

“You can’t get everything. When you’re a coach, the media experts find something and they keep going to it. But coaches have different plans sometimes. Peter [DeBoer] had his plan, we had ours. Ours wasn’t about getting Connor away from Vlasic and Braun, ours was getting [Nugent-Hopkins] on the ice against [Joe] Pavelski and Jumbo and Patty Marleau. For the most part, it worked in our favor.”

It worked, because as the stars on both teams were essentially neutralized, the Oilers’ depth players contributed just a little bit more than the Sharks group did and at more opportune times.

Zack Kassian had a pair of game-winning goals in games two and three; David Desharnais was the Game 5 hero with a game-tying assist and game-winning goal; and Anton Slepyshev posted the game-winner with a breakaway in Game 6. Not exactly big names.

DeBoer was particularly disappointed with Game 3, a 1-0 loss on Kassian’s third period goal; and Game 5, in which the Sharks had a 3-1 lead that they couldn’t protect. That the Sharks only got one power play goal in 18 chances not counting the Game 4 blowout was also one of the reasons for their downfall.

“If you had told me before the series we would have held McDavid in check, we would have won the special teams battle on paper, I probably would have felt pretty good about our chances,” DeBoer said.

Instead, McLellan will take his up-and-coming team to the next round, where it will face off with the Anaheim Ducks.

“For our team, we’re watching them grow up right in front of us, which is a great thing,” he said.