Kings prevail in overtime, finish road trip at 4-1

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Kings prevail in overtime, finish road trip at 4-1

March 27, 2011BOX SCORE KINGS VIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers have become a feel-good story this season, their playoff berth within reach under new head coach Doug Collins.With a chance to improve their standing in the Eastern Conference, they showed they still have to find a way to reach their potential.Marcus Thornton scored 32 points and former Philadelphia center Samuel Dalembert made two free throws in the closing seconds of overtime to give the Sacramento Kings a 114-111 win over the 76ers on Sunday.Jason Thompson added 15 points and Beno Udrih made a big 3-pointer in the closing minutes to help the Kings win their third straight.The Sixers were led by Jrue Holiday's 28 points, while Jodie Meeks added 22. Philadelphia missed a chance against one of the NBA's worst teams to make up ground on fifth-place Atlanta."We are fighting to make the playoffs. Sacramento is playing with house money," Collins said. "Hopefully, we learned. We have a lot of work to do. This was not a good day."There were crackles of excitement, notably Lou Williams' 32-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime, and Holiday's 16-point fourth-quarter, but the Sixers lost at home to a team that won just its 20th game of the season.The Kings trailed by five at halftime, but Thornton's 19-point third quarter helped get them out of the hole. Trailing 91-87 with 4:58 to play, Holiday scored the next nine points for the Sixers - capped by a 3-pointer - to put Philadelphia up 96-91 with 2 minutes left.Sacramento quickly tied it again after Thornton drilled a jumper, then a 3-pointer with 36.6 seconds to play.In the closing seconds of regulation, Udrih made two free throws to give Sacramento a three-point lead, then the team opted not to foul Williams before he shot, and barely guarded him as he went up."We should have fouled Lou, but we didn't," Dalembert said.The Kings outscored the Sixers 8-2 in the closing minutes of overtime, including Dalembert's free throws with 12 seconds to play that gave Sacramento a four-point lead. As he ran down the court to boos, he kissed his lips and pointed to the sky. The center, who spent his first eight NBA seasons in Philadelphia, finished with 13 points and 19 rebounds.The Kings won for the first time in six overtime games."We could've easily folded the tent (because of) how things were going out there," Thornton said. "But, you know, hats off to our guys. We stayed in there and came out with a huge win."After making 12 of their first 21 shots, the Sixers made 28 of 69 the rest of the game. Their bench was worse, shooting 4 for 26 (15 percent) and scoring just 14 points.The Sixers (37-36) have lost two straight and are 4-6 in their last 10 after completing a 16-5 stretch. The Kings owned the boards, outrebounding Philadelphia 58-36 one game after Miami had a 49-31 rebounding edge against the Sixers."They're huge," Collins said. "There's no question. Elton (Brand) had three rebounds in 39 minutes. Evan (Turner) had one in 20 minutes. Thad (Young) had one in 18."Overall, it wasn't a good finishing effort."I knew Sacramento was playing a lot better basketball than the last time we played them," Collins said. "They can score and make it very difficult for you to score. We got off to a good start. I thought it was fool's gold from moment one, and I told our guys that. We lost an edge. We never got it back, and then we fought and almost stole the game."The Kings stole it back in overtime."Our team has a tendency to hang our heads and not bounce back from those kinds of things," Kings head coach Paul Westphal said. "We haven't been a good closing team for most of the year, but lately, we've improved in that area, too. We found a way to score, but mostly we stayed in the game because of our defense and rebounding."Notes: Evans played in his second game since missing the previous 19 with left foot plantar fasciitis, scoring 10 points in 23 minutes. ... The Kings have won four of their past five after winning four of the previous 22 games.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”

Cavs-Warriors Part III joins past championship trilogies

Cavs-Warriors Part III joins past championship trilogies

It never happened between Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics. Same for Michael Jordan and Karl Malone or Jerry West and Bill Russell.

While there have been 14 rematches in NBA Finals history, this year's meeting between LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers and Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors will be the first trilogy in league history.

After the Warriors beat the Cavs for their first title in 40 years in 2015, Cleveland got revenge last season with a comeback from 3-1 down to give the city its first major championship since 1964. Now they meet for the rubber match starting June 1 in Oakland.

While this may be unprecedented in the NBA, it has happened once before in the NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball with matchups that included some of those sports' biggest stars.

There was Babe Ruth vs. Frankie Frisch in the 1920s and then a pair of memorable three-peat matchups in the 1950s featuring Otto Graham against Bobby Layne in the NFL and Gordie Howe against Maurice Richard in the NHL.

Here is a look at other major pro sports championship trilogies:

New York Yankees vs. New York Giants 1921-23

In his second season in New York, Babe Ruth led the Yankees to their first World Series berth in 1921 against the Giants. The entire series was played at the Polo Grounds, home to both teams that season. The Giants won the Series 5-3 in the final best-of-nine matchup as a banged-up Ruth got just one plate appearance during the final three games, all won by the Giants.

John McGraw's Giants won the rematch the following year 4-0 with one tie before Ruth gave the Yankees their first title the following year to cap the first season at Yankee Stadium. Ruth had three homers in the Series, including one in the decisive sixth game. The big star for the Giants that year was future Yankees manager Casey Stengel, who hit an inside-the-park homer in the ninth inning to win Game 1 and drove in the only run in Game 3 with another homer.

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Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions (1952-54)

These teams that have spent much of the post-merger days near the bottom of the standings were the cream of the crop in the 1950s led by star quarterback Graham and innovative coach Paul Brown in Cleveland and Lions Hall of Fame passer Layne and running back Doak Walker.

In the first championship meeting in 1952, Layne and Walker ran for TDs to give the Lions a 17-7 win and their first championship since 1935.

Detroit became the league's third repeat winner in the championship game the following season when Layne threw a 33-yard TD pass to Jim Doran with just over 2 minutes remaining for a 17-16 victory.

The Browns came out on top the following year, ending a run of three straight title game losses (they also lost to the Rams in 1951). The Lions won the regular-season finale the week before the title game and scored first on a field goal by Walker.

But it was all Browns after that with Graham throwing three TD passes and running for three more in a 56-10 win.

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Montreal Canadiens vs. Detroit Red Wings (1954-56)

The first matchup of this trilogy started with one of the most memorable in 1954. In a series full of megastars like Howe, Terry Sawchuk, Ted Lindsay and Red Kelly in Detroit and Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Boom Boom Geoffrion in Montreal, it was an unsung player who became the hero.

In overtime in Game 7, Red Wings forward Tony Leswick got credit for the series-clinching goal when his innocent looking shot from the point was deflected by Harvey past Gerry McNeil for a 2-1 win 4:29 into OT. There hasn't been a Game 7 overtime since in the Final.

The Red Wings won the rematch in an all home team seven-game series the following year. Howe set a record with 12 points in the round and Lindsay scored four goals in a Game 2 win. Richard missed the series because of a suspension for slashing Boston's Hal Laycoe in the head and punching linesman Cliff Thompson. Detroit didn't win another Stanley Cup for 41 years.

With Richard back, the Canadiens won the following year in five games with the Rocket getting the game-winning goal in the clincher. That was the first of a record five straight titles for the Canadiens.