Kings

Kings run out of Denver 110-83

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Kings run out of Denver 110-83

BOX SCORE
DENVER (AP) -- Leave it to the Denver Nuggets' reserves to steal the show.Al Harrington came off the bench to score 15 points, and reserve guard Rudy Fernandez had 12 points and eight assists in Denver's 110-83 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.Each of Denver's 12 players scored at least six points, including 11 apiece by Timofey Mozgov and Arron Afflalo as the Nuggets won their third in a row and improved to 4-0 at home. They beat the Kings in Denver for the sixth straight time."It's unique," said Kosta Koufos, who had his first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) while helping to fill in for the injured Nene. "In every position, we're deep. One person gets tired and another person comes in and plays just as well, and having that is a luxury for us. At the same time, we have the mentality to win as many games as possible and keep working hard and getting better as a team."While the Nuggets may lack superstars - the team traded away Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, its best known players - coach George Karl said Denver is fortunate to have a very deep roster. It has allowed him to shuffle his players in and out in waves and run the floor, often wearing down the opposition, as was the case against the Kings."We're going to go after teams with our intensity and, hopefully, the flow of flooding good players on to the court," Karl said. "I'm still kind of learning this team, too. It's fun to see them evolve and see where we go."Added Afflalo: "It's still early. We've been fortunate enough to gut-out some wins. We still have a lot of improving to do as a team and individually. Hopefully, we continue to stay on an upward pace and win at the same time."The Nuggets took the lead almost right away against a Kings team that was playing the second of three games in three days. Midway through the game, the Kings also lost guard Tyreke Evans after he became ill."That was a kick in our teeth. You can't hide from it," Kings coach Paul Westphal of his team's ragged performance. "I still think we have the makings of a good basketball team and I believe we will bounce back."They got on us early. I thought we were pressing. Our shooting, it's undescribable. The avalanche just fell on us."The Kings, who remained winless in three road games this season, got 26 points from DeMarcus Cousins and 23 from Marcus Thornton. Cousins was playing his second game since returning from a one-game ban for demanding a trade, according to the team. Cousins denies making any such demand.Up by 17 at the half, the Nuggets stretched the lead to 66-41 on a basket by Danilo Gallinari with 6:33 left in the third quarter. Sacramento scored 14 of the next 18 points, pulling to 70-55 on Thornton's 3-pointer, but wound up lagging behind Denver 85-64 going into the fourth quarter.Denver made it a runaway with a 9-0 burst to start the fourth. The run was punctuated by dunks from Chris Andersen, and rookie Kenneth Faried off a no-look alley oop pass from Fernandez.The Nuggets led 27-17 after the first quarter and began the second with a 14-2 run, pulling out to a 41-19 lead on a fast-break dunk by Corey Brewer with 7:14 remaining in the period. The Kings cut the deficit to 13 on a layup by Thornton but Gallinari pulled off a reverse layup and then got a steal to start a fast break that Harrington finished with a layup for a 56-39 lead at halftime.NOTES: The Kings conclude their only back-to-back-to-back set of the season at home on Thursday, when they host Milwaukee. ... Nuggets forward Nene missed a second straight game with a bruised left heel. ... Kings haven't won in Denver since April 5, 2008, a 118-115 decision. ... Thornton had his 44th career 20-plus point game. ... It was only the second time in franchise history that the Nuggets had 12 players score at least six points in a game.

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

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AP

DeMarcus Cousins: 'Take all them motherf****** down'

Some professional athletes take a stand by kneeling on the sidelines or raising a fist into the air. Some write succinct tweets expressing their dismay with the current political climate in the United States of America. Others just get right to the point with a poignant off the cuff statement to a waiting camera.

Former Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins has certainly mastered the art of the cryptic tweet, but he’s also never been one to shy away from a direct question when asked. When an inquiry was thrown his direction about confederate statues in New Orleans and his home state of Alabama, Cousins was brief with his words, but very clear.

"Take all them mother****ers down," Cousins told TMZ while navigating a security line at the airport. "Take 'em all down.”

Cousins may not have chosen the most eloquent words, but his point of view is shared by plenty of others. He isn’t the first athlete to take a stand with regards to race in America over the last week as racial tensions have spilled out into the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia. Social media is filled with professional athletes adding their thoughts to the conversation.

The Warriors’ Kevin Durant has made it clear that he will not visit the White House and President Donald Trump, a visit most teams make following an NBA championship.

"Nah, I won't do that," the 8-time All-Star told ESPN on Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now.”

"I don't agree with what he agrees with, so my voice is going to be heard by not doing that,” Durant continued. “That's just me personally, but if I know my guys well enough, they'll all agree with me."

Garrett Temple has used Twitter to make his thoughts known as well. Recently named the Kings’ Players Voice Teammate of the Year by the National Basketball Players Association, Temple has used his position as an NBA player to speak out multiple times.

Over the last week, he’s fielded questions and had plenty of discussions through social media on the issues of race and equality. His Twitter timeline is littered with thoughtful replies and some not so thoughtful ideas as well. Plenty of fans thanking him for using his position to further the conversation and of course, there is the occasional, “stick to sports” comment.

Agree or disagree, today’s athletes have huge platforms to share their opinions. From Cousins to Temple, there are varying degrees of engagement, but the time of players staying out of the discussion is long gone.

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

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AP

The Maloofs' colossal charity bet on Mayweather-McGregor circus act

Gavin and Joe Maloof have gambled plenty in their lives, which is in part how they ended up losing the Sacramento Kings. They ran big, they hit a dry well, and they ended up selling the works.

So their decision to bet $880,000 on Floyd Mayweather in his “thing” with Conor McGregor for a $160,000 payout seemed the perfectly daft idea for two guys who were painted as perfectly daft when they were running the Kings and their other businesses into a freeway abutment on I-80.

In fairness, they are planning to donate their winnings to a number of charities in the name of their hangover drink (Never Too Hungover, although I might have gone with the more lyrical HurlNoMore), so it’s not like their hearts aren’t a place close to the mythical “right place.”

But it does beg the question, “Why don’t they just give $160,000 and skip the scam?” Because it wasn’t about charity, it was about promotion, and while there’s nothing wrong with promotion, attaching it to one of the seediest carnival events of the modern era makes it seem, well, kind of creepy.

Or maybe “creepy” is too strong. Maybe’s it’s just opportunism, which is more, well, Vegas-y.

Kings fans will remember the Maloofs as the family that saved the foundering team from the clutches of owner Jim Thomas, and then remember them as the family whose clutches Vivek Ranadive had to save the team from 15 years later. It’s the nature of most ownerships – you do good to eliminate a prior evil, and eventually become evil yourselves when the fans turn on you.

But the Maloofs aren’t evil – even their most strident critics will say that. They just saw an opportunity to scratch a bunch of itches at once – good-heartedness, advertising, gambling and Vegas’ most important product – selling you things you could never imagine wanting.

It almost makes you wonder if they harbor a secret itch to take the $160,000 and double down on behalf of the charities for another of their pet projects – the Vegas Golden Knights. If they put it on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup at 200-1, that’s $32,000,000. Then if they took that and . . .

. . . and before you know it, they’re trapped in the fantasyland of Las Vegas at its weirdest. Maybe it’s just performance art with more money than most of us can eat.