Kings

Tyreke scores 27, but Kings fall 103-89 in Houston

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Tyreke scores 27, but Kings fall 103-89 in Houston

BOX SCORE
HOUSTON -- Samuel Dalembert had the best game in his short career as a Houston Rocket on Friday night.The fact that he did it against former team probably wasn't a coincidence.Dalembert had 21 points and 16 rebounds to help the balanced Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 103-89."He was possessed or something, I don't know," Houston's Kyle Lowry said. "He really looked like the old Sam Dalembert back in the 76ers days and he played really good."Dalembert, who was signed by the Rockets on Dec. 26, spent his first eight seasons in Philadelphia before playing for the Kings last season."He just had great energy tonight," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "It was just fantastic. That was just the Sammy we've been hoping to see."Lowry led the team with 25 points and had nine assists, and Luis Scola added 21 points and 11 rebounds.Dalembert's previous scoring high with Houston was 10 points. He wouldn't acknowledge that his offensive outburst had anything to do with the opponent, but instead said he wanted to give Houston a second inside scoring threat to go with Scola."I was telling the guys that I'm trying to be a presence because Scola is the only one there inside who is doing a lot for us," he said. "I said that I needed to be a presence offensively."The Kings led at halftime, but Houston used a strong third quarter to take the lead and Sacramento never really threatened after that.Tyreke Evans scored 27 points for Sacramento, which has lost five of seven. Evans has scored at least 25 points in four of the last five games.DeMarcus Cousins' streak of four straight double-doubles was snapped with a tough night. He finished with four points and four rebounds, going 1 of 7 after missing all of his six field goal attempts in the first half.He was coming off a career-high 19 rebounds in Wednesday night's win over Toronto and it was the first time in six games that he had scored fewer than 16 points.After the game both he and Sacramento coach Keith Smart said Cousins wasn't feeling well on Friday."I don't know what's going on," Cousins said. "I couldn't stop coughing and I can't seem to get over it."Houston led by nine points at the end of the third quarter and scored the first six points of the fourth to stretch the lead to 87-72. The Kings scored the next six points, but Houston used back-to-back 3s from Lowry and Kevin Martin to make it 93-78 midway through the quarter.Martin chipped in 13 points for Houston and Chandler Parsons had 11.The Kings played sloppy at times, and at one point late in the fourth quarter they turned it over three times in just more than 30 seconds."We have to do a better job of running plays and making shots," Evans said. "The bench came in with a lot of energy and did a good job. We just have to finish better."The Rockets were up by three points in the third quarter before a quick six-point spurt, that included four free throws by Lowry to make it 75-66. Sacramento cut the lead to six points after an alley-oop dunk by J.J. Hickson, but Lowry hit a 3-pointer seconds later to extend Houston's advantage to 81-72.Sacramento outscored Houston 15-7 to open the second quarter take a 39-31 lead. Donte Greene scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer in that span. The Rockets responded with a 10-2 run to tie it at 41-all. Scola scored five quick points to get that going.The Kings had gone back on top by five points when Dalembert had a monster dunk over Greene that left the defender on the court and Houston down 48-45.The Kings led 52-50 at halftime.The Rockets were up by 10 points with 3 12 minutes left in the first quarter before Sacramento went on a 12-2 run, fueled by seven points by Evans, to tie it at the end of the period.NOTES: The Rockets honored their all-decade team for the 1970s at halftime. Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone, Calvin Murphy and Mike Newlin participated in the ceremony, but fifth member Rudy Tomjanovich couldn't attend. ... Smart said he expects NBA Hall of Famer Alex English, who was hired Friday as an assistant, to join the team on Monday at Minnesota. ... Chuck Hayes, who is in his first year with the Kings after playing in Houston for six seasons, was honored with a video tribute of his time with the Rockets after the second quarter. Hayes, who isn't playing because of a dislocated left shoulder, received a standing ovation from the crowd.

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.