Parker, Spurs reach 10 straight at Kings' expense


Parker, Spurs reach 10 straight at Kings' expense


SACRAMENTO (AP) Tony Parker said he was disappointed he didn't make the All-Star team. However, the silver lining for the talented San Antonio Spurs veteran point guard is he's playing on the NBA's top team.Parker scored 25 points and had seven assists to help the Spurs defeat the Kings 113-100 on Friday night.One night after squeaking by the Los Angeles Lakers 89-88 on Antonio McDyess' tip at the buzzer, the Spurs built an early double-digit lead against the Kings.
REWIND: Spurs beat Lakers in dramatic Fashion
And it was Parker setting the tone early, getting through the Kings' defense for driving layups, hitting medium-range jumpers, and finding open teammates for easy baskets.Parker made 11 of 17 shots and hit both his 3-point attempts against a Kings defense that couldn't find a way to stop him."Tony has been playing at an All-Star level all season," Spurs teammate Richard Jefferson said. "On another team he would be averaging 25 points a game."Yet on the deep and talent-laden Spurs, Parker's regular contributions can be overshadowed at times. However against the Kings, Parker didn't shy away from attacking early. Told by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to be offensive-minded to start the game, Parker followed the game plan perfectly."With back-to-back games, Pop told me to make sure I was aggressive early," said Parker, a three-time All-Star who admitted he was "disappointed" about the All-Star omission. "It's great when I hear that. When he wants me to be aggressive, I'm aggressive."Jefferson had 16 points and Tiago Splitter also had 16 and tied a career high with nine rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 57 percent. Tim Duncan added 12 points and played only 12 minutes, while DeJuan Blair added 10 points and 12 rebounds.The Spurs (42-8) own the NBA's best record and have won two straight and 13 of 15. They are 2-1 on their nine-game road trip, their longest of the season.However, a break in the schedule had them flying back to San Antonio for three days before returning for a stretch of four road games in five nights."For me the break is huge," said Manu Ginobili, who had nine points and six assists. "The Laker game was tough for me. I'm very happy, we're playing really well and now we go home and have three days off."Tyreke Evans had 25 points and Beno Udrih scored 18 for the Kings. Carl Landry scored 17 points and Darnell Jackson added 11. Rookie center DeMarcus Cousins was limited to seven points and 10 rebounds.The loss was the second straight for Sacramento, which has dropped 11 consecutive games to the Spurs. The Kings' last win over the Spurs was Nov. 26, 2007.
REWIND: Kings upset run ends with loss to Celtics
"They know how to run their offense and they know the system because they've been running it for a long time," Evans said. "When they are running their offense that well there is nothing we can do about it."In building an early cushion, the Spurs were able to give Duncan a rest. Duncan played the first six minutes of the game and didn't return in the first half, then played another six minutes in the third before leaving the game.With Splitter playing so well, Duncan wasn't really missed."Tiago, he's an animal. He just plays so hard and does so many little things," Jefferson said. "He was huge for us tonight. He gave us a chance to give Tim (Duncan) a break, which is something that goes a long way when you talk about how long the season is."Trailing by 24 points midway through the third quarter, the Kings finally got going offensively. Evans scored 12 points to help the Kings cut the margin to 91-75 entering the fourth quarter.Jefferson made a 3-pointer from the corner to ignite a 9-0 third-quarter run at the 8:33 mark, building the Spurs' lead to 74-50. Three minutes later from nearly the exact spot, Jefferson was knocked to the floor after making another 3-pointer. He added a free throw for a four-point play and a 82-57 Spurs lead."I thought they put on a clinic tonight in the first quarter against us," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "After that we just tried to play catch-up the rest of the game, they're too good to do that against. We could never really stop them all night."Parker scored 16 points and the Spurs went to their bench frequently in the first half when they led 61-43. San Antonio made its first six shots and built a 49-26 lead in the opening four minutes of the second quarter.Notes: The Spurs are in the midst of their annual "Rodeo Road Trip." Their next home game is Feb. 23 against Oklahoma City. ... San Antonio shot 58 percent in the first quarter and led 34-19. ... Kings forward Francisco Garcia missed his ninth straight game with a strained left calf. ... The Kings shot 2 of 12 on 3-pointers.

Thornton, Marleau now permitted to speak with other teams

Thornton, Marleau now permitted to speak with other teams

Their futures with the Sharks more uncertain than ever, pending unrestricted free agents Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are now free to take calls from other teams to gauge their potential interest.

Nothing can be signed with a new team before July 1, and there is a ban on discussing terms of any potential deal. Teams have already reached out to Marleau, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, while Thornton is also reportedly receiving interest around the league.

While they could still return to the Sharks, it’s new territory for both, as neither Thornton nor Marleau has ever tested the unrestricted free agent waters. Most recently, they agreed to three-year contract extensions with the Sharks on the same day – Jan. 24, 2014 – in what was the final year of their current deals.

Whether they return to the Sharks could depend on the length of the deal. If other teams are willing to offer multiple-year deals to Thornton and Marleau, it makes their return to the Sharks less likely – particularly in Marleau’s case. Earlier in the offseason, NBC Sports California confirmed that Thornton was seeking a three-year deal, while Marleau preferred a deal of at least three years.

General manager Doug Wilson’s top priority this offseason is to re-sign goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to long term extensions. Those contracts would likely cost the team a combined $12-14 million, and would begin in the 2018-19 season.

There is an added risk to any team that signs a player over the age of 35, as it would be on the hook for the entire salary cap hit regardless of whether that player is active (unless that player is on long-term injured reserve). 

Thornton turns 38 on Sunday, while Marleau turns 38 on Sep. 15.

Draymond Green receives most votes on 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Team

Draymond Green receives most votes on 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Team

For the third straight season, Draymond Green is considered one of the best five defenders in the NBA.

The NBA announced Monday that Green was named to the 2017 NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Of the 100 ballots submitted, according to the NBA, Green received 99 first-place votes, but no second-place votes, meaning one voter left Green off their ballot.

Green is joined by Utah's Rudy Gobert, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles' Chris Paul and Houston's Patrick Beverley.

Gobert and Leonard also recieved 99 of a possible 100 First or Second team votes.

Green, Leonard and Gobert are the three finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year, which will be announced Monday night during the NBA Awards Show in New York.

Green is the first player in Warriors franchise history to earned All-Defensive First Team honors three years in a row.

In a season when he had several game-saving plays, Green averaged 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.38 blocks and a league-leading 2.03 steals in 76 games. Green was also the first player in franchise history with at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a season.

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson received eight First-Team votes and 29 Second-Team votes for a total of 45 points. NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant received six Second-Team votes. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Andre Iguodala received one First-Team vote and one Second-Team vote. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry received three Second-Team votes.

Below are the voting results for the 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Teams. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP. Complete media ballots will be posted at tomorrow (Tuesday, June 27).