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.

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said he does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.