Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Sacramento Kings point guard Ty Lawson spent time in a Colorado courtroom Thursday to face allegations of potential probation violations. Lawson was granted a six-week stay in case and will reappear in court on May 4, CSN California has learned through a league source.

According to Jesse Paul of the Denver Post, Lawson, through his attorney Harvey Steinberg, entered a denial of probation violations. Lawson tested positive for alcohol three times in the past year, according to published reports. If true, it would be a violation of his probation. 

Lawson’s legal troubles stem from a 2015 DUI arrest in Denver. The eight-year NBA veteran signed a one-year deal with the Kings on Aug. 31, 2016. Through 63 games, including 21 starts, the 29-year-old guard has posted averages of 9.2 points and 4.7 assists in 25.1 minutes per game. 

He sat out Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks for “planned rest.” Lawson is expected back in a Kings uniform Friday night when they take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Spurs rally to beat T'Wolves, keep pace with Warriors

Spurs rally to beat T'Wolves, keep pace with Warriors

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kawhi Leonard scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and hit the go-ahead jumper with 54 seconds to play to help the San Antonio Spurs to a 100-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points for the Spurs, who remained three games behind Golden State for the top seed in the Western Conference. San Antonio scored 35 points off of 23 turnovers by Minnesota and held off a fourth-quarter rally from the Wolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost four straight games to fade from playoff contention in the West. Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points and Shabazz Muhammad scored 16 of his 18 points in the second quarter for Minnesota.

San Antonio trailed by nine at halftime, but turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter to grab control. Held to just two points in the first half, Leonard scored 12 in the third and the Spurs forced 10 turnovers by the Wolves in a 31-16 frame.

The Spurs led 88-80 midway through the fourth quarter when Leonard had to go to the bench after getting whacked in the face by Gorgui Dieng. That opened the door for the Wolves, who outscored the Spurs 8-4 while their MVP candidate was on the bench.

Wiggins threw down a big dunk in traffic to ignite the rally and Towns converted a three-point play to put the Wolves up 93-92 with 2:04 to play.

Leonard responded with an 18-foot jumper and Wiggins missed a good look on the other end that would have put Minnesota back in front.

TIP-INS:
Spurs: F David Lee did not play because of a sore left foot. Lee said he expected to be ready to go against Memphis on Thursday. ... Leonard has scored in double figures in 97 straight games, the longest streak by a Spur since David Robinson did it in 157 straight from 1994-96. ... Pau Gasol added 11 points and six boards.

Timberwolves: The team announced it will unveil its new logo on April 11. The Wolves also will get new uniforms as part of a rebrand under Nike next season.

HAMMON'S CHANCE:
Spurs assistant Becky Hammon reportedly is in the running for the women's head coaching job at Florida, and coach Gregg Popovich said she has been "an integral part of what we do and been a fantastic coach for us." Lee pronounced her "more than ready" to run a program. A former Gator, Lee said he offered his assistance to her if she had any questions about the school.

When the Spurs hired Hammon, the belief was she may one day become the first female head coach in the NBA.

"If anybody's going to do it, it would be her," Lee said. "She has a great disposition."

BJELICA UPDATE:
Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica had surgery on Tuesday to repair a fractured navicular bone in his left foot. The team said the surgery went as expected, but did not put a timetable on his return.

Bjelica was injured in a game against Boston last week, removing a key bench player for a Timberwolves team lacking in depth to begin with. The Wolves signed Omri Casspi to take some of his minutes down the stretch, and he played 22 minutes in his debut on Tuesday night.

UP NEXT:
Spurs: San Antonio begins a four-game homestand on Thursday against Memphis.

Timberwolves: Minnesota starts a two-game road trip in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Friday.

NBA commish warns of 'significant penalties' for teams resting players

NBA commish warns of 'significant penalties' for teams resting players

MIAMI -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to the league's board of governors Monday, calling the way teams are choosing to rest starters in some games "an extremely significant issue for our league" and pressing owners to be more involved in the decision-making process.

Silver also told the owners that the matter will be discussed at league meetings next month after nationally televised games on back-to-back Saturday nights were diluted by decisions to rest star players.

"Decisions of this kind ... can affect fans and business partners, impact our reputation and damage the perception of our game," Silver wrote in the memo, which was obtained by The Associated Press. "With so much at stake, it is simply not acceptable for governors to be uninvolved or to defer decision-making authority on these matters to others in their organizations."

ESPN.com first reported the contents of the memo.

The rest issue has been an even hotter-than-usual talking point in the NBA of late with teams like Golden State and Cleveland - the last two NBA champions - electing to rest superstars in recent nationally televised games. Fans have complained on some occasions that they have paid a premium price to see stars play, then arrived at arenas only to find that those players are getting the game off.

It also can't sit well with the networks that paid $24 billion to the NBA in the latest television contract negotiations.

"Please also be reminded that under current league rules teams are required to provide notice to the league office, their opponent and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest," Silver wrote. "Failure to abide by these rules will result in significant penalties."

The Warriors chose to rest Stephen CurryKlay ThompsonDraymond Green and Andre Iguodala for a nationally televised game against San Antonio on March 11. Coach Steve Kerr said he did it in response to a grueling stretch of the schedule that included eight games in eight different cities in 13 days.

"It's my call, and it's the right thing to do in terms of the way the season is playing out and the way the minutes have gone and (Kevin Durant's) injury," Kerr said when he announced the decision after a game against Minnesota the previous night. "It's the right thing to do, so we're doing it."

LeBron JamesKyrie Irving and Kevin Love rested for Cleveland against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night, though Irving and Love were both dealing with recent injuries.

It is not a new issue, though Silver noted that its frequency has escalated this season.

San Antonio was fined $250,000 by then-NBA commissioner David Stern in the 2012-13 season when coach Gregg Popovich sent Danny Green, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili home for rest on Nov. 29, 2012, rather than having them play Miami in the final game of a six-game road trip.

Stern said the fine was due to a litany of transgressions, but primarily because San Antonio did not alert the league or media of the players' unavailability prior to the game. Since then, the Spurs have announced in advance which players will rest.

Silver has said the league is very sensitive to players needing as much rest as possible to perform at their best and avoid injury. The league will start the regular season earlier next year so it can reduce the number of back-to-backs and stretches of four games in five nights that teams face.