Kings reward fans with 103-96 win over Jazz

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Kings reward fans with 103-96 win over Jazz

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SACRAMENTO (AP) -- DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 18 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings celebrated a possible new arena deal with a 103-96 victory over the struggling Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.The city, the Kings and the NBA announced a tentative deal Monday to finance a new arena that would be built by 2015 and keep the team in Sacramento for many years. The City Council will vote on the plan March 6.Marcus Thornton scored 21 points and made five of six free throws in the final 16 seconds to help the Kings secure the win.Rookie guard Isaiah Thomas had 18 points and eight assists for the Kings, who have won two straight. Tyreke Evans scored 13 and Jason Thompson had 10 points and eight rebounds.Thomas, the last player chosen in the 2011 draft, started his fifth straight game at point guard. He has scored 96 points in those five games to tie a franchise mark, matching Otis Birdsong's total in 1977.Perhaps getting the loudest ovation were Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloff, who addressed the crowd regarding the decision one day earlier to keep the club in Sacramento.The Kings almost moved to Anaheim a year ago before Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and city leaders convinced the NBA to give Sacramento one last chance to help finance an arena. The team has been trying to get an arena deal for 13 years, according to Gavin Maloof.Devin Harris scored 18 and had seven assists for slumping Utah, which dropped its fourth straight and 11th in 14 February games. Josh Howard had 15 points, CJ Miles 13 and Al Jefferson added 12 and eight rebounds.A basket from close range by Howard brought the Jazz to 98-96 with 1:08 remaining. After Gordon Hayward missed a 3-pointer from the corner, Thornton was fouled and made both attempts for a 100-96 Kings lead with 16.1 seconds left.Thomas tied the game at 87 with two free throws. John Salmons put the Kings ahead for good with a layup and Cousins scored four points, concluding an 8-0 run that gave Sacramento a 93-87 lead with 4:35 left.Thornton scored the final five points of the third quarter, including a three-point play with less than a second left that gave the Kings a 74-71 lead. Thornton scored nine points in the third when Sacramento outscored Utah 30-24.It was Cousins helping to keep the Kings close in the third quarter. He scored eight points and had five rebounds, but picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench at the 4:21 mark with the game tied 62-all.Harris scored nine points and Howard had eight in the opening half for Utah, which held a 47-44 lead. Cousins had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who shot 36 percent and committed nine turnovers.NOTES: Utah coach Tyrone Corbin spent most of the 1995-96 season playing for the Kings and said he was very happy to see the franchise remain in Sacramento. . After several turnovers, frustrated BYU rookie Jimmer Fredette was coming out of the game midway through the second quarter. However, before another dead ball situation could occur, Fredette hit a long 3-pointer and made a pinpoint pass to Chuck Hayes for a layup. Following a Kings timeout, Thomas went back to the bench and Fredette remained in the game. He finished with five points and two assists in 8 second-quarter minutes. .Utah second-year forward Jeremy Evans, the NBA slam dunk champion, didn't play. . The Jazz are 3-12 on the road.

Cousins eliminated in first round of Skills Competition by eventual champ Porzingis

Cousins eliminated in first round of Skills Competition by eventual champ Porzingis

Big men continue to reign supreme in the NBA All-Star Saturday night skills competition.

New York Knicks 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis won it, beginning his journey by beating Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and ending it by besting Utah's Gordon Hayward.

Those vanquished in earlier rounds included guards John Wall of Washington and Isaiah Thomas of Boston, both because they couldn't make their initial 3-pointers required to close out the course before Hayward did.

Porzingis emerged from the big-men's division that included the Pelicans' Anthony Davis and Denver's Nikola Jokic.

Porzingis and Hayward were neck and neck until the end of the course, but Porzingis hit his 3 first to end it.

The three-round, obstacle-course competition tests dribbling, passing, agility and shooting skills.

Former Warriors, Kings forward Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

Former Warriors, Kings forward Webber named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist

NEW ORLEANS -- Chris Webber and Rollie Massimino are one step from the Hall of Fame.

The career 20-point-per-game NBA scorer and the coach who led Villanova to a stunning upset of Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA championship game were among the 14 finalists unveiled Saturday for this year's Basketball Hall of Fame induction class.

Webber played 15 seasons with five franchises, plus was part of Michigan's famed "Fab Five" group that headlined college basketball in the early 1990s.

"I don't know what I'm most proud of," said Webber, who averaged 20.7 points and 9.8 rebounds in his career and was a five-time NBA All-Star. "I'm proud to be in the room with all these great individuals."

Other first-time Hall of Fame finalists include longtime NBA referee Hugh Evans, Connecticut women's star Rebecca Lobo, two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, five-time All-Star Sidney Moncrief, Baylor women's coach Kim Mulkey, Kansas coach Bill Self, and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

"I still can't believe I'm here," McGrady said. "This is not even a dream come true."

Previous finalists returning to the ballot include star point guard and Olympic gold medalist Tim Hardaway, winningest all-time boys high school coach Robert Hughes, Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw, former Wisconsin coach and four-time Division III national champion Bo Ryan and 10-time AAU women's national champion team Wayland Baptist University.

"We are grateful to the 14 finalists in the Class of 2017 for the impact they have had on the game we cherish," Basketball Hall of Fame Chairman Jerry Colangelo said. "To be named a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment."

Inductees will be announced at the Final Four on April 3. Enshrinement ceremonies in Springfield, Massachusetts are scheduled for Sept. 7-9.

Massimino, now an 82-year-old cancer survivor who is still coaching at NAIA school Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida, is a finalist for the first time. His Hall of Fame hopes have been backed by plenty of current and former coaches in recent months - including current Villanova coach Jay Wright, who presented Massimino with a championship ring from the Wildcats' 2016 NCAA title.

"Some days, we do take him for granted," Keiser guard Andrija Sarenac said. "But then you see him on TV so much, you see all these videos made about him, the movies about Villanova and everything, and it just hits you. You realize that he's a legend. I mean, your coach is a walking legend. With the energy and everything he comes in with, it's inspiring."

Finalists need 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be enshrined. Among this year's candidates who did not make the finalist group: Muggsy Bogues, Ben Wallace, Kevin Johnson, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Price, Lefty Driesell and Eddie Sutton.

Former New York Times sports writer Harvey Araton and former Turner Sports broadcaster Craig Sager will be recognized during Hall of Fame weekend as this year's Curt Gowdy Media Award recipients.

"A tremendous honor," said Sager's wife Stacy.

This year's lifetime achievement award recipients are former UConn coach Donald "Dee" Rowe and Michael Goldberg, who spent nearly four decades as executive director of the NBA Coaches Association. Goldberg died earlier this year.

"He bridged the gap between ownership and coaches," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry, who spoke about Goldberg on Saturday while wearing a bow tie - one of the signature wardrobe accessories that Goldberg donned for years. "He was just such a great guy."