49ers

Kings fall hard to Thunder in Cousins' return, 126-94

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Kings fall hard to Thunder in Cousins' return, 126-94

Feb. 15, 2011KINGS PAGE KINGS VIDEO
BOX SCORE

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (AP) -- Defense turned into offense early for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A fast start led to a season high in points as the Thunder cruised past the Kings 126-96 on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City scored 68 points in the first half, a season high for a half, and led by as many 25 points in beating the Kings for the second time in four days.

"That was about as good as they could possibly play to start the game," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said.

Daequan Cook scored a team-high 20 points off the bench, and Russell Westbrook added 10 points and 11 assists.

DeMarcus Cousins returned from a one-game suspension to lead Sacramento with a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.

"They jumped on us right from the start and we could never get back in the game," Sacramento coach Paul Westphal said. "It was a great performance by them. We couldn't stop them. We couldn't score."

Kevin Durant went 5 for 18 from the field and scored 17 points. Nenad Krstic scored 16 for Oklahoma City as seven players finished in double figures and 11 different players scored in the Thunder's final game before the All-Star break.

"That was the best all year at the start of the game," Durant said. "The defense was on point. The offensive was on point. We just clicked on all cylinders."

Omri Casspi added 14 points for the Kings, who had won three straight road games before Tuesday.

On Saturday, Oklahoma City beat Sacramento 99-97 when Tyreke Evans' potential winning 3-pointer missed. The Thunder didn't have to worry about that Tuesday. Evans missed the game with plantar fasciitis and the Thunder led wire-to-wire.

Oklahoma City scored 37 points in the first quarter after hitting its first seven shots. It was the third-most points scored in a single quarter all season and most since Oklahoma City scored 38 points in the first quarter against Miami on Jan. 30.

"It all starts on the defensive end for our team," Cook said. "If we bring it on the defensive end, we are going to get rewarded on the offensive end."

Krstic scored seven straight points for the Thunder midway through the third quarter as Oklahoma City took a 28-point lead.

Cook knocked down a 30-footer as the shot-clock wound down to give Oklahoma City an 18-point lead. James Harden found Serge Ibaka for a dunk 39 seconds later, which gave the Thunder a 20-point lead with 7:15 remaining in the first half.

Cook hit another 3-pointer on Oklahoma City's next possession and Eric Maynor scored in transition 15 seconds later to cap a 13-0 run and put the Thunder ahead by 25.

"The ball was really moving around," Brooks said. "When the defense has to chase the ball, we are a fun team to watch."

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

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AP

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
 
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
 
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
 
Talent.
 
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
 
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
 
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
 
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
 
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
 
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

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AP

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.