Kings

Kings close 2011 with bust vs. Knicks, 114-92

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Kings close 2011 with bust vs. Knicks, 114-92

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- Learning at a morning shootaround that he would be making his first NBA start because teammate Amare Stoudemire was injured, New York Knicks rookie Josh Harrellson didn't have a lot of time to be nervous.And the rookie from Kentucky didn't show it, either.Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and the Knicks got an unexpected 14 points and 12 rebounds from Harrellson in controlling the game early and cruising past the Sacramento Kings, 114-92 on Saturday night.The Knicks didn't miss starting forward Stoudemire, their leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, who sat out with a sprained left ankle. All five starters had 14 points or more for New York, which took a 14-point lead into halftime and the lead never dipped below double digits in the second half as the Knicks snapped a two-game losing streak.Tyson Chandler had 22 points and seven rebounds, and Landry Fields scored 21 points for the Knicks, who had struggled offensively in losing their previous two games, but had a season-high point total against the Kings. Toney Douglas had 17 points and eight assists, and Bill Walker added 11 points."When the ball is moving like that, you can see how successful we can be offensively," said Fields, discussing the Knicks' season-high 26 assists. "It's a very nice win. Hopefully it brings us momentum going into our next game (Monday at home against Toronto)."Harrellson connected on his first shot, a wide-open 3-pointer two minutes into the game. He added three more 3-pointers and clearly outplayed Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, his teammate for one season at Kentucky."I guarded him all season at practice, so I felt like I know DeMarcus' game," Harrelson said. "I thought I did a good job on my former teammate. I was trying to get him out of whack, get him out of his rhythm."There had been no rhythm offensively in the first three games for Harrellson, who had a combined three points and five rebounds in 29 minutes."It was very important for me to make that first shot and get my confidence going," Harrellson said. "They had to come out and guard me and that opened things up and left other people open."New York (2-2) used a 15-0 run in the opening quarter to take a 35-20 lead. Douglas scored nine points and had three of the Knicks' six 3-pointers."They were hitting big threes and executing and jumped on us and we were never able to crawl back in the game," Kings coach Paul Westphal said.Marcus Thornton had 14 points for the struggling Kings (1-3), who have lost three straight after defeating the Lakers at home to start the season. Both Jason Thompson and Tyreke Evans had 13 points. The Kings shot 35 percent from the field and made only 26 of 41 free throws.Sacramento plays a home game against New Orleans on New Year's night."This is a very disappointing loss because we had a very good practice (Friday), probably our best practice of the year," Kings forward Chuck Hayes said. "But we came out like we don't know how to carry it over. It's discouraging."With the Knicks getting contributions from many different players, Anthony was quiet early in the game and his first basket didn't come until he made a driving layup midway through the second quarter.Yet he still had 17 at halftime and the Knicks had a 14-point lead. A rested Anthony finished with seven rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes, including just a two-plus minute stint in the fourth with the win secured."Our team is starting to pick up things in the offense that if we continue to do it, we can be successful," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "When you have a Carmelo with an Amare, it tends to open the floor even more. When the ball moves, our younger guys can get more involved."With the Knicks ahead by 13 points entering the fourth quarter, Chandler scored eight points in the opening three minutes, including two three-point plays. Chandler's second one put New York ahead 88-70. The lead was 20 points or more for much of the fourth quarter.Chandler was in foul trouble and barely a factor in the first half, playing four minutes. However, the veteran center made all six free throws and had eight points in the third quarter in helping the Knicks take a 78-65 lead into the fourth."From the beginning of the game until the end, we just looked lost," Evans said. "We just play off our natural talent and that's how we get our points. It's terrible right now and we've just got to figure something out."Anthony scored 15 points and Harrellson had 11 in the opening half, when the Knicks led 56-42. The Kings shot 33 percent as their offensive problems continued.Notes: Knicks reserve forward Jared Jeffries missed his third straight game with a sore right calf. . The Chicago Bulls also had a 15-0 first-quarter run against the Kings in Thursday's game. . Free throws continue to be a problem for Evans, who has made 13 of 27 this season. . Knicks rookie center Jerome Jordan committed four fouls in his first seven minutes.

NBA fines Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins for incident with fan

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USATSI

NBA fines Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins for incident with fan

Former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is in trouble with the league office again.

The NBA fined the Pelicans big man $25,000 for "directing inappropriate language towards a fan" during the final minutes of the team's season opener on Wednesday night against the Grizzlies.

The referee's heard the exchange between Cousins and the fan, and assessed a technical foul to Cousins. That technical foul was rescinded as part of the league's announcement Saturday.

After Wednesday's game, Cousins offered this explanation of the incident:

"That was pretty bogus, man. The ref, he sat there and heard (the fan) speaking to me in a very nasty way. I shouldn't have responded to it, but I'm a human being and I'm also a grown man. I'm not going to let another person just disrespect me. I felt (the ref) should have handled it, he decided not to, but he handled my end of it. I look forward to speaking to the league," Cousins told reporters, according to USA Today.

Cousins makes his first trip back to Sacramento since being traded by the Kings on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

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USATSI

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

With a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are feeling good heading into their first back-to-back on Saturday. They’ll face a Denver Nuggets team that lost their season opener to the Utah Jazz and is looking for their first victory of the season.

The combination of George Hill and De’Aaron Fox at the point guard position was too much for Dallas to handle on Friday. Hill poured in 21 points, including two huge shots down the stretch and Fox came away with his first 10-assist game of his career.

Denver added veteran Paul Millsap in the offseason to match with rising star Nikola Jokic. Jokic struggled in the opener, but still managed to post seven points, eight assists and 12 rebounds. The Kings will have their hands full trying to slow the 7-footer.  

OPENING LINE:
Nuggets by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Nikola Jokic -- Cauley-Stein has posted back-to-back double-doubles to start the season and comes in averaging 15.5 points, 10.5 rebound and two blocks in 29 minutes per game. Jokic is one of the more versatile bigs in the game. He picks and chooses his spots to score, but his passing ability makes him a dangerous player.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 1-1

Nuggets: 0-1

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out

Nuggets: No injuries to report

SERIES HISTORY:
These two teams split the season series last year and hold an identical 86-86 record against each other all-time. The Kings lead the Nuggets 65-63 during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
MORE TIME FOR FOX - The Kings speedy young guard is showing that he’s ready to carry more of the load. In his first game, he posted 14 points and five assists. In Game Two, he set up his teammates for a team-high 10 assists while adding nine points and six rebounds. He’s averaged 25 minutes a game in the first two, but his play is already commanding more.

GIVING BUDDY SOME LOVE - Lost in the shuffle of the team’s first win was an nice all-around performance from Buddy Hield. The second-year guard was one of eight Kings to grab five rebounds or more against the Mavs, but Hield’s late board in traffic was probably the play of the night. If he can post more 13 point, six rebound, three assist games early in the season, he’ll find himself on the court more often than not.

MORE FROM SKAL NEEDED - Skal Labissiere has all the potential in the world, but he’s off to a quiet start through two contests. He needs to be more aggressive calling for the ball and continue to hit the glass hard. He’s averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds in 23 minutes per game, but one of those came with Zach Randolph on the shelf. He’ll need to earn minutes like everyone else on this team.

QUOTE:
“My coach has that much confidence in me, a 19-year-old kid to stay on the floor in crunch time, and when he has that confidence in me, my confidence goes up that much more.” -De’Aaron Fox on coach Dave Joerger sticking with him down the stretch in the Kings’ first win.