Kings

Pavelski powers Sharks past St. Louis, 5-3

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Pavelski powers Sharks past St. Louis, 5-3

March 19, 2011

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks survived nearly two whole periods without high-scoring rookie Logan Couture. Now they're left hoping the lower body injury that sent him limping to the locker room isn't too serious with the playoffs just more than three weeks away. RELATED: Sharks' Couture leaves games with leg injury
Joe Pavelski had two goals and an assist Saturday and the Sharks beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on a night they might have lost one of their top scorers.San Jose jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than 8 minutes in and thoroughly dominated the Blues. But there was more of a cause for concern than celebration when Couture had to be helped to the locker room early in the second period with an apparent right leg injury."You could see he was in pain," Pavelski said. "He's meant a lot to this team. He's been great. He brings a lot of energy to our team. But we have guys who are more than capable of stepping up. We hope it's nothing serious. Hopefully he doesn't even miss a day. If it is (serious), hopefully he's back before crunch time gets going."Couture is officially listed as day to day. He was unable to put any weight on his leg as teammates Ryane Clowe and Ben Eager helped him off the ice after his skate slammed into the end boards 1:04 into the second."I'm not sure how he's feeling, but it wasn't pretty," Clowe said.Torrey Mitchell, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi also scored and Antti Niemi made 42 saves for the Sharks, who have won three straight following a three-game losing streak to move within two points of Detroit for second place in the Western Conference.T.J. Hensick scored his first goal in more than 16 months and David Backes and Andy McDonald added third-period scores for the Blues, who had won four of six."It looks like they found their game," Blues coach Davis Payne said. "Their puck movement puts them in a top-four spot and they have made a huge charge to get into that spot. Obviously, in this conference, if you are in the top four you are a pretty good team."Much of the energy left the Shark Tank after Couture's injury. He has been one of San Jose's most consistent performers all season, with a franchise rookie record 27 goals, including eight game-winners.Niemi and Pavelski helped make sure the Sharks didn't lose the game as well as Couture after Hensick got credit for his first goal since Nov. 8, 2009, when he kicked a puck off Douglas Murray's skate to cut San Jose's lead to 3-1.Niemi came out with a couple of tough saves, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic cleared a puck off the goal line to preserve the two-goal lead. Setoguchi restored the three-goal advantage when his shot deflected off Blues defender Roman Polak and past Ty Conklin to make it 4-1.Pavelski sealed the game when he deflected in Dan Boyle's shot for his second goal of the night with 5.3 seconds remaining in the second period. Pavelski has three goals and eight assists in his last four games.He almost had his first career hat trick, but a third goal was taken away after the game when officials ruled he didn't deflect Marleau's first-period shot."Points are coming," Pavelski said. "We're playing good. It's not just points. I feel confident with the puck. The line's been playing good. We've had lots of chances."The Sharks played without coach Todd McLellan, who was in Saskatchewan for his brother-in-law's funeral. Assistant Trent Yawney ran the team in McLellan's absence.San Jose got off to a fast start against a team looking to play spoiler in the West. The Sharks scored three goals in a span of less than 4 minutes in the opening period to knock out Jaroslav Halak two nights after he shut out another playoff contender in a 4-0 win at Los Angeles."I think they have been doing everything that Todd has been preaching over the course of, probably the last month, and I thought we shot the puck early," Yawney said. "I thought we broke them down by shooting the puck."Mitchell's goal came on a rebound, while Marleau and Pavelski scored on the power play with shots that came from just inside the blue line as Halak left after allowing three goals on 10 shots in the first 7:41."You can't blame much on Jaro when there are shots through screens, shots going off posts, and that's the job of our forwards and defensemen to get into their shot lanes," Backes said.Notes: San Jose won the season series 3-1. ... The Sharks have scored at least one power-play goal in a season-high seven straight games. ... Referee Dennis Larue was honored before the game for working his 1,000th regular-season game as an official.

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

SACRAMENTO -- Light in the rear. It’s a term the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has used since the beginning of training camp to describe the bigs on the roster. On Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the team’s lack of strength inside was on full display as the Denver Nuggets crushed them on the glass.

“I think we’re 29th in the league for rebounding, so that’s a little bit of our makeup of how our team is made,” Dave Joerger said following the Kings’ 114-98 loss.

Joerger is close in his assessment, but off by a few spots. His roster ranks 26th in the league in rebounding overall and 28th on the defensive side of the ball. It’s become an achilles heel for a team that has a few glaring weaknesses.

“When Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) aren’t in there to snag every rebound, we have to get in there and help Zach (Randolph) and help Skal (Labissiere),” veteran Garrett Temple said. “Skal’s a little undersized in terms of weight and Z-Bo will put his body on people, but some people might be able to out jump him.”

On a normal night, Temple is right. Randolph and Labissiere struggle to put up big numbers on the glass. But against the Nuggets, it was Koufos and Cauley-Stein that combined to grab nine rebounds in 51 total minutes of action.

Randolph and Labissiere didn’t fair much better, finishing with 10 boards between the two of them in 38 minutes with the starters. Between the Kings’ four bigs, they were out rebounded by the Nuggets bigs by a final of 34-19.

The Nuggets came into the night a top 10 rebounding team overall and the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 11.8 per game.

It’s not just the bigs that struggled to grab boards for Sacramento. Without Buddy Hield, the club’s best rebounding wing, the Kings’ were dominated 49-34 overall in rebounding, including 14-5 on the offensive glass.

“The first shot, it’s a good contest, we did everything right, except get the rebound,” rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “And then they get an open shot off a second chance shot. If we can complete a lot of plays with the rebound, we’ll be okay.”

To Fox’s point, the defensive possession doesn’t end until the rebound is secured. Sacramento was outscored 19-6 on second chance points. In a 16-point game, those numbers loom large.

“Us guards, we know we have to help our bigs,” Fox said. “We know our bigs are athletic. We know they do what they do, at the end of the day, other team’s guards are helping their bigs rebound and their bigs aren’t alone.”

Outside of the four bigs, none of the other seven players to see action had more than three rebounds. It’s an issue that has to be addressed as the Kings move forward.

“There are some instances that really bothered me,” Joerger said. “We had some guys leaking out, standing at half court and that I won’t have.”

The Kings have a day of practice on Tuesday to try and sure up some of their issues. Some of the problems stem from inexperience, but some of the issue comes down to energy and effort.

It doesn’t even get easier on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers rank second in the league in rebounding at 47.5 boards per game. On the plus side, they also give up the 28th most rebounds in the league.

Klay Thompson randomly interviewed on local NYC news about scaffolding

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AP

Klay Thompson randomly interviewed on local NYC news about scaffolding

With a big break until their next game, the Warriors spent a couple days in New York City.

Klay Thompson spent part of his Monday walking around the city.

And as only Thompson could, he wound up appearing on a local news report. But he wasn't talking about basketball. Not even close.

Courtesy of Twitter user @MP_Trey, Thompson was interviewed on Fox 5 NY to talk about ... scaffolding.

"I usually observe if the piping and stuff is new. Sometimes, you know, something looks like it's been there a while, I try to avoid that," Thompson said in the report.

You can watch the odd video here: