49ers

Spurs extend Sacramento's skid with late run

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Spurs extend Sacramento's skid with late run

March 11, 2011BOXSCORE KINGS VIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Bat scares and losses. That's all the Sacramento Kings get when they visit San Antonio.Manu Ginobili scored 24 points, but this time took no bold swipes at a bat once again interrupting a Kings game in San Antonio, and the Spurs survived both the bat brush and Sacramento in a 108-103 win Friday night.Last season against the Kings - on Halloween, no less - Ginobili swatted down a bat circling the court. But what at first was commended as fearless reflexes wound up getting Ginobili a rabies vaccination and the scorn of animal rights activists.He wasn't making that mistake twice."I said 'Not again,'" Ginobili said. "PETA insulted me. So I said this time someone else is going to take care of it."Tony Parker scored 27 points and Tim Duncan had 15 for the Spurs. The brief bat commotion in the second quarter ended when it flew smack into a fan seated in the third row, and after that, the NBA-best Spurs had their work cut out for them against the lowly Kings.Jermaine Taylor and Omri Casspi had 16 points apiece for Sacramento, which took a 91-88 lead midway through the fourth quarter on Taylor's alley-oop dunk. The Kings already count the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando among their scant 15 wins this season, and at that moment, it looked like they might add the Spurs to the list during an otherwise miserable season.But Ginobili answered with two 3-pointers on the next three Spurs possessions. That jump-started a 17-2 run that quickly changed a near-upset to the fifth straight loss for Sacramento.Sacramento has lost 11 in a row to the Spurs, a streak that dates to 2007."It was kind of an impossible dream for us," Kings coach Paul Westphal said. "We were sitting here talking about how maybe we could have beat the Spurs on their court. But maybe we could have."Ginobili scored 10 points in the fourth, and DeJuan Blair had six of his 14 points in the quarter. George Hill also scored 14 for the Spurs.Pooh Jeter finished with 15 for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Francisco Garcia added 14 points.The Spurs played without forward Richard Jefferson, who missed the game for undisclosed personal reasons. Rookie James Anderson started in his place, scoring just three points in 18 minutes.Jefferson is expected to back in the lineup Sunday at Houston. It's the easiest stop on a three-game road swing for the Spurs, who'll also play at Miami and at Dallas before returning home March 19 to play Charlotte."We're going to have to play way better," Ginobili said.The Kings were also down a starter. Point guard Beno Udrih, their second-leading scorer (13.8 ppg), stayed in Sacramento with the flu. Luther Head started in Udrih's place, scoring seven points.Last season it was Udrih giving Ginobili grief for his bat-batting. This time, Westphal came closest to the bat, but whiffed when he took a lunging swing at it with his whiteboard."If that thing would've come six inches closer, I probably would have knocked it into next year," Westphal said.An usher wrapped the bat in a towel after panicked fans in the third row grounded it. They said the usher carried the bat away alive."Every time we come there's a bat out there on the court," Westphal said. "It's more of gamesmanship from Pop, I'm sure. You notice it's always flying around on our end."Notes: The Kings will have one more chance April 6 to break their skid against the Spurs. ... San Antonio improved to 31-3 at home.

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

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USATSI

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.

Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.

“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.

The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger,  the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.

“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.

New look Rockets

The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.

“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”

It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.


Camp notes

With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.

Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.