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Kings hold off Warriors 94-92 for first win

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Kings hold off Warriors 94-92 for first win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings held off the Golden State Warriors 94-92 Monday night to avoid an 0-4 start.

Cousins outworked slow-footed Andrew Bogut and every other Warriors big man to help Sacramento score 16 straight points during the third quarter and bust open a tie game.

Bogut hardly looked to be at full strength. He had 12 points and three rebounds while playing almost 19 minutes as Golden State's new franchise center - and his surgically repaired left ankle - eases back into shape.

Klay Thompson had 22 points and David Lee added 20 points to bring the Warriors within a point in the final minute. But Thompson missed a potential tying jumper and Stephen Curry missed a 3-pointer as time expired to seal Golden State's first road loss this season.

Marcus Thornton scored 16 points and Aaron Brooks had 12 for Sacramento in its home opener. After losing the first three games on the road, a return to California's capital city ignited a stagnant start this season.

The Kings wore their black road uniforms for the ``blackout'' theme and the Warriors stayed with their blue road jerseys. Fog machines filled the floor during pregame introductions, which included team dancers in black hoods and Medieval gear.

Even Kings coach Keith Smart showed some athleticism on the court.

After Thornton made a 3-pointer halfway through the second quarter, a black tarp fell from the scoreboard while Golden State had the ball on the other end. Officials whistled the play dead, and Smart sprinted onto the court to grab the plastic, and playfully ran back to the bench like a running back holding a football.

The light-hearted moment drew cheers. Once the crowd quieted, Smart gestured his hands for fans to cheer more. They responded - and so did his players.

Thornton threw an alley-oop that rookie Thomas Robinson finished for a one-handed slam on an uncontested fast break, and Aaron Brooks followed with a 3-pointer to give Sacramento a 47-35 lead.

Bogut played the first 5:17 and sat out the rest of the first half. At one point, he also took the shoe off his surgically repaired left foot while sitting on the bench.

Golden State quickly tied the score at 56-all on Curry's 3-pointer with 8:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors didn't make another basket for more than six minutes.

The Kings scored 16 straight points behind a flurry of defense, rebounding and overall effort. Cousins had the final five points during Sacramento's surge, including ripping a rebound away from rookie Festus Ezeli and drawing a foul to start a three-point play.

In separate second-half incidents, three more pieces of plastic fell down from the scoreboard hanging above center court. Some fans even chanted ``New Arena!''

The Kings still managed to hold things together - barely.

Curry made a 3-pointer and Thompson converted a layup through traffic with a little more than 2 minutes remaining to bring the Warriors within three. Thompson's two free throws sliced Sacramento's lead to 93-92 with 31.3 seconds left.

After Cousins missed a difficult running shot, Golden State called timeout with 10.3 seconds remaining. Thompson then missed a contested shot near the free-throw line, James Johnson grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

Johnson missed the second free throw to give Golden State another chance with 1.3 seconds to play. But Curry missed a 3-pointer over big man Chuck Hayes as time expired.

Golden State was trying to start 3-0 on the road for the first time since 1994-95, when it won at San Antonio, Denver and Utah. The Warriors won at Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers already this season while losing their only home game to Memphis.

The Kings haven't started 0-4 since 2008. All four of those games were on the road that season, when Sacramento finished with an NBA-worst 17-65 record.

NOTES: Thompson played through a toothache. ... Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson chatted with players from both teams from courtside during pregame warmups. ... Kings swingman John Salmons was inactive for the fourth straight game. He rejoined the team last Thursday after a two-week absence to be with his wife and newborn child.

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

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2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

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USA Today Sports

2018 Olympic Hockey Results: Czech Republic eliminate U.S. men in shootout winner

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Pavel Francouz stopped all five shooters and Petr Kouka scored the shootout winner as the Czech Republic eliminated the United States with a 3-2 victory in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Jan Kovar and Tomas Kundratek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which was fresher after winning its group and getting a bye into the quarterfinals. The U.S. looked fatigued after facing Slovakia in the qualification round and was outshot 29-20.

Ryan Donato and Jim Slater scored for the U.S, which again was led by its youngest players, including speedster Troy Terry. U.S. goaltender Ryan Zapolski allowed three goals on 29 shots and one in the shotoout, while Francouz stopped 18 in regulation and overtime.

Koukal was the only player to score in overtime. Chris Bourque, Ryan Donato, Marc Arcobello, Terry and Bobby Butler couldn't beat Francouz.

RELATED: OVECHKIN HAS LITTLE DESIRE TO WATCH 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS

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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

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Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200