Capitals

Cousins helps Kings beat Cavs to end 4-game skid

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Cousins helps Kings beat Cavs to end 4-game skid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, and the Sacramento Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 124-118 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

Jimmer Fredette and Cousins both scored eight points in the fourth quarter for the struggling Kings, who had allowed nearly 118 points per game during the losing streak and had three losses of 20 points or more.

Marcus Thornton had 20 points and Tyreke Evans added 18 for the Kings. Fredette had 16 points, John Salmons 14 and rookie Thomas Robinson tied a career high with 12 points and added seven rebounds.

Reserve Dion Waiters scored a career-high 33 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost three straight and eight of 10. CJ Miles scored 17 points and Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Kyrie Irving had 15 points, but shot 6 of 19 and had six turnovers.

Waiters made two straight 3s, cutting the Kings lead to three points. After the Kings made a free throw, Waiters missed at the other end and Cousins secured the rebound and was fouled. His two free throws sealed the victory.

Irving made two free throws and a jumper to get the Cavaliers within five, but he lost the ball on consecutive possessions and the turnovers led to fastbreak layups byThornton and Cousins, giving the Kings a 116-107 lead with 1:29 to go.

Rumors continue regarding the sale of the Kings. The Maloof ownership is reportedly on the verge of selling the team to a Seattle-based ownership group that would move the team to Seattle next season.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is searching for a local group that will buy the team and keep it in Sacramento.

Evans made his first start since missing 16 games, including 11 straight, with a sore left knee. Evans, who played in a reserve role the previous three games, got going early, scoring seven points in the game's first four minutes.

Evans made all six field-goal attempts, including two 3-pointers, and converted four of four free throws.

Fredette converted a three-point play, then added two free throws following a hard foul near mid-court. Fredette's five straight points put the Kings ahead 106-98 with 5:31 remaining. Fredette was finished. He made consecutive 3-points to give Sacramento a nine-point lead with just over four minutes left.

Waiters scored seven points in a short span to keep the Cavaliers close in the fourth quarter. His driving layup with 6:42 left cut the Sacramento lead to 101-98.

Ineffective in the first half, Thompson was a major factor in the third quarter when the Cavaliers outscored the Kings 30-24. The Cavaliers' second-year forward had 11 points and seven rebounds in helping Cleveland pull to within 93-87 entering the fourth.

Cousins scored 14 points and eight rebounds in the opening half when the Kings led 69-57. Evans had 12 points and the bench contributed 31 points in helping the Kings shoot 56 percent.

Miles had 14 points and Waiters added 12 in the first half for Cleveland.

Notes: Cousins was called for a technical foul in the third quarter after committing his first foul of the game. Less than a minute later, Cousins was called for a controversial flagrant 1 foul against Zeller. ... Making a rare early appearance, Robinson had six points in the first quarter, highlighted by a dunk off a lob pass with one second left in the period. . Former King Omri Casspi had a strong second quarter off the bench, scoring 10 points. . Sacramento had its entire roster available, which hasn't been the case for much of the season due to injuries and suspensions.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

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