Ravens

Kings hold off Warriors 94-92 for first win

201211052227808253516-p2.jpeg

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.

---

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

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Michael Pierce responds to last week's dismissal from practice

michael-pierce-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Michael Pierce responds to last week's dismissal from practice

Kick off your Monday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Last week, defensive tackle Michael Pierce was dismissed from practice after showing up in "less than ideal shape" according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec. Pierce joined WSNP-FM 105.5 Friday where he responded to being dismissed from practice. “Throughout the offseason, I tend to lift more than run,” Pierce said. “Being a nose guard, I want to be strong or what not. I, honestly, just mismanaged my running a little bit.”

2. On the other hand, tight end Mark Andrews looks "bigger, faster and stronger" Zrebiec said. Andrews had a standout year last season as a rookie with three touchdowns and 34 catches for 552 yards. Zrebiec said Andrews has not slowed down and will be an even bigger asset to the Ravens offense this season.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Free Agency Bracket: Noel Acciari vs. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

It is almost time for NHL free agency to begin, and the Capitals certainly have needs to fill and a limited budget. Who would be the best fit? Who would be the best free agent target for Washington to pursue? That’s what NBC Sports Washington wants to find out!

Our experts got together and made a bracket of the 16 best free agent fits. The bracket is divided into four regions: Third line forward, fourth line forward, depth defenseman and Caps’ free agent. Now we want you to tell us who you want to see rocking the red next year!

Every weekday we will match two free agents up against one another and present a case for each player. Then you get to vote and decide who advances!

Check out today’s matchup:

Region: Fourth line forwards

Noel Acciari vs. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

2018-19 stats

Noel Acciari (27 years old): 72 games played with the Boston Bruins, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, 12:59 TOI

Playoffs: 19 games played with the Boston Bruins, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, 13:10 TOI

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (34 years old): 76 games played with the Vegas Golden Knights, 6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points, 12:26 TOI

Playoffs: 6 games played with the Vegas Golden Knights, 0 goals, 0 assists, 11:44 TOI

Hockey-Graph contract projections

Noel Acciari: 2 years, $1,180,934 cap hit

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare: 2 years, $1,450,996 cap hit

The case for Noel Acciari

Plays a lot bigger than his 5-foot-10, 205-pound frame. A perfect fit at right wing on the fourth line for Washington. The native New Englander, who played at Providence, is a home-grown Bruin and might not want to leave home, but Boston also might not have the cap space to double the salary of an obvious fourth-line player. 

Acciari is renowned for his character and toughness. He was a college captain for Providence and helped the Friars win an NCAA title in 2015. There’s never been a shot he’s unwilling to block. Acciari sustained a broken sternum in the second round against Columbus and a blocked shot with his right foot in Game 7 of the Cup Final left him in a walking boot. 

Acciari’s offensive upside is limited, but he did have 10 goals in 2017-18. He was a key player for the Bruins in the past two Stanley Cup playoffs and chipped in two goals in this year’s playoff run that came within a game of a championship. Acciari would help on Washington’s penalty kill, too. In 111:52 he was only on the ice for 11 power-play goals against. Only two Boston forwards were on the ice more short-handed.   

The case for Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

A late bloomer who grew into a bottom-six role for the Philadelphia Flyers and, the past two seasons, the Vegas Golden Knights. Bellemare held his own as an above-water possession player on a team that dominated in that area. But even when taking into account his usage and that he ranked lower than most of his teammates in that area, he was still about break even. 

No other forward logged as much time on the penalty kill for Vegas (147:54) and it wasn’t close. The Knights gave up just 18 power-play goals with Bellemare on the ice and scored three short-handed goals. He had two shortys in his time with the Flyers.

Bellemare won’t give you much offensively. He’s never reached double digits in goals or 20 points in a season. He’ll also turn 35 late next season. But he’s played in the Stanley Cup playoffs three of his four NHL seasons (31 games) and the Capitals remember him from the Cup Final in 2018. Bellemare had two assists in that series. He’s difficult to play against, would provide a veteran presence missing on the fourth line and was primarily a center for the Knights so he has positional versatility. 

Who’s your pick? Vote here. 

MORE CAPITALS NEWS