Sports Kings spread the scoring, crush Thunder 126-98
COVID protocol-related absences: 04/25
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is today’s list: Calgary – Josh Leivo Colorado – Joonas Donskoi, Mikko Rantanen New Jersey – P.K.Calgary – Josh Leivo
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Maurice Harkless and Terence Davis each scored 18 points to lead eight Sacramento players in double figures, and the Kings beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 126-98 on Sunday night.
Delon Wright had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Richaun Holmes also had 15 points, Buddy Hield scored 14 and Chimezie Metu added 13 points and eight rebounds as Sacramento won for the fifth time in its last six games.
“We did a great job tonight of playing our game and closing them out,” Harkless said. “We took a lead early and never took our foot off the gas. That’s a good sign. That’s something to build on.”
COVID protocol-related absences: 04/27/21
Each day, the NHL will publicly release the list of players that are unavailable to their respective teams due to being in COVID-19 Protocol. Here is today’s list: Anaheim – Adam Henrique Calgary – Josh Leivo Montreal – TBA New Jersey – P.K.Anaheim – Adam Henrique
Darius Bazley scored 18 points and Jaylen Hoard 16 for Oklahoma City.
The Kings (30-38) moved within 2 1/2 games of San Antonio (32-35) for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Ending the NBA’s longest playoff drought – 14 years – won’t be easy for coach Luke Walton’s team. After playing the Thunder again on Tuesday, Sacramento travels to Memphis for two games against the Grizzlies then return home to face the Jazz on Sunday.
“We’re just going to focus on ourselves and handle our business,” Harkless said. “Whatever happens around the league happens. In four games, if we’re in a play-in game, we’re in.”
Missing two key starters along with first-round draft pick Tyrese Haliburton, the Kings got off to a quick start and rolled past the flailing Thunder.
Tanya Talaga doc 'Spirit to Soar' details ongoing colonial oppression in Canada
TORONTO — Four years after her acclaimed book "Seven Fallen Feathers" explored the deaths of Indigenous teens in Thunder Bay, Ont., journalist Tanya Talaga has returned to shine a new light on the ongoing colonial oppression there and across Canada. In the new documentary "Spirit to Soar," the award-winning Anishinaabe author follows up on a 2015-'16 inquest into the deaths of seven First Nations high school students — five of whom were found dead in rivers — in the northwestern Ontario city from 2000 to 2011. Talaga says four of the cases have been reopened but racism, indifference and more Indigenous deaths have First Nations youth there on edge.
Sacramento led by 24 in the first half, outscored Oklahoma City 35-20 in the third, then cruised to its most lopsided win this season.
Video: Do the Toronto Raptors still have a shot at the playoffs? (cbc.ca)
“Good, disciplined win,” Walton said. “We did a nice job moving the ball, sharing the ball. We got a little selfish at times, but overall a nice game from start to finish. The team did a really nice job of getting themselves going early and playing to a certain standard and a certain level.”
Justin James and Damian Jones hit consecutive 3s late in the third quarter, and Hield made one beyond the arc to put the Kings up 104-69.
The Thunder continued their disappointing slide that began in April. Oklahoma City has lost seven straight and 21 of 22.
“The biggest issues was our first-half defence,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “We did a lot of damage defensively there and dug ourselves a hole. (The Kings) gained some confidence because the game was coming so easy to them. We didn’t have the competitive grit we needed on that end of the floor.”
Extension for Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour still hasn't been signed
The fact that he is now sticking his neck out for the rest of the staff will only improve his reputation, even if it does make it a little more difficult to work out a new contract in Carolina. Of course, there is now an NHL team without a head coach, and it happens to be managed by former teammate and long-time Hurricanes colleague Ron Francis. The Seattle Kraken are taking their time deciding who will lead the team during their inaugural season and even though there has not been a direct connection yet to Brind’Amour, you can bet they would be one of the (many) teams keeping an eye on the situation in Carolina.
PAIR OF KINGS (GMS)
Former Kings general manager Vlade Divac sat courtside next to owner Vivek Ranadive, with current general manager Monte McNair sitting on the other side of Ranadive. Divac and Ranadive frequently chatted while huddled together during timeouts. At one point, Hield walked over and hugged Divac, who stepped down as GM following the 2020 season.
“Vlade, he’s one of those people when you see him, you can’t help but smile,” Walton said. “It was great to see him.”
Thunder: Ty Jerome missed a second straight game with a strained left calf. ... Luguentz Dort (right knee patellar tendinitis) was held out.
Kings: Marvin Bagley III had 13 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. ... De’Aaron Fox’s status is uncertain after being cleared to return to the team from the NBA’s health and safety protocols. ... Harrison Barnes (left adductor) did not play.
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Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press
Vancouver Canucks plan to retain GM Jim Benning .
It seems that he will now be given at least one more year to show that he is still steering the organization in the right direction. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.