SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After seven straight losing seasons, there's a new vibe surrounding in Sacramento. The Kings have opened the season with some impressive victories and added another one Thursday night.
DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Rudy Gay scored 20 points to help the Kings beat Chicago 103-88, snapping the Bulls' six-game road winning streak.
A sellout crowd roared its approval, especially during the final three quarters when the Kings dominated, outscoring the highly-touted Bulls by 22 points. The Kings also own wins against San Antonio, Phoenix, the Clippers and Portland, which were all playoff teams last year.
MIAMI -- Late in the third quarter, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul found themselves all alone on a fast break, no Miami Heat player even remotely close to them.
Everything wasn't always that easy for the Los Angeles Clippers.
It only seemed that way.
A jersey worn by LeBron James during the second half of his regular season return to Cleveland last month sold for $50,040 on Thursday night.
The jersey, auctioned by the NBA, was used by James on Oct. 30, for the Cavaliers' season opener against the New York Knicks.
James didn't play well in the game, scoring 17 points on 5-for-15 shooting in the 95-90 loss.
Barangay Ginebra tries to remain in the race for a top-two finish when the Gin Kings battle the slumping Meralco Bolts today in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Gametime is 7 p.m. with the Kings still smarting from a 77-79 loss to San Miguel Beer last Sunday, a letdown which Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso said was a result of their being dumped in a 15-point hole before rallying.
“That’s the main focus for us right now—not to trail big early,” Cariaso said.
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Kevin Love spoke up about his role in the Cleveland Cavaliers' offense after a 92-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night dropped the team's record to a pedestrian 5-5, but coach David Blatt downplayed the merit of his star forward's concerns.
"We run specific stuff for Kevin and for other guys," Blatt said after practice Thursday. "You know, earlier in the season when he was scoring the ball better, it was the same offense. So I'm not sure that it's as much related to that as just the game flow and situational things. But we want to help Kev. He needs to be involved and he needs to involve himself, and it's our job to help him."
After scoring 16 or more points in five of the Cavs' first six games, Love has failed to score more than 13 in three of their last four games.
National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a statement Thursday that the 24-game suspension given to Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor is "excessive, without precedent and a violation of the collective bargaining agreement" and that the union will "stand ready to file an immediate appeal on his behalf."
"The CBA contemplates a minimum 10-game suspension in any case involving a conviction for a violent felony, including domestic violence," the statement read. "In contrast, Jeff Taylor was charged with a misdemeanor that is likely to be dismissed at the end of a probationary period."
The NBA suspended Taylor without pay after he pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property. The league said he would get credit for the 11 games he has missed and will sit out an additional 13, which is slightly more than one-fourth of the league's 82-game schedule.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Seven members of the Memphis Grizzlies now are dealing with a stomach virus, and their status is uncertain for Friday's game with the Boston Celtics.
The Grizzlies announced Thursday that guards Tony Allen, Courtney Lee and Beno Udrih, forwards Jon Leuer and Jarnell Stokes, center Kosta Koufos and guard/forward Quincy Pondexter all are ill and are questionable for the Boston game.
Pondexter and Stokes are new additions to the injury list. The other five Grizzlies didn't play in a 96-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday due to the virus that kept them away from the arena.
NLEX and Blackwater try to also improve their respective cards.
The Road Warriors (2-4) are coming off a 92-76 loss to Purefoods last Friday for their third straight loss which slid them to ninth place.
The Elite (0-7) are hoping to nail their first win in franchise history after being denied by Purefoods, 90-82, last Tuesday.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Almost two weeks after he severely sprained his right ankle, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio says he remains uncertain when he will return to the court.
Rubio spoke to reporters on Thursday for the first time since he was injured in a game against Orlando on Nov. 7. The Timberwolves are waiting for the swelling to fully subside before they can do further tests to try and establish a timeline for Rubio's recovery.
Rubio says he is trying to remain positive, but admits to being frustrated that the injury came just as he was starting to play some of the best basketball of his career.
WASHINGTON -- Paul Pierce believes his contentious rivalry with LeBron James is borne out of competitive respect more than any dislike for each other over the years.
"I think a lot of it is really misunderstood," Pierce said Thursday. "If I see LeBron walking down the street, it's not going to be no fistfight. I've got a lot of respect for him. It's like fighting for the same girl. How am I going to be cool with that guy? I've got total respect for him as a person. It's just the thing we go through on the court."
Pierce and James renew the latest chapter of what's become one of the most compelling matchups of star players when the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Washington Wizards on Friday.