All aboard the Sleep Train — the Kings have new arena name

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I’m not going to make the easy jokes here, even though they kind of write themselves. Because really, this is a good move.

The Sacramento Kings have reached a new sponsorship deal that will rename the Kings home the Sleep Train Arena, with the Sleep Train Mattress Centers as the new sponsors. We told you before this could be coming and that Sleep Train would replace bankrupt Power Balance as the arena name.

“We are pleased to partner with the Sacramento Kings,” Dale Carlsen, founder and CEO of Sleep Train, said in a released statement. “Our team of employee-owners is committed to playing a vital role in the communities we serve. This sponsorship aligns with our interest in keeping a vibrant atmosphere of music, sports and entertainment in our region, and allows us to broaden the reach of our Foster Kids program through greater awareness and donation events.”

If you’re back East, know that here out West Sleep Train is a well-known company with more than 250 stores.

Yes, the lowly Kings and Sleep Train is kind of a humor softball, but this is a good move. First, at least Sleep Train is a respected company. The former arena sponsor, Power Balance, made those wristbands reported to improve balance and stamina but mostly just resulted in a whole lot of fraud lawsuits, which led to company financial problems. Plus the mocking. (Before that it was Arco arena for many years.)

In addition, this is a local company trying to step up and both do good in the community and maybe try to keep the Kings in Sacramento. That’s a good thing.

Not that we trust the Maloof family that owns the Kings. They have blocked attempts to build a new arena and have gone from saying this building can’t be salvaged to suggesting it be renovated. They are looking for someone to build them an arena then let them come in as majority team owners and rake in the profits from said building. If the fans in Sacramento get screwed in the process, so be it.

However, that’s not on the people at Sleep Train. Good on them for stepping up.

But we can’t promise to avoid any sleep-related Kings jokes all season. We’re only human.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)