Kurt Helin

Sacramento Kings coach George Karl, center, huddles with his team during the closing moments of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. The Trail Blazers won 98-94. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Associated Press

Kings beat Suns; coach George Karl ties for 5th most wins

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Coach George Karl moved into a tie for fifth on the NBA wins list with 1,155 when DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and nine rebounds Saturday to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 142-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns, who lost their eighth in a row.

Karl matched Phil Jackson with the milestone win. The 63-year-old Karl is 1,155-795 in 27 seasons.

Brandon Knight had 23 points, and Devin Booker had 21 for the Suns, who have lost 10 of 11. TJ Warren scored 19 points and Mirza Teletovic had 13.

Darren Collison had 21 points and six assists, and Marco Belinelli had 19 points for the Kings. Rudy Gay added 16 points, and Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists. The Kings had a season high for points and shot 61.6 percent in snapping a three-game skid.

Phoenix played without Leading scorer Eric Bledsoe, who missed his fourth straight game and is out for the season.

The Kings erased a four-point deficit with 12 straight points in the third quarter. Cousins and Rondo both had nine points and Sacramento produced a season-high 44-point quarter in taking a 103-87 lead into the fourth.

TIP INS

Sun: Starting center Tyson Chandler was ejected after arguing a foul in the third quarter. … The two teams have a combined seven players from the University of Kentucky. … Suns coach Jeff Hornacek remains one win away from 100 coaching victories. He has been stuck on 99 since Dec. 18. … Disgruntled forward Markieff Morris didn’t play for a second straight game.

Kings: San Francisco Giants reliever Sergio Romo sat in a courtside seat for a second straight game. … The Kings had a 23-2 first-quarter run and led by 17 points. … Willie Cauley-Stein, a rookie, returned for the first time since Dec. 3 when he went out with a dislocated right finger. He played the game’s final five minutes. … Cousins gave Karl a high five after the coach was called for a second quarter technical. … Rondo, the NBA assist leader, has recorded 10 or more assists 20 times. …

O.J. Mayo ejected, then has to be held back from going at referee

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That’s going to earn a suspension.

Bucks’ guard O.J. Mayo picked up two quick technical fouls and was tossed from the game after arguing with referee Eli Roe about a non-call on a drive in the first quarter of the Bucks/Timberwolves game Saturday. That’s when Mayo loses it.

To put it kindly, Mayo did not leave the court in a timely manner — he went back and wanted to go after Roe. It took a number of people — including Bucks’ assistant coach Eric Hughes, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and a Bucks’ security officers — to hold Mayo back and walk him off the court.

Mayo is considered one of the Bucks veteran voices and leaders, but he also had some kind of run-in with DeMarcus Cousins in the hallway after another game this season.

Guessing the outcome of the NBA’s roulette wheel of justice is not easy — roulette feels less random — but this likely leads to a game suspension for Mayo. He lost it on the court.

Marcus Morris pushes Paul George at end of Pacers win over Pistons

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This was all rather silly and avoidable.

The game was decided — Paul George had scored the Pacers’ final 21 points and Indiana was about to win 94-82. This is normally where players dribble things out, shake hands and start talking about what club to hit up in an hour. But Paul George — possibly still miffed about Andre Drummond not letting up on defense a possession before against George Hill — smacked the ball out of Marcus Morris‘ hands going for the stat-padding steal.

Morris didn’t like it, he and George exchanged some words, and then Morris shoves George.

The benches cleared — usually that would mean a lot of suspensions, but the game had ended, and players often come on the floor at that point. Hopefully the league doesn’t overdo it there.

After the game, Morris and George played the incident down, with George saying it was just in the heat of the moment competition.

Don’t expect the league to view it that way, it will hand down some fines for this nonsense.

It’s official: Stephen Curry returns to Warriors lineup Saturday

Stephen Curry
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It was expected. It has been expected for a couple of days. It was expected coming out of shootaround Saturday when Stephen Curry said he felt good and if he still felt good at game time he would go.

And it was pretty clear when Curry was doing this in warmups.

But now it official — Stephen Curry is back in the lineup for the Golden State Warriors Saturday against Denver. From Monte Poole of CSNBayarea.com.

Curry missed two games — a Warriors loss to Dallas then a win over Houston.

Curry is the leading MVP candidate a third of the way into the season, averaging 30.5 points a game, shooting 44.6 percent from three, he’s dishing out 6.4 assists a game, and his gravity on offense draws defenders which opens things up for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the Warriors. Put simply, the Warriors’ offense is 16.3 points per 100 better when Curry is on the court, and as a team they are 29 per 100 better with him on the court.

So yes, the Warriors are pretty happy to have him back.

However the Warriors are without Brandon Rush, who has started recently in Harrison Barnes‘ place. Andre Iguodala is expected to start in his place.

Jarrett Jack leaves game with knee injury, “Worst pain I’ve ever felt”

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Non-contact injuries are the scariest.

That’s what Brooklyn’s Jarrett Jack suffered Saturday. He was on a 2-on-1 fast break in the third quarter in Boston, got the ball, and you can see his right knee just kind of buckled, his left foot kind of slips and he goes to the ground in pain. He did not return to the game, and the Nets officially called it a sprain, but there will be more examinations Sunday when we will find out the full extent of the injury.

Jack posted on Instagram and thanked his fans — and sounded concerned.