Suns come from behind to beat Kings 101-90

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Suns come from behind to beat Kings 101-90

PHOENIX (AP) Shannon Brown scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Jared Dudley added 20 points and the Phoenix Suns pulled off another big rally to beat the Sacramento Kings 101-90 Monday night.

The Suns were out of sorts throughout the first half, scoring 43 points while trailing by up to 19. Brown helped them outscore Sacramento 31-14 in the third quarter and Dudley provided the cushion down the stretch to give Phoenix its first three-game winning streak of the season.

Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Luis Scola gave the Suns his usual hustle while scoring 14 points and dishing out a career-high 10 assists.

The Kings played well early, but faded down the stretch to lose their fourth straight game. Jimmer Fredette had 22 points and Aaron Brooks added 12 for Sacramento.

Sacramento and Phoenix, the two worst teams in the Pacific Division, met heading in opposite directions.

Just a week ago, the Suns were reeling, on a seven-game losing streak that included a 40-point blowout to struggling Detroit on Nov. 28, the third-worst loss in franchise history.

Phoenix started its current five-game homestand with a loss to Orlando, but followed with wins over Memphis and Utah, two teams in the upper half of the Western Conference.

The Kings seemed to be putting things together with a modest three-game winning streak, only to play poorly at both ends during a four-game losing streak. Sacramento was blown out 122-97 by Denver at home Sunday night and has struggled on the road all season, winning 1 of 10 games before facing the Suns.

The Kings looked tired early after playing the night before, missing nine of their first 12 shots before hitting a few late in the first quarter during a 10-0 run.

After that, it was the Suns who looked worn down.

Phoenix missed all seven of its 3-pointers in the first quarter and wasn't much better from anywhere else, unable to get even layups and tip-ins to go down. The Suns failed to hit a field goal over the final 5:19 of the first quarter and continued to struggle in the second, going down 52-33 after Fredette hit two free throws to reach 12 points in the quarter.

Phoenix managed to hit a couple of shots late, but still trailed 54-43 at halftime - the 20th time in 25 games this season the Suns have trailed by double digits.

Of course, they've come back a lot this season, too, and did it again.

Hitting the shots that weren't falling early, Phoenix went on an 18-4 run midway through the third quarter, going up 61-58 after Brown hit three straight shots, including a 3-pointer as he fell into Sacramento's bench.

The Suns kept hitting shots - 13 of 19 - and played some defense, holding the Kings scoreless for four minutes to turn an 11-point deficit into a six-point lead.

Phoenix extended the lead to 85-75 on a 3-pointer by Michael Beasley from the corner midway through the fourth quarter, but the Kings clawed back within three. The Sun sealed it after that, going up 97-84 on consecutive 3-pointers by Dudley and a driving layup by Brown.

NOTES: Hall of Fame center Bill Russell attended the game. ... Phoenix has won 12 of its past 14 games against Sacramento at home. ... Sacramento played without G Tyreke Evans, who left with sore knee after the first quarter against Denver Sunday night.

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Prospect report: Playoff time in the WHL

Prospect report: Playoff time in the WHL

Hershey update: 38-19-8-3, 4th in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 1-1-0-0

The Hershey Bears split their two games over the weekend with St. John’s with a 4-3 loss on Saturday and a 2-1 win on Sunday.

Saturday’s loss came in heartbreaking fashion as the Bears gave up the game-winner with just 16 seconds remaining in regulation.

Chandler Stephenson recorded an assist in the game, but gave up an absolutely dreadful turnover for the game-tying goal. From behind his own net, he attempted a no-look back pass that went directly to a St. John’s player who passed it to the slot for the goal.

Jakub Vrana recorded two points in Sunday’s win, including the game-winning goal.

Jonas Siegenthaler made his season debut for the Bears in Sunday’s game. He was a plus-one on the day.

The real star of the weekend for Hershey was goalie Pheonix Copley who started in both games. The young netminder was particularly strong in Sunday’s win, stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced in the win. Since returning to Hershey, Copley is now 7-2-0 with a 1.94 goals against average and a .942 save percentage.

Travis Boyd and Riley Barber each had a goal and an assist over the weekend for the Bears.

RELATED: Caps show off scoring depth in Colorado

Other prospect notes:

The WHL Playoffs are underway. Lucas Johansen’s Kelowna Rockets jumped out to a 3-1 series lead and are one win away from eliminating Garrett Pilon and the Kamloops Blazers. Johansen and Pilon both have one assist in four games.

The news wasn’t all bad for Pilon, however, as the Caps signed him to a three-year, entry-level deal on Thursday. He will report to Hershey at the end of the WHL season which may come as early as Friday.

Connor Hobbs and the Regina Pats are on the verge of sweeping Beck Malenstyn and the Calgary Hitmen. Regina has outscored Calgary 15-5 in three games. Hobbs has recorded two assists in each game while Malenstyn has yet to record a point.

Dmitriy Zaitsev is locked in a tight battle as his Moose Jaw Warriors are currently locked in a 2-2 series tie with the Swift Current Broncos. He has one assist.

Both Shane Gersich and Brian Pinho saw their seasons come to an end in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

North Dakota loss to Boston University 4-3 in double overtime on Friday. Gersich registered eight shots on goal, but could not get onto the scoresheet. Providence also lost in the first round to Harvard 3-0 on Friday.

There is no word yet on their future plans or if the Capitals have tried to sign either to an entry-level deal. Gersich’s teammate, Brock Boeser, was signed Saturday by the Vancouver Canucks and scored his first goal NHL that afternoon. For any who may have dreams of Gersich or Pinho following suite for the Caps, that’s unlikely to happen.

The Capitals seem pretty set with their lines right now and, if they were to recall anyone as a backup, it would likely be Jakub Vrana or they would stick with Paul Carey. Neither Gersich nor Pinho would likely be the top choice for a Washington team hoping to win the Stanley Cup.

That doesn’t mean the team won’t be interested in signing them and sending them to Hershey, however.

Gersich will be a rising junior at North Dakota, Pinho a rising senior for Providence if they both choose to return to college.

Ilya Samsonov’s KHL team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, completed a four-game sweep of Ak Bars to advance to the Gagarin Cup Finals for the second consecutive season. They will face SKA starting April 8.

While Siegenthaler returned to Hershey, there will be no such return trip for forward Kevin Elgestal. Elgestal’s season in Sweden was limited to only 25 games after he suffered a broken thumb in January. NOVA Caps caught up with Elgestal to get an update on his progress and it sounds like he will need to continue rehabbing over the summer.

Check out the full update here.

Forward Damien Riat has been selected to Switzerland’s initial team roster for the World Championships. The team will have a two-day training camp starting on April 5. This year’s tournament will be held in Germany and France from May 5 to 21.

For more Capitals coverage, check out the latest edition of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

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Paul George calls out Pacers with NBA playoffs approaching for not being 'pissed off enough'

Paul George calls out Pacers with NBA playoffs approaching for not being 'pissed off enough'

The Indiana Pacers appear headed to the playoffs, as they currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Bulls in ninth. Indiana could even face the Wizards, depending on how all this shakes out.

The Pacers, though, are struggling. They are 37-38 on the year, have lost six of 10 and two straight. With seven games remaining, time is running out before they have to face one of the best teams in the East in the first round of the playoffs.

Superstar Paul George is fed up with all of it and this week had some critical words for his teammates via the Indianapolis Star. After a loss to the Timberwolves, he pointed out the Pacers were lackluster against a team not even heading to the postseason.

Then, he said this:

“There’s no urgency, no sense of urgency, no winning pride,” he said. “This locker room is just not pissed off enough.”

As a guy who has led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals, George knows what it takes to win in the playoffs and clearly he does not think their current roster has what it takes. Earlier this season he lamented the fact they are so bad on the road, as their 11-26 mark in away games is the worst among teams currently in the playoff picture. 

Even with George, one of the game's best players, the Pacers look like a team few would be scared of come playoff time and he appears to know it.

Via ProBasketballTalk

[RELATED: Top big man prospect to leave school for 2017 NBA Draft]