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Portand, Or. - Did it hurt the Kings that DeMarcus Cousins didn't make the trip too Portland in the Kings 109-91 loss to the Blazers? Well let's look at the numbers. The Kings were outrebounded by the Blazers 53-35 and J.J. Hickson (the man Cousins' would be defending) dropped 17 points and pulled down 14 boards. Yeah I would say it mattered. With all of Cousins' on and off the court problems, he is still a force and by far the best player the Kings have. Cousins was suspended after a half-time argument with coach Smart on Friday night and missed Sunday's game. After being reinstated and practicing with the team on Monday coach Smart decided to leave Cousins back in Sac, missing tonight's game.

The King's ran into a team in the Blazers that have won 9 of their last 10 at home and have almost always been a hard team to deal with in Portland. I think it's time the Kings decide and make a choice with Cousins. Keep him or trade him. He has become a liability to this team and many teams that will be in the market to trade for a big man may overlook his "head problems" simply because he is a force to be reckoned with. I don't know if the Kings would get fair market value, but there is a good chance, in my opinion that a team would give up their future #1 pick for Cousins. Now it's a wait and see game. The Kings travel back to Sacramento and will face the Knicks on Friday. It will be interesting to see if DeMarcus takes the floor, or takes the bench.

Salt Lake City, UT. - The Warriors Christmas break didn't add any rust to the team, as the "Road Warriors" traveled to Utah and upended the Jazz 94-83. The Dubs dominated throughout leading by as much as 15 points in the first half and making sure they didn't end up like they did against the Lakers right before Christmas, with a gut wrenching loss. Steph Curry led the way scoring 23 points and dropping 7 dimes while David Lee just missed cashing in on his usual double-double scoring 18 points and pulling down 9 boards.

"We were on a mission to come out and play well and keep our road (swagger) -- the way we (did) earlier this year," said Curry, who finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, a steal and a blocked shot. "Everybody stepped up and played a physical game. We did what we had to (to) get the job done tonight."

The Warriors now sit as 19-10 on the year, 5th overall in the Western Conference. 11 of their 19 wins have come on the road and they have looked like a team that can finally close out games. These guys can ball, there is no doubt about that, the question is will their youth be too much too overcome down the stretch and are we finally seeing a contender here in the Bay Area. I am cautiously optimistic, but really love the mix of guys this team has. If Curry can keep up his great play and David Lee can continue to look like one of the best forwards in all of basketball then who knows where this team can go. The one thing I do know is that these Warriors are bringing excitement back to the Bay Area when it comes to hoops and for that I am truly thankful.

The Oakland Raiders have teamed up with the United States Marine Corps once again to brighten the holidays for thousands of children through the Toys for Tots program.

Running back Mike Goodson, wide receiver Rod Streater, defensive back Matt Giordano and quarterback Matt Leinart will sign autographs in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy donation valued at $20 or more at The Raider Image at Southland Mall in Hayward on Monday, December 10 from 6–8 p.m.

Another contingent of Raider players will be signing at The Raider Image at Southland Mall in Hayward on Monday, December 17 from 6–8 p.m. Those names will be announced at a later date.

Both events will be first come, first served.

About Toys For Tots

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conduct

Portland, OR - The Sacramento Kings are rolling right now and riding the wave of great play from center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins scored 19 points and had 12 rebounds. The Kings were playing on a back-to-back after a 91-82 win Friday over Orlando and were kicking off a four-game road trip. The 0-6 start to the season was Sacramento's worst road start since going 0-9 on the road to begin the 2007-08 season.

Tyreke Evans sat out the game because of a sore knee, but John Salmons stepped up his game scoring 19 points and dropping 11 dimes.

"It feels good," Salmons said. "Especially coming off two home wins, to go on the road and get that third win. Hopefully, we can continue doing that."

The Kings outscored the Blazers by 17 points in the second half on way to the 99-80 victory.

Sacramento will travel to Dallas to play the 10-10 Mavericks on Monday.

Washington - The Warriors (13-7) would need to dig down deep and pull out some reserve energy to beat the Wizards (2-15) 101-97. David Lee dominated the game scoring 24 points and pulling down 17 rebounds. Shooting guard Klay Thompson pitched in 23 points, 6, rebounds and 5 assists. Steph Curry scored 22 points and 5 assists.

"Physically playing in this league is draining. Fatigue sets in and the good teams have a way of telling their bodies: 'Hold off until later. We've got to find a way to get a win,' " Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

The Warriors have won 10 of their last 12 and are 6-1 against the Eastern Conference.

"We have one agenda -- to win and make a deep run in the playoffs," Thompson said. "Last year we talked about playing defense. This year, we're actually out there doing it."

Oakland, Ca. - The Oakland Raiders (3-10) once again laid down the red carpet for Peyton Manning and welcomed him to the Coliseum with open arms. Manning excepted the invitation and threw for 310 yards against a porous Raiders defense. Manning completed 26 of his 36 attempts and connected on a 1st quarter touchdown to TE Joel Dreesen, it was Manning's 30th TD toss of the year in the 26-13 victory.

The Raiders played the game with heavy hearts as coach Dennis Allen's father, Grady, died earlier in the week from cardiac arrest. Allen was away from the team for two days but returned Wednesday and coached the game.

The Raiders came out flat even after rallying around the first year coach and his tragic loss. Carson Palmer threw for 273 yards and a pair of TD's but was also intercepted once.

Denver RB Knowshon Moreno ran for 119 yards and a score on a career-high 32 carries, and Broncos kicker Matt Prater booted four field goals to help the Broncos (10-3) move a half game ahead of New England and Baltimore for the second-best record in the AFC.

The Raiders have now lost 6 games in a row, their longest streak since 2007.

Darren McFadden returned after missing 4 games with a right ankle sprain and looked good running the ball, but was held to just 11 carries for 52 yards because the Raiders were playing catch-up the entire game.

The Raiders will host Kansas City next week. It will be interesting to see how the raiders play out the remaining 3 games. Lay down and call it quits or step up and rally as a team. Coach Allen's job just may come down to the team's performance over the next 3 weeks.

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