Basketball

Kings say DeMarcus Cousins demands to be traded

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) drives to the basket against New York Knicks defender Josh Harrellson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. The Knicks won 114-92. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) drives to the basket against New York Knicks defender Josh Harrellson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. The Knicks won 114-92. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater) ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins abruptly began to sever ties Sunday after the team said the promising young center demanded a trade.

Kings Coach Paul Westphal released a statement before Sacramento hosted the New Orleans Hornets, criticizing Cousins' commitment to the franchise and excusing him from the team's game. He also confirmed that Cousins asked for a trade.

"Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public," Westphal said. "This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely."

When reached by phone, Cousins' agent, John Greig, said he wasn't informed of the Kings' decision until Westphal's announcement. He declined comment when asked if Cousins requested a trade.

"I have no idea what the Kings are doing," Greig said. "The fact that I'm just finding out about this announcement now speaks volumes about them."

The Kings had been expecting big things from the former Kentucky star this season.

They had been optimistic that he would show improved maturity after a strong rookie campaign that also had its share of temper tantrums and blow-ups. While the comical Cousins off the court never disappeared, the team expected its up-and-coming big man would learn to control his emotions.

Sacramento drafted Cousins with the fifth overall pick in 2010 after he spent one season at Kentucky. The 21-year-old Cousins was averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds this season.

Sunday's highlights

Celtics 94, Wizards 86: Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 18 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds to lead visiting Boston over winless Washington.

The victory was the Celtics' second straight after losing their first three. Washington is 0-4. The teams play again on Monday in Boston.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers didn't realize Rondo had achieved his eighth regular-season triple-double until he glanced at the final box score.

"I just knew he played great. He was sensational all night. He had one of those nights — he had this last year in stretches — where he just called a good game, you know, like he's a great catcher," Rivers said.

John Wall, who was 10-for-37 from the field in Washington's first three games, was 6-for-13. He had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the matchup of former Kentucky point guards.

Wall committed his fourth foul with 4:25 remaining in the third quarter on a three-point play by Rondo.

"He does the little things. He's sneaky at rebounding," Wall said. "He does a great job of trying to steal the ball. He can score in various ways."

Heat 129, Bobcats 90: Chris Bosh scored 20 of his 24 points in the first half, and host Miami improved to 5-0 for the first time in franchise history by rolling past Charlotte. The 129 points is the most scored by any NBA team so far this season.

DJ White scored 21 points and Kemba Walker finished with 17 for Charlotte (1-3).

Magic 102, Raptors 96: Ryan Anderson scored 24 points and led a fourth-quarter rally that sent host Orlando (4-1) past Toronto (1-3). The Magic trailed by as many as 16 points, but went on a 16-0 run in the final period.

Andrea Bargnani paced the Raptors with 28 points, and Jose Calderon had 18 points and 13 assists.

Cavaliers 98, Nets 82: Antawn Jamison scored 23 points and host Cleveland made 16 three-pointers in a win over New Jersey. Kyrie Irving, the No. 1 pick in the draft, had 13 points, four assists and four rebounds for Cleveland (2-2). Deron Williams led New Jersey (1-4) with 16 points.

Mavericks 99, Timberwolves 82: Kevin Love had 25 points and 17 rebounds and hit two huge threes in the fourth quarter to help host Minnesota (1-3) beat Dallas (1-4), ending an 18-game losing streak dating to last season.

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