Reggie Theus was fired as coach of the Sacramento Kings on Monday after a 6-18 start to his second season with the club.
Assistant coach Kenny Natt took over the Kings at their shootaround before Monday night’s home game against Minnesota. Natt is Sacramento’s fourth coach in less than three years.
Assistant coach Chuck Person was fired along with Theus, who went 44-62 in his brief tenure with Sacramento.
On the court, Francisco Garcia scored 21 points, John Salmons added 17 and Sacramento beat the Timberwolves 118-103.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves dropped to 0-5 under Kevin McHale, who replaced Randy Wittman last week.
Theus is the sixth coach fired in the NBA already this season.
•Celtics cruise to 15th straight win: Rajon Rondo scored 12 of his career-high 25 points in the final 5:20, and Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to their 15th consecutive victory, 100-91 over the Utah Jazz in Boston.
•D’Antoni loses in return to Phoenix: Mike D’Antoni got a warm welcome in his return to Phoenix, but frigid long-range shooting doomed his New York Knicks in a 111-103 loss to the Suns.
Steve Nash scored 21 points, including a game-clinching 3-pointer with 28 seconds to play. D’Antoni’s run-and-shoot squad was just 5 of 37 on 3-pointers.
Men’s top 25
Cedric Jackson, who played a year at Medical Lake, swished a 60-foot shot at the buzzer to give Cleveland State (7-4) a 72-69 victory over No. 11 Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y.
Jackson took an inbounds pass with 2.2 seconds remaining and let the desperation shot go just as time expired to send the Orange (9-1) to their first loss.
•UConn routs Stony Brook: Jeff Adrien had 18 points and 10 rebounds and No. 2 Connecticut (9-0) returned from an 11-day break for exams to rout Stony Brook (5-5) 91-57 in Hartford, Conn.
Women’s top 10
Vols’ record streak ends
The Lady Vols’ streak of 211 straight weeks in the top 10 ended when they were ranked 11th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Tennessee, which lost at then-No. 6 Texas 73-59 on Sunday, was last out of the first 10 on March 3, 1997. The run went 56 weeks longer than the men’s record of 155 (UCLA).
•Tar Heels rout Lady Lions: Cetera DeGraffenreid scored 19 points and No. 2 North Carolina (11-0) routed Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-6) 105-49 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
Avs hold off Red Wings
Jordan Leopold scored on a penalty shot and added an assist and Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves and the Colorado Avalanche held on for a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit.
Phillies keep Moyer
Jamie Moyer agreed to a two-year contract that keeps the 46-year-old left-hander with the World Series champion Phillies.
Philadelphia also confirmed it has a preliminary agreement with Chan Ho Park.
•Japan announces roster: Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners and Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox were among seven major league players named to a 34-man preliminary roster for Japan’s team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Other major league players named to the provisional squad by manager Tatsunori Hara were Kenji Johjima of the Mariners, Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs, Hiroki Kuroda of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Akinori Iwamura of the Tampa Bay Rays and free agent relief pitcher Takashi Saito.
AFL cancels season
The 22-year-old AFL announced it’s canceling the 2009 season as it seeks to mold a better business model in tough economic times. The decision was pending an agreement with the players union.
League officials hope to return in 2010.
•Grizzlies gear up for title game: The University of Montana football team is leaving this afternoon to travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the Football Championship Subdivision national title game.
The fifth-ranked Grizzlies (14-1) take on No. 7 Richmond (12-3) on Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
•Illinois State names Spack head coach: Purdue defensive coordinator Brock Spack will be Illinois State University’s next head football coach after he was passed over for the top job with the Boilermakers.
Caddie disappoints Woods
Tiger Woods said he was disappointed by his caddie’s disparaging comments in New Zealand newspapers about Phil Mickelson, whom Woods referred to as a “player I respect.”
Steve Williams was quoted in the Taranaki Daily News as saying he wouldn’t call Mickelson a great player “because I think he’s a (expletive).” Contacted by the Sunday Star Times, Williams confirmed making the comment.
“I was disappointed to read the comments attributed to Steve Williams about Phil Mickelson, a player that I respect,” Woods said in a statement. “It was inappropriate. The matter has been discussed and dealt with.”
•Harrington named player of the year: Double major winner Padraig Harrington was voted player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America, receiving 75 percent of the vote to end Tiger Woods’ three-year run with the award.
Lorena Ochoa was the overwhelming choice for female player of the year, and Jay Haas became the first golfer to win senior player of the year three times in a row.