Sixers-Kings: What you need to know

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Sixers-Kings: What you need to know

Sixers vs. Kings – 7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network
Wells Fargo Center

Records
Sixers: 19-26 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, ninth in Eastern Conference)
Kings: 17-30 (Fourth in Pacific Division, 13th in Western Conference)

Line
Sixers minus-6

Previous games
The Sixers are looking to put together a pair of wins for the first time since Nov. 30. Last time out they held off the Washington Wizards, 92-84, thanks to strong showings up and down the roster.

Though the Sixers haven’t won back-to-back games in nine attempts, they have won two out of the last three and three out of the last six.

The Kings play the fourth game of a six-game road trip on Friday night, following a 99-81 loss in Boston on Wednesday night. Though they are 1-2 on the trip, the Kings have lost four out of their last five.

Last meeting
Likely headed into their final game as the Sacramento Kings in Philadelphia, this will be the first meeting between the clubs this season. Last Jan. 10, the Sixers won their only meeting against the Kings, 112-85. Elton Brand led the Sixers with 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting to go with 10 boards. The Sixers also got 53 points off the bench with Evan Turner, Lou Williams and Thad Young combining for 41.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Who's hot
Thad Young has scored in double figures in his last nine games and has reached at least 10 points in 42 of 45 games this season. Young also has played at least 30 minutes in the last 10 games.

Nick Young has hit at least one three-pointer in his last seven games and is shooting 40 percent (14 for 35) from three-point range over that span.

Jrue Holiday has averaged 24.7 points over his last three games. He also is shooting 53 percent (35 for 66) from the field over that span.

For the Kings, Cousins has six double-doubles in his last 10 games, averaging 17.2 points and 10 rebounds over that stretch. Chester, Pa. native Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 19 points and 11 boards in Wednesday night’s loss in Boston.

Probable starters
Sixers (last 10 games)
Jrue Holiday (22.5 ppg, 8.8 apg)
Nick Young (13.2 ppg, 15 three-pointers)
Spencer Hawes (10.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Evan Turner (14.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg)
Thad Young (15.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg)

Kings (last 10 games)
John Salmons (9.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg)
Jason Thompson (6.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg)
DeMarcus Cousins (17.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg)
Isaiah Thomas (10.5 ppg, 4.4 apg)
Tyreke Evans (15.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg)

Injuries
Jason Richardson (left knee synovitis) is out.

Andrew Bynum (bilateral knee bone bruises) is out.

Damien Wilkins missed Wednesday’s game and Thursday’s practice while attending to personal matters.

Ex-Sixer Salmons missed Wednesday’s game in Boston with a stomach virus.

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.