Coyotes coach Tocchet to miss meeting with Kings

The man who has the Arizona Coyotes playing like a playoff team — even though they won’t make the postseason — won’t be behind the bench Tuesday night.

First-year Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet is taking a leave of absence to deal with a family illness, so assistant coach John MacLean will coach them against the Los Angeles Kings, a team that is back in control of its playoff destiny.

Cole Hamels, Matt Moore and Doug Fister appear to be locks for the top three spots. Mike Minor remains a candidate, but could be switched to closer, a role he was effective in at the end of last season with Kansas City.

Left-hander Martin Perez threw 69 pitches in a minor league game Monday, allowing six runs, three earned, in four innings. He has been set back in spring training after breaking his right (non-pitching) elbow in December in an incident with a bull on his Venezuelan ranch. He could begin the season on the disabled list.

Clayton Blackburn, another rotation candidate, exited in the first inning in a Monday start against Cleveland with right elbow tightness. He will undergo further evaluation.

Murphy still doesn’t have a timetable as to when he’ll appear in a Grapefruit League game. Earlier this spring Murphy said he might only need a handful of at-bats to be ready for opening day.

Following the batting practice, Murphy said he’s pleased with the way his rehab is progressing.

“It’s nice to see ball flight,” Murphy said. “That you can’t really see — a little bit confined in the cage.”

Murphy’s only running this spring has come on a treadmill. He recently started fielding Cheap Embroidered NFL Jerseys groundballs.

“Not a ton of lateral movement right now,” Murphy said, “Just kind of right Cheap Dream Team Jerseys at me and hopefully we can kind of progress to ground balls a little bit further away.”

A three-time All-Star, Murphy hit .322 with 23 homers and 93 RBIs last season.

What should you expect from a healthy Paul Millsap?

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic.

Today’s contributors are ESPN Fantasy’s Joe Kaiser, Jim McCormick, AndrĂ© Snellings and Kyle Soppe.

Paul Millsap returned from his wrist injury on Tuesday, tallying 9 points, 7 boards, 2 dimes, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 23 minutes. What are your expectations for the 33-year-old veteran for the rest of this season?

Clippers: Rivers made light of the previous meeting, saying: “We’ve kind of barricaded all the secret passageways. … We’re going to build a wall. And I’m not paying for it, Houston is going to pay for it.” … F Danilo Gallinari missed his third consecutive game with a bruised right hand. … G C.J. Williams was recalled from the G League. He last played with the Clippers on Jan. 10. Tyrone Wallace went back down.

Kyle Soppe: I think Booker still has room to grow as an NBA player, especially in terms of better shot selection and being more aggressive. However, in terms of fantasy numbers? This is as good as it gets.

The 2017-2018 Phoenix Suns are the perfect storm for a bucket getter. They possess a bottom-five defense and play at a top-five pace, which leads to the team routinely playing catch up. With all of those stars aligned, Booker’s usage rate is in the LeBron James/Kyrie Irving tier — a level of involvement that raises both his floor and ceiling to heights that will be hard to match in the future.

Jim McCormick: Millsap’s usage rate during those first 16 games with the Nuggets was 24.2 percent, while his usage rate during his final two seasons in Atlanta was 24.3 percent. His rebounding rate with Denver, however mediocre for a power forward, is right in line with last season.

I think Millsap’s first 16 games with Denver before getting injured offer a Cheap Knock Off Jerseys good bit of clarity for what to expect going forward; he averaged 13.1 shots and 11.9 rebounding chances (within 3.5 feet of an available rebound) in nearly 31 MPG and converted these opportunity Cheap Jerseys Zoom rates into 16.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.3 BPG and 1.3 3PG. Solid, if unspectacular.

Clippers use dominating 3rd quarter to down Knicks, 128-105

Something was not right for the Los Angeles Clippers at halftime Friday, beyond just trailing the New York Knicks by three.

“It felt like we were just going to try and outscore them,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “I asked them if it was an All-Star Game. Just no defense.”

That was corrected in a big way in the second half, the Clippers storming out with a 28-8 run and rolling to a 128-105 victory.

DeAndre Jordan had 19 points and 20 rebounds, Lou Williams scored 21 points, and Austin Rivers and Montrezl Harrell also had 19 points apiece for the Clippers.

New York coach Jeff Hornacek also saw a second half reversal for his Knicks, who have lost three consecutive games and 11 of their last 12.

Knicks: Friday marked the start of a four-game road trip, the longest remaining trip and their second-longest of the season. The Knicks are 8-25 on the road this season. … Entering Friday’s game, Kanter had averaged 16.3 points and 13 rebounds over his last 13 games, shooting 62 percent.

Clippers: F Danilo Gallinari missed his fourth consecutive game with what an MRI on Thursday revealed as a fractured right hand. Previously the Clippers thought it was sprained. Doc Rivers was uncertain when he would return. “I don’t think he’s going to be back soon,” Rivers said. Gallinari has appeared in only 19 of 61 games this season because of injuries. … Forty-five day contracts are expiring the next two days for guards C.J. Williams and Tyrone Wallace. Said Rivers: “I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’re trying to sign one of them. We don’t have enough guards to play.”

Gasol is expected to rest Saturday when the Grizzlies attempt to halt their longest losing streak in over eight years when they visit Orlando, a team familiar with lengthy losing streaks this season.

“Uh, basketball, that’s it,” Clarkson said of the incident. “Part of the game. If anybody say different, that they wouldn’t have did that, that they’d have did something different or anything else, they lying. Especially if it was at that [point] of the game. They know what’s up. That’s it.”

Clarkson was referring to an unwritten rule in basketball: The team that has the win comfortably in hand should simply milk the clock in garbage time rather than go for any late buckets.

Minutes earlier, Saric hit a 3-pointer right in front of the Cavs’ bench to Cheap Authentic NFL Jerseys give the Sixers a four-point lead with 2:09 remaining and turned to say something Best Place To Buy Cheap Jerseys to Cleveland players before running back on defense.

Clarkson said that play didn’t factor into him throwing the ball at Saric.

“Oh, I ain’t even see that,” Clarkson said. “You know, it was just part of the game.”