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NBA notebook: Cousins replaces Bryant as All-Star

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The NBA on Friday selected Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins to replace injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant for the All-Star Game.

Cousins is the fourth first-time All-Star in this year’s game. He joins Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson.

Cousins, a 6-foot-11 center, is averaging 23.8 points (fifth in the NBA), 12.3 rebounds (third), 3.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals this season.

Cousins, 24, is the Kings’ first All-Star since 2004.

Bryant, voted a Western Conference starter for a record 17th consecutive year, is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery this week.

The All-Star Game is Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

—The Orlando Magic are close to firing coach Jacque Vaughn, according to reports.

Sources told the Orlando Sentinel that the Magic, who lost their seventh straight game Thursday night to fall to 15-34, will not guarantee whether Vaughn will remain as coach for the rest of the season.

ESPN.com reported that the team’s management has decided it will relieve Vaughn of his duties. The only question, according to the source, was how soon.

Vaughn replaced Stan Van Gundy before the start of the 2012-13 season. He has a 58-155 overall record with the Magic.

—The Sacramento Kings signed forward Quincy Miller to a second 10-day contract.

Miller signed his first 10-day contract on Jan. 17 after averaging an NBA Development League-leading 26.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals and league-best 3.7 blocks in 14 games for the Reno Bighorns.

—The Los Angeles Lakers sent forward Ryan Kelly to the D-Fenders of the NBA Development League.

Kelly is averaging 3.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 17 games for the Lakers this season. In 76 career NBA games, the 6-foot-11 Kelly has averages of 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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