sensation was not in attendance for

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Jimmermania began in Sacramento with hundreds of fans gathered at the airport to cheer the arrival of a player most had only watched on television or read about during the NCAA tournament. Its headed for a much quieter conclusion. As the Kings and guard Jimmer Fredette worked toward reaching a buyout of his contract, the former BYU sensation was not in attendance for Tuesday nights 129-103 loss to the Houston Rockets. Kings coach Michael Malone said the team advised Fredette to stay home until a resolution is reached. Malone said he wished Fredette well and believes the third-year guard can carve out an NBA career somewhere -- just not in Sacramento. "For whatever reason, Jimmer was never able to find success, whether they were unrealistic expectations from his college career or whatever it was," Malone said. "But he just wasnt able to play to the level that everybody wanted him to play, which is somewhat maybe unrealistic. Maybe we have to temper our expectations for Jimmer and let him just become a solid NBA player. And theres nothing wrong with that." Fredette, who turned 25 years old Tuesday, is making about $2.4 million this season. He will be a free agent if -- and most likely when -- he clears waivers. Kings general manager Pete DAlessandro told reporters at the teams morning shootaround that he was approached by Fredettes representatives about a buyout. He said Fredette no longer fits into the teams plans but Kings owner Vivek Ranadive "loves Jimmer and wants to do the right thing by Jimmer. Were just talking about things at this point. Theres nothing done at this point." A person with knowledge of the discussions, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because negotiations were ongoing, said the sides hoped to finalize an agreement by the end of the week. Yahoo Sports first reported the buyout talks. Fredettes locker at the arena also was cleared out. Fredette was drafted 10th overall in 2011 after dazzling at BYU, where he won The Associated Press player of the year award his senior season. Fredette never lived up to the fanfare in Sacramento, though the franchises instability -- playing for three different coaches, two different ownership groups and constant relocation chatter -- didnt help his cause. Fredette is averaging 5.9 points and 11.3 minutes this season, shooting 47.5 per cent from the floor and 49.3 per cent from 3-point range. For his career, hes averaging seven points, 1.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds while shooting 41.6 per cent overall, including 40 per cent from beyond the arc. But the same concerns some scouts had about Fredette when he entered the league -- his defence, ball-handling skills and ability to score off the ball against bigger and more athletic defenders -- persist. "Every time he shot it, I thought the ball was going in. I will say that," Malone said. Fredettes time in Californias capital city has been nearing an end since the Kings decided not to pick up a team option before this season on his contract for the 2014-15 season. Sacramento also tried to move Fredette before last weeks trade deadline but couldnt get any suitable deals. Since Sacramento traded Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn for Jason Terry and Reggie Evans last week, Malone promised to use the remainder of the season to give rookie guards Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum more playing time. That move buried Fredette even further on the bench. Fredette led the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game and guided BYU to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament as a senior. Big performances in big games had NBA stars tweeting his name, President Barack Obama mentioning him while filling out his bracket and college basketball fans in a frenzy. The Kings acquired him in a draft-day trade with Milwaukee as the 10th overall pick. Fans have remained incredibly vocal about Fredette, often screaming at games for him to play more -- and cheering louder for him than other reserves when he finally enters. . Paul Westphal was the only one of Fredettes three coaches committed to giving him extended minutes. Even that didnt last long. Westphal was fired after a 2-5 start in Fredettes rookie season. Keith Smart and Malone both opted to go away from Fredette in favour of other guards, most notably Isaiah Thomas, who has outplayed Fredette since their rookie season. "Jimmer knows how to play, hes a worker, hes a great kid," Malone said. "And I just hope that he goes to a team that allows him to play and put him in a position to have success and maybe he can catch on with somebody." Sam Hubbard Bengals Jersey . Numbers Game looks into the Wild getting Matt Moulson from Buffalo. The Wild Get: LW Matt Moulson and LW Cody McCormick. Jessie Bates III Bengals Jersey . – Team Canadas Brooke Henderson carded a 4-under 67 at Craigowan Golf and Country Club to jump into the lead at the Canadian Womens Amateur Championship on Wednesday. http://www.nflbengalsgearofficial.com/m ... on-jersey/. And on Sunday against the Houston Astros they were pleased to see his work finally pay off with his first win since May 24. Mark Walton Bengals Jersey . Thats 14 consecutive losses to the two-time defending champs, and most of them were over before they even began. Result notwithstanding, Sundays game had a very different feel to it. Mark Walton Jersey . -- Canadian mens rugby coach Kieran Crowley has made four changes to his starting roster for Saturdays Pacific Nations Cup clash against the United States.DENVER -- Josh Harding was brilliant in regulation and only got better from there, showing why hes one of the leagues top goaltenders. Harding made two glove saves in the shootout and Mikko Koivu scored the deciding goal as the Minnesota Wild rallied for a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. "If Harding isnt as good as he is, we score a few more," lamented Matt Duchene, who had the Avalanches lone goal in the shootout. But he is that good, lowering his goals-against average to an NHL-best 1.49. Harding had 26 saves and then nonchalantly described his performance by saying, "I felt good." This was a big road win for the Wild after losing in San Jose and Anaheim. That they mustered this sort of come-from-behind effort in their third contest in four days made it all the more impressive to coach Mike Yeo. "After two periods, Im thinking to myself, Man, we look like we have nothing in the tank. We look tired," Yeo said. "There were plays or decisions we made that are usually kind of a result of fatigue. The way they stepped up in the third period, the way they kept themselves in the game, the way they battled to give ourselves a chance to score that goal -- that was a big character win." Trailing 1-0, Nino Niederreiter tied the game with 3:53 remaining in regulation when he deflected in a shot from Ryan Suter in front of the net. Perhaps only fair, since Colorado scored its lone goal in regulation when a shot clanked in off the skate of Maxime Talbot. "Two fluky goals," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "They were not pretty goals, but at the same time part of the game." Koivus goal was nifty, sending a backhand just over Semyon Varlamov and just under the crossbar. Zach Parise also scored for the Wild in the shootout. So, is that the type of shot Koivu envisioned all along? "Im not going to tell you what I wanted to do because every time we go against these guys were in a shootout," Koivu said. After Duchene scoredd to open the shootout, Harding stopped P.ddddddddddddA. Parenteau and Ryan OReilly to preserve the win. "I dont think we played bad hockey," Duchene said. "I thought we played a heck of a hockey game. Were having tough luck right now. We made a lot of good plays and the one that goes in for us hits a skate and goes in. I thought maybe the bounces were going to go our way." Midway through the second period, Cory Sarich unleashed a shot from just inside the blue line that deflected off of Talbots skate and past Harding. It was Talbots second goal for the Avs since being acquired from Philadelphia on Oct. 31. Niederreiter tied it up when his deflection trickled past Varlamov. Once again, the Avalanche struggled on the power play. Theyre now 0 for 26 over their last 10 games. It was a clean first period, with no goals and just one penalty on Minnesotas Jonas Brodin for interference. Harding came up big in the opening 20 minutes and stopped all 11 shots he faced, including a point-blank attempt from Cody McLeod. Defenceman Jan Hejda was back on the ice for Colorado after missing a week with a right knee injury. He had to be helped off the ice in Edmonton on Dec. 5 after losing an edge and going feet first heavily into the boards. "Wasnt as bad as how it looked on television," Hejda joked before the game. NOTES: The Wild juggled their lines after recalling C Erik Haula from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Friday. ... The Avalanche held a moment of silence before the game for Arapahoe High School staff, students and families who were affected by the shooting at the suburban Denver school on Friday. ... Avalanche D Ryan Wilson (back) missed his 17th straight game, but may be moving closer to a return. "We want him to have a couple of practices before he plays," Roy said. ... F John Mitchell played in his 300th game. "Its a good number," said Mitchell, who had an assist on Talbots goal. ... The Avs are 2-0-1 against the Wild this season. 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