Kings Secure Playoff Spot With Win Over Portland 120-80

Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis, right, drives to the basket on Portland Trail Blazers forward Nassir Little, left, during the first half in Portland on Wed Mar 29, 2023 (AP News photo)

Kings Secure Playoff Spot With Win Over Portland 120-80

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday night the Sacramento Kings (46-30) traveled to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers (32-44). The Kings ended the NBA’s longest playoff drought with a 120-80 win over the Trail Blazers. The win tonight in Portland locked down a spot in the post-season.

It was a slow start for the Kings trailing after the first quarter had come to an end 20-19. Sacramento was having a lot of trouble hitting shots from downtown. After two quarters the King were five of 24 from the perimeter. They were shooting at 20.8% on three pointers.

It took the first quarter for the Kings to heat up. With under four minutes left in the first half, the Kings had a 44-32 lead and finally had this game on cruise control; or did they? This was the largest lead for the Kings in the game but Portland refused to go away. The Trail Blazers closed out the first half with a 14-6 run and just like that had pulled to within four points 50-46.

After two quarters Domantas Sabonis was on the verge of another double double with ten rebounds and nine points. De’Aaron Fox had a slow first half with four points.

The third quarter began with a Keegan Murray triple putting him just one three away from the all- time NBA rookie 3-point record. Four minutes into the quarter the Kings had established a 62-51 lead. At 6:40 Murray made history with his third three in this game making him the all-time NBA rookie leader from beyond the arc.

With 4:45 left in the quarter the Kings had a 73-60 advantage. After three quarters the Kings had a 83-64 lead. Fox had heated up and had 12 points through three and the Kings were a quarter away from securing a playoff spot.

Forth quarter clutch player Fox started the quarter with a couple of triples to extend their lead to 99-65. The second half Kings had arrived. The three’s were falling for Sacramento already clocking 14 with 8:41 left in the game. They would finish with 18 triples and win by a whopping 40 points.

Malik Monk had the game high with 19 points off the bench. Fox had 18 points. The 17 year drought had come to an end with this decisive win.

Friday night the Kings will remain in Portland for another game with the Trail Blazers. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Headline Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong: Diamond will continue streaming MLB games; Pitch clock shaves off 26 mins; plus more news

San Diego Padres third base coach Matt Williams pauses on the field during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. The San Diego Padres third base has colon cancer and will have surgery on Friday, March 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

On Headlines Sports podcast with Jessica Kwong:

#1 Diamond Sports Group is hoping to hold as they restructure after filing for bankruptcy protection on Mar 14th. Diamond had a two week grace period a time which Diamond tried to negotiate the streaming rights. During restructuring Diamond will carry games. Diamond just paid the San Diego Padres their rights fees on Wednesday. MLB is putting together a streaming network and plans to take over for some 14 MLB clubs. There are NBA and NHL clubs who also effected by the Diamond bankruptcy.

#2 The pitch clock has shaved off 26 minutes off in spring training. Games during the 2022 season averaged 3:01 and now are pacing at 2:35. Comparing the World Baseball Classic games the spring games are 35 minutes shorter. Opening day is Thursday and MLB is waiting to see how this pitch clock works out in the regular season.

#3 San Diego Padres third coach Matt Williams 57, has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be away from the team for an undisclosed time. The news was announced to the media some 24 hours before the Padres open their regular season against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday afternoon at Petco Park in San Diego. Williams will have surgery on Friday to remove growth near his colon.

#4 There’s a lot of expectations that the Los Angeles Angels are expecting from top catching prospect Logan O’Hoppe. Catcher Max Stassi has been placed on the injured list due to hip soreness. O’Hoppe will get the call to start and catch Angels ace and starter Shohei Ohtani in the season opener in Oakland against the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday for a 7:07pm first pitch.

#5 The New York Yankees will open their season against the San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium on Thursday afternoon. The Yankees will start Gerrit Cole and the Giants will be going with Logan Webb. The Yankees are trying to get the bad taste of the American League Championship Series loss to the Houston Astros out of their mouth from last season losing four out of five to the Astros and missing the World Series.

Jessica Kwong does Headline Sports podcasts every other Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears report: Mark Madsen named Golden Bears head coach; Leaves Utah Valley after three seasons

 Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Madsen becomes the new Cal Bears head coach for the 2023-24 season. (AP file photo)

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

Mark Madsen knew the job was his but he had to complete coaching at Utah Valley in the NIT semifinals against the UAB Blazers on Tuesday night. Had the Wolverines won and advanced Madsen would have held off on his official announcement that he would take the job at UC Berkeley in the Cal Bears men’s basketball program.

Utah Valley lost by two points 88-86 in overtime and that was the last and final game that Madsen would be coaching at Utah Valley as he makes his way to the Pac 12 to coach the Golden Bears. Madsen who was a Stanford Cardinal standout and a NBA veteran, finished coaching Utah Valley to a WAC Championship and led the Wolves to a 28-9 record this season.

Over his three seasons at Utah Valley he put together an impressive record at 34-15. Madsen before joining Utah Valley was an assistant coach at the Los Angeles Lakers. Madsen was an assistant coach in the G league and at Stanford. As a college player Madsen was an accomplished player achieving the two time all conference.

Madsen is best remembered for his performance in the Final Four in 1998 and making it as a first round pick in 2000 and helped the Lakers win two championships. Madsen left the Lakers and played six years for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Madsen’s name came up as a possible replacement for Stanford head coach Jerod Haase but Stanford decided at the end of the Pac 12 Tournament to keep Haase as head coach. Cal was considering St Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett, Bennett said he wanted to stay at St Mary’s and so the Bears focused their attention in going after Madsen.

Cal fired head coach Mark Fox at the conclusion of the Pac 12 Tournament after Cal was eliminated in the first game of the tournament. Fox guided the Bears to a 3-29 season in 2022-23. Cal hadn’t been to the big dance tournament since 2016. Cal had gone through three head coaches since their last tournament, Cuonzo Martin 2014-2017 (62-39), Wyking Jones 2017-2019 (16-47), and Mark Fox 2019-2023 ( 38-87).

Morris Phillips and Michael Duca are Cal Bears beat writers for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Golden State Warriors podcast with David Zizmor: Green ends up in foul trouble again in shoving match with Pelicans Ingram

The feet of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, top, land on the head of New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones, bottom, during the second quarter at Chase Center in San Francisco on Tue Mar 28, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the Warriors podcast with David:

#1 The Golden State Warriors Draymond Green and the New Orleans Pelicans Brandon Ingram got into a tussle in the second quarter. Green pushed Ingram out of bounds as Ingram was driving for a layup. Ingram took exception to Green’s foul, and the players got into a shoving match. Each player was charged with a technical foul. Green’s foul was upgraded to a flagrant foul. 

#2 With the120-109 win, the Warriors are 40-37. The Warriors are 31-8 at home. The Pelicans fell to 39-38. The Pelicans are 14-26 on the road. The Warriors are in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans are one and 1/2 games behind the Warriors. 

#3 The Warriors have five games left in the regular season. They face the San Antonio Spurs (19-56) at the Chase Center Friday night. The game will start at 7 pm. David wanted to get your take on this upcoming matchup.

Join David Zizmor for the Warrior podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks game wrap: Reimer and Gregor Show Their Worth in 3-0 shutout

San Jose Sharks right winger Kevin Lebanc (62), center Noah Gregor (73), and defenceman Erik Karlsson (65) celebrate defeating the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center in San Jose on Tue Mar 28, 2023 (@SanJoseSharks photo)

By Troy Ewers

SAN JOSE–The San Jose Sharks (20-39-15) hosted the Winnipeg Jets (41-31-3) as we close this final stretch of the regular season. Going into the game all eyes were on Erik Karlsson, who was ten points away from 100 points on the season, but they were facing off against a Jets team who was hungry for their playoff spot. The Sharks upset the wild card contender Jets shutting them out behind a great goaltending performance by James Reimer in the 3-0 win at SAP Center.

In the first period, Sharks attacked that tough Jets defense by dominating possession in the first five minutes and even drawing a penalty by minute eight. The San Jose offensive attack had a big burst of energy when Noah Gregor scored on a five hole goal making the game 1-0 early in the first.

Gregor left this game with two points (one goal and one assist) and said tonight was a “solid win” and considering the night he had and his pending free agency, he also looked at this game as a “ chance to prove to the organization he should stay around”, but Gregor wasn’t the only one who had something to prove this game.

Reimer, who a week ago was under public scrutiny over the pride night situation, not only wanted to silence the critics, but also show the front office that he “still has a fire in him” as he also could be a free agent at the end of this season. Reimer had a phenomenal game and on three occasions made saves that led to big ovations from the arena and on top of that he had a shutout in net. Reimer and Gregor showed off in front of this crowd and sparked the team’s energy.

Second period was a defensive battle with no scoring, but the third period is where Gregor got his second point of the night with an assist to Labanc and Karlsson would get point #91 with an assist to Kaut which would also be the last goal of the game.

Coach David Quinn called this game San Jose’s “most solid win in a while” and he grinned at the idea that his squad might be playing spoiler to opponents who have their sights on the postseason, especially since Vegas is coming into town on Thursday.

This game was a morale boost and the first time in a while in the Sharks locker room they had music playing to celebrate a win. Next game will be the debut of the Sharks’ latest signing from Harvard, Henry Thurn and this final stretch of games may not seem important, but ending this season on a high note is a huge reward.

With a new coach, new GM, and roster changes all season, ending this season with moments like Tuesday night make a fanbase breathe easier, but the Sharks are getting closer to the end of the trial run, because next season is the real test.

Warriors come back from 20-point deficit beat Pelicans 120-109; Golden State wins six of last ten games

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones, far left, and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, far right, are separated after a scuffle during the second quarter at Chase Center in San Francisco on Tue Mar 28, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors (40-37) hosted the New Orleans Pelicans (38-38) at the Chase Center Tuesday night. The Pelicans came into town riding a five-game winning streak. The Warriors were still upset after losing to Minnesota Sunday Night. The Warriors needed a win to get the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans needed a win to stay in sixth place. The Warriors stepped it up for a 20 point comeback win 120-109.

Both teams played as if it were a playoff game. The Pelicans’ defense in the first half had the Warriors’ offense out of rhythm. The Warriors’ defense in the second half shut down the Pelican offense in the second half. For the 12th time this season, the Warriors overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to win. The Warriors beat the Pelicans 120-109.

The teams exchanged the lead three or four times in the first quarter. The Warriors led 23-20 when the Pelicans went on an 11-0 run to lead 31-23. The Pelicans led 33-25 when the Warriors fouled Brandon Ingram making a desperation three-point shot with 0.8 seconds left. Steve Kerr shook his head in disbelief as Ingram made all three free throws to give the Pelicans the lead, 36-25. 

The Pelicans continued to dominate play in the second quarter. The Pelicans increased the lead to 20 points, 63-43. Stephen Curry connected on a three to finish the first half with the Warriors trailing, 63-46. New Orleans had three players in double figures. Curry was the only Warrior in double figures. Curry had 17 and made three threes. The Warriors turned the ball over 14 times in the first half. If they hoped to win, the Warriors would have to find a way to turn things around.

The Warriors needed someone to provide the spark to get them back in the game. That spark came from Donte DiVincenzo and Klay Thompson as the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to start the third period. DiVincezo scored the first five points, and Thompson knocked down a three.

The Pelicans held off the Warriors attack for a while. The Pelicans led by 13, 73-60 when C J McCollum was charged with a flagrant foul as he ran over DiVincenzo. DiVincezo made both free throws, and the Warriors had possession. Thompson made a three, and the Warriors now trailed by eight.

The Warriors now had momentum on their side. Late in the quarter, Pelicans led 89-80. Kevon Looney made two offensive rebounds, allowing Curry to make a three. On the ensuing play, Jordan Poole stole the ball and made a layup to make it 89-85 at the end of the third quarter. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 39-26. 

The Warriors kept attacking the rim. Curry made it a two-point game, 89-87, after a steal and a bucket. The Pelicans fought back. They led 94-91. Poole made two consecutive baskets to give the Warriors their first lead, 95-94. The Warriors never relinquished the lead. Poole, Curry, and Thompson all made threes. The Warriors led 118-103 with one minute left in the game.

Game Notes: With the win, the Warriors are 40-37. The Warriors are 31-8 at home. The Pelicans fell to 39-38. The Pelicans are 14-26 on the road. The Warriors are in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans are one and 1/2 games behind the Warriors. 

The Warriors split the season series with the Pelicans 2-2. The Warriors had 14 turnovers in the first half and five in the second half. 

Draymond Green and Ingram got into a tussle in the second quarter. Green pushed Ingram out of bounds as Ingram was driving for a layup. Ingram took exception to Green’s foul, and the players got into a shoving match. Each player was charged with a technical foul. Green’s foul was upgraded to a flagrant foul. 

Curry had another phenomenal performance Tuesday night. Curry’s line was 39 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, eight threes, and three steals. Poole had 21, Thompson 17 points, DiVincenzo 13, and Jonathan Kuminga 13. 

Ingram led the Pelicans with 26, McCollum had 15, Trey Murphy 21, Herbert Jones 13, and Jonas Valanciunas 11. 

The Warriors have five games left in the regular season. They face the San Antonio Spurs at the Chase Center Friday night. The game will start at 7 pm.

Final Four podcast with Michael Roberson: South Carolina off the chain defeat Maryland 86-75; Virginia Tech advances defeats Ohio State 84-74

South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston (4) holds up her piece of the net defeating Maryland in an Elite 8 college basketball game of the NCAA Tournament in Greenville, S.C., Monday, March 27, 2023. (AP News photo)

On the Final Four podcast with Michael R:

#1 Ayliah Boston of the South Carolina Gamecocks (36-0) led with 22 points and ten rebounds and Zia Cooke scored 18 points as the Gamecocks in the second quarter left the Maryland Terrapins (28-7) in the dust to advance to the Final Four with a 86-75 win on Monday night.

#2 South Carolina won for their 36th consecutive game in a row and once again head coach Dawn Staley’s game plan to have Boston and Cooke lead the way proved effective and Terrapins really didn’t have a chance at any offensive comeback.

#3 Michael, most schools who face who go in and face the Gamecocks know that they’re going to have their hands full in the case of the Terrapins did they just plain get beat or did they just lose focus on shutting South Carolina’s game down.

#4 The Virginia Tech Hokies (31-4) also advances to the Final Four with a ten point win over the Ohio State Buckeyes (28-8) in a ten point win Elizabeth Kitley led with 25 points followed up with Georgia Amoore who had 24 points.

#5 Michael let’s get your take on the Final Four and who you like South Carolina and Iowa and in the other match up LSU and Virginia Tech.

Michael Roberson will be attending the Women’s Final Four in Dallas on Fri Mar 31 at the American Airlines Center and podcasts the NCAA on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Troy Ewers: Sharks attempt to get win tonight against Jets after tough loss Saturday in Calgary

San Jose Sharks’ Logan Couture (39) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender David Rittich (33) during overtime of an NHL hockey game, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Monday March 6, 2023. (Canadian Press photo via AP)

On the Sharks podcast with Troy:

#1 The San Jose Sharks lost their ninth consecutive contest Saturday Afternoon, falling to the Calgary Flames 5-3 from Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

#2 Erik Karlsson picked up a pair of assists notch a single-season high in assists and Nico Sturm, Logan Couture and Martin Kaut scored, but the lone good news from the Sharks (19-39-15) this weekend was via the signing of college prospect Henry Thrun out of Harvard.

#3  Logan Couture’s netfront drive put the Sharks on the board at the 14:25 mark of the first period. Karlsson took a pass from Andrew Agozzino and drove down the right wing, pulling Jacob Markstrom to the post before feathering a pass to a crashing Couture for a deflection goal, his 25th score of the year. Karlsson picked up his 67th assist, a single-season career high on the play.

#4 Nico Sturm tied the game 4:52 into the second period, backhanding a Noah Gregor shot pass by Markstrom for his 14th goal of the year. Karlsson assisted on the goal as well, his 90th point of the year with nine games left to play. 

#5 The Winnipeg Jets (40-25-8) come to the SAP Center tonight to face off with the Sharks. The Jets place second in the NHL Western Conference Wild Card standings winning five of their last ten games. The Jets lost their last game to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday 4-1 how do you see the Jets and Sharks matching up tonight here in San Jose?

Troy Ewers podcasts San Jose Sharks hockey at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cal Bears waiting for Madsen to accept head coaching job

Current Utah Valley Wolverines head coach Mark Madsen draws up plans for his players is coaching tonight Tue Mar 28, 2023 NIT game against UAB. Most likely when Utah Valley is eliminated Madsen will make his announcement that he will be joining the Cal Bears as head coach. (photo by 1160 KSL Salt Lake City)

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

The vacancy at the Cal Bears men’s basketball program is all but almost filled as Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen who also played for the Stanford Cardinal is close to being the next head coach at Cal. The Bears are waiting for Madsen to make a decision but sources say it’s very likely he will accept the position.

According to news reports the only thing that stands in the way of Madsen not coming to Cal is some unforeseen circumstance but all indications point that he will accept the head coaching job. Cal women’s basketball coach Charmin Smith is a former Stanford player and is familiar with Madsen.

CBS Sports said that Madsen is the leading candidate and that Cal has offered him the job as head coach. Earlier today it was reported that Madsen had accepted the job. One of the reasons why Madsen might not be making any official announcement is because his current team Utah Valley is in the NIT and about ready to face UAB later tonight. If Utah Valley were to lose to UAB tonight Madsen could announce his accepting the Cal job during the post game press conference.

Michael Duca and Morris Phillips cover Cal Bears basketball for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Dodgers still looking for a second ring after a decade of winning; plus more news

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts watches his three-run home run during the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP News photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Amaury, can the San Diego Padres catch the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers who have won the National League title every year for the last decade and won one ring during that time are trying to secure a better position to win another ring and this year might be their best chance.

#2 The Dodgers with Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, and Will Smith all healthy and should be ready to battle. With this line up of key players do the Dodgers chances to win a World Series vastly improve.

#3 Amaury, Philadelphia Phillies JT Realmuto was ejected on Monday for moving his glove when the umpire went to put a new ball in his glove and ended up having the ball thrown away. Realmuto wanted to know why he was ejected and umpire Randy Rosenberg said he was retaliating for the previous pitch that he called on Phillie pitcher Craig Kimbrel.

#4 Amaury, opening day Thursday night you and Manolo calling all the play by play for the Oakland A’s 71 home games. You and Manolo don’t travel and we know you have pointed out that the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays are not traveling their broadcasters do you think this will be a regular trend in baseball not traveling their broadcasters?

#5 The New York Mets Kodai Senga struck out nine batters in five innings of work, the Mets Tommy Pham in the same game hit a two RBI double and Mets second baseman Luis Guillorme hit an RBI double. The Mets have some talent and Senga can keep hitters off balance.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Oakland A’s lead play by play announcer on the A’s Spanish radio network at 1010 KIQI San Francisco and 990 KATD PIttsburg and read That’s Amaury News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com