A’s romp all over Mariners in 11-1 laugher

Oakland catcher Sean Murphy scores on a past ball while Mariners relief pitcher Bryan Shaw stands on home plate late during a disastrous fifth inning for the Mariners. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s won their third game in a row downing the Seattle Mariners 11-1. The A’s came to Seattle, hoping to sweep the rebuilding Mariners. They lost the first game but won the next three. It wasn’t easy as the A’s hitters were not moving the line until Monday night. The A’s squeezed out two wins by a 3-2 score on Saturday and Sunday. A’s manager Bob Melvin had to wonder when and if his guys would get the offense going.

The answer would come in the fifth inning of Monday night’s contest. The Mariners put the first run of the night on the board in the bottom of the third. Mariners’ shortstop J.P.Crawford walked. A’s starter, Frankie Montas retired the next two hitters. M’s third baseman, Kyle Seager, doubled to drive in Crawford. The Mariners did not score again. Nor did they get a hit after the fourth inning.

The A’s blew open the game in the top of the fifth. They sent fourteen men to the plate. The Mariners’ Justin Sheffield and Bryan Shaw gave up eight runs, nine hits, and three walks. All the runs came after there were two out in the inning. A’s centerfield Ramon Laureano drove in the first two runs with a single. Chad Pinder drove in two, also. Mark Canha, Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty all drove in a run. One run scored on a wild pitch.

Khris Davis led off the seventh with his first dinger of the year. Davis finished the night with two hits. He came into the game hitting .045. They added another run and one more in the ninth to win 11-1.

Game Notes- Frankie Montas won his first of the year. He went seven innings and allowed one run and four hits. Frankie struck out nine and walked four. Mariners’ starter, lefty Justin Sheffield lost his second of the season. Mariners’ pitched walked eleven A’s and struck out nine. Ramon Laureano has driven in nine runs so far. Seven of the nine have either tied the game or put the A’s in the lead. The A’s improved to 6-4, and the A’s dropped to 4-7.

The A’s return home to face the Texas Rangers. Lefty Jesus Luzardo will start for Oakland. Lance Lynn will pitch for Texas. The game will start at 6:10 pm.

A’s Preview: A’s to open four game series with Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle

Manager Scott Servais elbow bumps Shed Long at summer camp last week at T-Mobile Park. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s, tied for first place in the AL West with the Houston Astros, make their first road trip starting Friday. The A’s travel to Seattle to play four against the Mariners. The A’s are 3-3 so far, and the Mariners own a 2-4 record. In his fifth year as the M’s skipper, Scott Servais has a record of 321-327 during his tenure.

Servis will have his work cut out for him as the team has jettisoned many of the players from the 2019 season. Pitchers Felix Hernandez, Mike Leake, Hunter Strickland, Tommy Milone, Wade LeBlanc, have new homes. Sluggers Ryon Healy, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jay Bruce are in greener pastures. The same goes for catcher Omar Narvaez.

There will be a lot of unfamiliar names in the M’s lineup on Friday. Let’s take a look at their roster. The Mariners have three catchers on the team. Austin Nola will see the bulk of the action, and he will be backed up by rookies Joseph Odom and Joe Hudson.

Nola hit .269 last year with ten homers. Daniel Vogelbach will see time at first base. The big man hit just .208, but he hit 30 round-trippers in 2019. He will also see action as the teams’ designated hitter. Evan White and Jose Marmolejos also will see work at first.
Three players will handle the chores at second base.

In his second year, Shed Long, Jr., the veteran Dee Gordon, in his tenth, and Tim Lopes, who hit .270 in 111 at-bats in 2019.J.P.Crawford and Dylan Moore will be at shortstop. Crawford played more than Moore, but their batting averages are about the same as are their home run totals. The veteran Kyle Seager will be at third base for the tenth year. Seager hit .239 with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs last year.

Rookie Jose Marmolejos will be in left field. Marmolejos can also play first base. Mallex Smith will be in centerfield. Kyle Lewis, who is off to a good start with eleven hits and a batting average of .458 will be in right field. Vogelback, Mamolejos, and Tim Lopes will see time as the designated hitter.

The M’s will use Matt Magill as their closer. Other bullpen pitchers include Dan Altavilla, Bryan Shaw, Nestor Cortes, Taylor Williams, Carl Edwards, Jr, Zac Grotz, Anthony Misiewicz, Yohan Ramirez, and Nick Margevicius.

We will now take a look at the probable pitchers for the four-game series. Sean Manaea will pitch for Oakland on Friday night. Taijuan Walker will oppose him. Manaea lost his first start to the Angels last Saturday.

Manaea pitched early in the game but ran out gas and didn’t make it through the fifth inning. His command was sharp as 40 of his 55 pitches were strikes. Taijuan Walker did not pitch in 2019 as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Walker, back with Seattle after spending two years in Arizona, did not fare well in his first outing. In three and 1/3rd innings of work, he allowed five runs and his ERA stands at 13.50

The A’s have not announced their starting pitcher for Saturday night. Mike Fiers probably will pitch. Yusei Kikuchi will go for Seattle. Kikuchi went three and 2/3rds innings and gave up five hits, five runs, and walked four.

On Sunday, Chris Bassitt will pitch for Oakland. Kendall Graveman, the former Athletic, will face his teammates for the first time since leaving the club. Graveman also had Tommy John surgery and has not pitched in the last two years. He is 0-1 so far.

Graveman pitched four-plus innings and gave up seven runs and six hits. He would love nothing better than beating his old mates. No pitchers have been announced for Monday’s game. There is a possibility that Jesus Luzardo will make his first start for Oakland.

The A’s would like nothing better than sweeping the four-game series. A’s manager Bob Melvin wants his starters to go deeper into the game. Only one pitcher has gone at least five innings. If Melvin has to remove the pitchers too early, it will wear out the bullpen. The relievers have done their job.

The A’s hitters have to get their game going, too. Khris Davis is 0-for-15 to start the season. The team cannot get off to a so-so start. The season is only 60 games, and if they are not playing well in the early going, it won’t be easy to finish in one of the two top spots in the AL West. Let’s hope things fall into place for the Green and Gold this weekend.

Rockies’ pitchers keep A’s bats quiet 5-1; A’s swept in two-game series

Rocked out: The Colorado Rockies form a congratulatory conga line after taking the two game set from the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon (sfgate.com photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland-The Colorado Rockies’ pitcher held the A’s to just five hits to win 5-1 and sweep the short two-game series. Matt Chapman had the A’s only extra-base hit as he hit a solo dinger in the first inning. The A’s managed just four hits in the next eight innings.

As mentioned above, the A’s grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the first when Chapman took Rockies’ starter, German Marquez, deep. The Rockies tied the game in the top of the second. A’s starter, Frankie Montas, walked Daniel Murphy, gave up a single to Ryan McMahon, and walked Garrett Hampson to load the bases. Tony Walters singled off the right-field wall to drive in Murphy. Montas retired the next two hitters to get out of the jam.

The Rockies added a run in the fourth. McMahon and Sam Hilliard singled to put men on at first and third with no out. Garrett Hanson drove in McMahon with a sacrifice fly to left. Wolters hit into a double play to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, the A’s had men on at second and third with two out. Stephen Piscotty hit a sharp ground ball to the third baseman, Nolan Arenado. All Arenado had to do was throw to first, and the inning would be over.

Arenado, a seven-time Gold Glove winner, made a rare mental error. Instead of throwing to first, he threw home to get Matt Olson at the plate. The play was close. The umpire called Olson out. The A’s asked for a review. The replay showed that Olson appeared to have reached home safely. However, the call was upheld, and the inning ended with the Rockies still leading 2-1.

The Rockies added a run in the eighth. Rockies’ shortstop singled and then scored on Charlie Blackmon’s double into the left-field corner. The A’s had an opportunity to put some runs on the board in their half of the frame.

Marcus Semien led off with a single. Rockies’ reliever, Jairo Diaz, walked Ramon Laureano. Diaz retired Chapman and Olson. He hit Mark Canha with a pitch to load the bases. The next hitter, Robbie Grossman, who had a single and a double, struck out to end the threat.

The Rockies scored two unearned runs in the ninth to make it a 5-1 game. The A’s went down 1-2-3, and the game ended.

Game Notes- With the loss, the A’s are now 3-3 for the year. The Rockies improved to 4-1. German Marquez was the winner, and the loss went to Frankie Montas. Montas was the first A’s pitcher to go at least five innings this year. He allowed two runs and five hits in his five innings of work. He threw 77 pitches. Jesus Luzardo replaced him to start the sixth inning. The young leftie went three and 2/3rds innings. He gave up four hits and three runs. Only one run was earned. He threw 67 pitches.

The A’s managed just five hits. The big blow was Chappie’s dinger in the first. Robbie Grossman had a single and a double. The A’s were o-for- 14 with men in scoring position. The A’s need to get their offense going. They are off on Thursday. They travel to Seattle for a four-game series with the Mariners beginning Friday night.

Rockies pound out 13 hits to down A’s 8-3

Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado, left, scores against Oakland Athletics catcher Austin Allen in the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Oakland, Calif. (AP photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

 The visiting Colorado Rockies pounded out 13 hits to defeat the A’s 8-3. The Rockies’ manager, Bud Black, loaded his lineup with seven left-handed hitters. The A’s starter, Daniel Mengden, had trouble last year with the lefties. The lefties hit over .300 against him. Mengden went just four innings. He threw 87 pitches and allowed five hits and three runs.

The Rockies put the first run of the game on the board in the top of the third. With one out, Trevor Story singled. Charlie Blackmon followed with a single to send Story to third. Nolan Arenado hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Story.

The A’s tied the game in their half of the third. With one out, Ramon Laureano singled. Rockies’ starter Anthony Senzatela walked Matt Chapman and Matt Olson to load the bases. Mark Canha hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Laureano with the tying run. Khris Davis struck out to end the inning.

In the fourth, the Rockies scored twice to take the lead 3-1. Designated hitter Ramiel Tapia singled with one out. Left-fielder Sam Hilliard hit a hanging curve into the seats in rightfield.

Jordan Weems made his Major League and A’s debut when he took the mound to start the fifth. He struck out the first hitter, Trevor Story, that he faced. Things did not go well for him after that. He gave up four straight singles and a sacrifice fly.

The Rockies own a 5-1 lead. The A’s got one back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Laureano singled. Matt Olson singled to send him to third. Laureano scored on Nolan Arenado’s error to make it a 5-2 game.

The Rockies plated three more in the eighth to put the game out of reach. A’s reliever Lou Trivino did not have a good outing. Hoping to regain the magic he had in 2018, Trivino allowed three runs, a walk, and three hits. The A’s plated their third run of the night in the bottom half of the eighth. The A’s lose 8-3.

Game Notes- With the loss, the A’s are now 3-2 for the season. The Rockies improved to 3-1. The winning pitcher was Anthony Senzatela. He threw 40 pitches in the first inning, but settled down and finished five innings of work. Tyler Kinley, Daniel Bard, and Carlos Estevez ended the game for the Rockies. The story of the night was Daniel Bard. Bard had not pitched in the Majors since 2013.

He left due to a severe case of the “yips.” Baseball is a mental game. He had lost his confidence and couldn’t get his pitches over the plate. He regained his confidence and pitched and allowed just one run in two innings of work Tuesday night.

The A’s designated hitter, Khris Davis, had opportunities to do some damage but failed. Davis has not had a hit so far this year. The fans know that he is a streaky hitter. Tonight would have been an excellent time to get it going. He left nine men stranded. In the first inning with the bases loaded, he popped out. In the third with two men on, he struck out. In the fifth with two men on, he hit into an inning-ending double play. In the eighth, with a man on third, he struck out.

The teams meet again to complete the short two-game series. Frankie Montas goes for Oakland, and German Marquez will take the hill for Colorado.

A’s blank Angels 3-0 take three out four from LA

Oakland A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt (40) who started and threw for five innings was one of six pitchers who combined in a nine hit shutout of the Los Angeles Angels at the Oakland Coliseum on Monday afternoon (athleticsnation.com)

By Jerry Feitelberg

Oakland- The Oakland A’s beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-0 to take three out four to start the 2020 season with a 3-1 record. The Angels had Albert Pujols back in the lineup after giving him the day off on Sunday.

Also back in the lineup was Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani, who pitched yesterday, was the designated hitter. Ohtani typically has the day off after throwing. He did not get out of the first inning and did not retire a hitter.

The A’s sent righty Chriss Bassitt to the hill to face the Angels. Bassitt was making his first start of the year. The Angels countered with Griffin Canning. Bassitt had his work cut out for him.

The A’s pitchers have to work hard to retire the Angels hitters. The Angels lineup with David Fletcher, Mike Trout, Justin Upton, Ohtani, and Tommy LaStella can make life rough for any pitcher. A’s manager Bob Melvin had a 70 pitch limit for Bassitt on Monday. Bassitt threw a lot of pitches in the first and second innings and left the game after four innings of work.

The A’s drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, second baseman Tony Kemp walked. Marcus Semien beat the shift as he singled to right-center to send Kemp to third. Ramon Laureano hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Kemp with the first run of the game. Semien tagged up and advanced to second on the play. A’s third baseman Matt Chapman doubled to deep centerfield to drive in Semien with the inning’s second run. The A’s lead 2-0 after three complete.

In the top of the fourth, the Angels blew an excellent opportunity to get on the board and possibly tie the game. Justin Upton led off the frame with a single. Tommy LaStella, who loves to hit against the A’s, doubled to send Upton to third.

The next hitter, future Hall of Famer, Albert Pujols hit a rocket to third baseman Matt Chapman. Chappie, sure-handed as ever, picked up the ball, and his throw home got Upton trapped in a rundown. A’s catcher Sean Murphy tagged Upton for the out.

LaStella could not advance to third on the play. Angels’ catcher Jason Castro singled to load the bases with one out. Bassitt got out of the inning when he got Andrelto Simmons to ground out into a 1-2-3 double play. The A’s bullpen did their job and held the Angels scoreless the rest of the way.

Mark Canha led off the bottom of the fourth with his first home run of the year to make it 3-0. That ended the scoring for the A’s. The Angels threatened in the ninth as they had two men on with two out. A’s reliever, Joakim Soria, had to face the American League MVP Mike Trout. Trout could tie the game with one swing of the bat.

Soria struck him out looking. Trout argued the call but to no avail. The A’s win 3-0. Game Notes- The A’s bullpen continued their outstanding work again on Monday. In four games, they have given up just one run.

The A’s used five relievers. Burch Smith, who took over for Bassitt in the fifth, worked two innings and received credit for his second win. T.J.McFarland, Yusmeiro Petit, Jake Diekman, and Soria all saw action.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said the play that changed the game’s momentum was Chapman’s throw to nail Upton. it was a “big swing.” Melvin said this about Chris Bassitt: “we feel good when he’s on the mound.”

The big news around baseball was the story about the 14 people in the Miami Marlin organization that became infected with Covid-19. So far, 11 players and three other personnel contracted the disease.

The Marlins tested the players after yesterday’s game with the Phillies, and results are expected back today. The Marlins’ games with the Baltimore Orioles have been postponed. The Phillies and Yankees games were also postponed. Melvin’s comment about the outbreak was succinct: “it worries you.” The A’s host the Colorado Rockies Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Game time will be at 6:40 pm.

A’s start 2020 season at Coliseum against Angels Friday

Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin pulls Mike Fiers in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park the final pre season game for 2020 (mercurynews.com photo) 

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Oakland A’s are looking forward to the four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels starting Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum. It has been a very long wait to start the season. The season has been delayed due to pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Many changes have been made in order to get things going.

The teams will have 30 players on the roster for the first two weeks of the season. The roster will be reduced to 28 players for the next two weeks and then down to 26 for the rest of the year. The Designated Hitter will be universal. It will be the first time the DH will be used in the National League’s home parks.

The teams will play 60 games. Forty of the games will be played against the A’s Western Division rivals. The other 20 games will be played against the National League Western Division teams. In order to speed up the games, MLB has a new rule for extra-inning contests. The league has mandate that a runner will placed at second base to start the 10th inning. The rule will not be in effect for the playoffs.

The A’s feel that they have an excellent chance to go all the way to the World Series this year. A’s manager, Bob Melvin, in his 10th year at the helm, knows he has the talent to get there. The A’s won 97 games in 2018 and 2019.

They have a good solid nucleus of All-Star caliber players. The team has a lineup that can strike fear into opposing pitchers. There are no easy outs in the lineup. The infield is good defensively, too. Big Matt Olson will be back at first, Matt Chapman at third, Marcus Semien at shortstop.

Semien came in third in in last year’s vote for Most Valuable Player. The only question mark will be at second base. The A’s traded last year’s second baseman Jurickson Profar to the San Diego Padres for catcher Austin Allen. Franklin Barreto, who is out of options, will be in a fight with Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder for the job.

The A’s outfield is also solid. All three outfielders are good defensively and they are all capable of sending the baseball flying out of the park. Mark Canha, who played so well last year in centerfield, will start the season in left. Ramon Laureano will be back in center, and Stephen Piscotty, who missed playing time last year due to injury, will patrol right field. The A’s will use Sean Murphy as the everyday catcher. Austin Allen or Jonah Hiem will be the backups.

The A’s lost three pitchers from last years rotation. Homer Bailey, Brett Anderson, and Tanner Roark all have found new homes. The A’s rotation will feature Frankie Montas, Mike Fiers, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, and Daniel Mengden to start the season. Montas will start against the Angels Friday night.

Montas was on his way to being the ace of the staff last year until he was suspended for 80 games for use of an illegal substance.The A’s were hoping to use lefties Jesus Luzardo and A.J.Puk as starters. Luzardo is recovering from a bout with Covid-19. Puk, who had Tommy John surgery last year, is experiencing some shoulder pain and is on the Injured List. He is visiting an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles for a consultation.

The A’s bullpen is also very good. Liam Hendriks is the A’s closer. Hendriks was an All-Star last season. The setup men will be Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, Lou Trivino, Jake Diekman, T,J,McFarland and J.B. Wendelken.

The A’s will use Robbie Grossman and Chad Pinder as backups. Grossman is a switch-hitter and can fill in for Canha. Pinder can play both in the infield and outfield. Another play the ‘s will be keeping is Rule-5 selection Vimael Machin. He is an infielder and the A’s may use him if Barreto or Kemp don’t wor out at second base.

The A’s main challenger for the top spot in the West will be the Houston Astros. Even though the Astros lost Geritt Cole to the Yankees and Will Harris to the Nationals, they still are powerful club. They made it to the World Series twice in the last three year. They won it in 2017 and lost to the Nationals last year.

The club has been in turmoil since they were caught stealing signs. The Astros replaced their manager A.J.Hinch with Dusty Baker. Baker, known as a players’ manager, has the tools to make sure the Astros are competitive.

The A’s know they have to get off to a good start. They know that a slow start can doom their chances of winning the division. They made the playoffs in 2018 and 2019 as a wildcard. They lost each time in the one-game playoff format. If they win the division, they will escape the win or go home syndrome. The time has come to play games that count. Let’s play ball.

Jerry Feitelberg is a beat writer for the Oakland A’s on http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A’s game wrap: Giants beat A’s 4-2 to sweep two-game Bay Bridge Series

Matt Chapman of the Oakland A’s gets ready to take his hacks against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Tuesday night (@Athletics)

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The A’s met the Giants at a deserted Oracle Park Tuesday night. The Giants beat the A’s 4-2 to sweep the two-game series.

The setting was totally surreal. The stands were empty, crowd noise was being piped in to make the players get the sense that fans were in the park. There were no fans and no cutouts in the seats. The Giants said the cutouts will be available on next Tuesday when the Giants return home after playing four games in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. The A’s are off until Friday. They open the 60-game season at home against the Los Angeles Angels.

The A’s manager, Bob Melvin, sent Mike Fiers to the mound to face the Giants. The Giants’ skipper, Gabe Kapler, in his first year as the manager, used nine pitchers. Each pitcher worked just one inning.

The Giants drew first blood in the bottom of the first when Mike Yastrzemski led off with a blast to center field. The A’s tallied their two runs in the top of the second. With the Giants using a four-man outfield and the shift, A’s first baseman laid down a bunt down the third base line.

A’s DH Khris Davis was hit by a pitch and the A’s had two men on with no out. Giants’ pitcher Conner Menez retired Mark Canha and Stephen Piscotty. Chad Pinder, playing second base, Hit a ball that appeared to go into the stands in right centerfield. Two runs scored. The umpires ruled the ball was in play and Pinder stopped at second with a double. Bob Melvin challenged the call.

The replays clearly showed the ball hitting the seats and bouncing back into the field. The review umpire in New York did not overturn the call. The A’s led 2-1. They would not score again.

The Giants tied the game in the bottom of the second on Alex Dickerson’s off-field home run. They added a run in the fourth and one in the sixth. The Giants win 4-2.

The A’s line score was two runs, two hits, and no errors. The Giants’ line was 4 runs, 8 hits, and no errors.

Baseball starts for real for the A’s Friday night. The A’s will be gunning for the AL West title. There will be a preview of the team and predictions on my report on Thursday.

Clippers rough and ready pound Golden State 131-107

from sfgate.com: The Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard (2) takes a jump shot as the Golden State Warriors Eric Paschall (7) on Tuesday night at Chase Center in San Francisco

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Los Angeles Clippers, stunned by their loss to the Lakers last Sunday, pummeled the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors 131-107 Tuesday night at the Chase Center. The Warriors were without Stephen Curry (seasonal flu), Draymond Green (knee) and Kevon Looney (hip).

The W’s also lost Juan Toscano-Anderson in the first few minutes of the game due to an ankle injury. The Clippers, led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, sprinted out to an early lead and never let the Warriors get back into the game. The Clippers overwhelmed the Warriors on both ends of the court.

The Warriors had no defense for the Clippers three point attack. They connected on ten threes in the first half and ten more in the second. The Clippers finished the first period with a nine point advantage 35-26. They blew the game open in the second quarter when the outscored the Warriors 41-22 to finish the first half with a 28-point lead 76-48.

The Clippers continued to put points on the board in the third quarter. The Clippers’ Patrick Beverly, Reggie Jackson, Landy Shamet, and Montrezl Harrell all made threes. The Warriors had no answers. The Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers showed mercy as he pulled Leonard and George from the game. They did not play a minute in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors continued to play hard, and they outscored the Clippers by ten in the period. It was not enough. LA wins 131-107.

Game Notes and stats- With the loss, the Warriors drop to 15-50. The Clippers improved to 44-20.

They moved into second place in the Western Conference one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets. The leading scorer for Golden State was Dragan Bender who finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, and he connected on two threes. Andrew Wiggins had 21 points, and he made three threes. Marquese Chriss finished with a double-double. He had ten points and ten boards.

Jordan Poole had 17, Eric Paschall 12, Ky Bowman 11. The Warriors shot 47% from the floor. The Clippers took 13 more shots than the Warriors. The Clippers shot 50% from the floor and were 20 for 44 from downtown. They out rebounded the W’s 47-35.

The Clippers are 3-0 against the Warriors this season. That has not happened since the 2005-2006 season. It was the 27th time this season that the Clippers have scored more than 120 points in a game. The Warriors meet the Brooklyn Nets at the Chase Center Thursday night. The Nets beat the Lakers Tuesday night 104-102. The game will start at 7:30 pm.

Warriors surprise 76ers 118-114; Golden State posts victory without flu ridden Curry

photo sfgate.com: The Philadelphia 76ers Al Horford holds onto the ball as the Golden State Warriors Andrew Wiggins (22) reaches in to get it loose at Chase Center in San Francisco on Saturday night

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Golden State Warriors hosted the Philadelphia 76ers at the Chase Center Saturday night. The Warriors’ Stephen Curry did not play as he was diagnosed with a case of seasonal flu. Draymond Green continued to rest his sore knee and Kevon Looney was out with a hip injury. The Sixers’ two best players, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were not available.

The Warriors, playing well of late, had hoped to have Curry in the lineup. The Warriors lost a close game to the Toronto Raptors Thursday night. The fans, who have suffered along with the team all season long, were beginning to see a glimmer of hope for next season. The Warriors, down eight points at the end of three quarters, rallied to beat the Sixers 118-114.

The Dubs trailed for most of the game. They trailed the Sixers by two at the half 57-55. The Sixers won the third quarter 33-37 to lead 90-82 after three periods of action.

The Warriors had their work cut out for them. They were able to stop the Sixer attack with an aggressive defense. Damion Lee knocked down a three to put the Warriors ahead 113-111. The Sixers’ Tobias Harris countered with a three of his own to put the Sixers back in the lead. Eric Paschall made with two free throws.

The Sixers missed three consecutive shots. Mychal Mulder made two free throws. “It took until the fourth quarter to really get much traction defensively,” Kerr said. “Philadelphia did a good job beating us inside for the first three quarters . But our guys hung in there and kept the game close. And then the fourth quarter really turned up the defense, and we got a lot of great individual performances, too.”

The Warriors held on to win 118-114. The Warriors are now 15-49 for the season. The Sixers are 38-26 and trail the Indiana Pacers by 1/2 game for the fifth spot in Eastern Conference.

Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors snapped a 10-game home losing streak with the win. They won at the Chase Center for the first time since January 18th. They have won for the third time in the last five games.

The Warriors used nine players in the game. Seven of them were in double figures. Damion Lee led the W’s with 24 points, 6 boards, 3 assists, and he made three threes in eight tries.

Eric Paschall, coming off the bench, tallied 23 points, three rebounds, and six assists. Mychal Mulder, who played the last day of his ten day contract, added 18 points. Marquese Chriss just missed a triple-double.

Chriss recorded 13 points, ten rebounds, and eight assists. Jordan Poole had 11, Dragan Bender ten, and Andrew Wiggins finished with ten. The team shot 55% from the floor. They moved the ball well as they recorded 30 assists. They committed seven turnovers. The Sixers out rebounded them 41-35

The Sixers had six players in double figures. Tobias Harris led the team with 24, Al Horford had 22 points, ten rebounds, and seven assists. Shake Milton had 14, Raul Neto 11. Glenn Robinson and Alec Burks traded to Philadelphia at the trade deadline, returned to the Chase Center with their new team. Robinson tallied 15 points, and Burks added 11.

The Warriors host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night at Chase Center in San Francisco

Curry returns, Warriors play well still lose to Raptors 121-113

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Warriors superstar, Stephen Curry, returned to action after missing 58 games due to a broken hand. His presence on the court electrified the fans.

The Warriors, with the worst record in the NBA, had to play the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors. Many people around the NBA thought the Raptors would not have a good season as their star player, Kawhi Leonard, left the team to play for the LA Clippers.

Under the tutelage of their coach, Nick Nurse, the Raptors own the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors entered the game with a record of 43-18. Stars such as Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, and Pascal Siakam are the new nucleus of the Raptors. Neither Marc Gasol or Fred Van Vleet was available to play Thursday night. The W’s Draymond Green and Kevon Looney did not play.

The Raptors entered the game as prohibitive favorites. The Warriors, on the other hand, felt that they could compete with the champs. They had won two of the last three they played, and Curry was back. Head coach Steve Kerr said that Curry would play about 25 to 28 minutes.

The Warriors had a 9-7 lead early in the first quarter.  Curry played for about six minutes and did not score. The Raptors led 18-12 about midway through the period. The Warriors stayed with them for the rest of the period. Eric Paschall, Damion Lee, and Mychal Mulder led the Warriors offense. The quarter finished with Toronto leading 32-27.

In the second quarter, the Raptors increased the lead to 10 39-29. Curry scored his first points of the night when he made a bucket and was fouled on the play. The Raptors, behind Norman Powell’s hit hand, increased the lead to 14 49-35. Curry hit a three-point shot that sent the crowd into delirium. The Warriors clawed their way back.

The Warriors behind Curry and Damion Lee cut the lead to five 56-51. The Raptors went on a 7-0 run, but Andrew Wiggins knocked a three to end the second quarter. The Raptors won the period 30-28 and led the W’s 62-55 at the end of the first 24 minutes of play.  Steph Curry, in his 14 minutes of playing time, recorded 11 points, three rebounds, four assists, and he connected on two three-point shots Damion Lee had 12, Marquese Chriss nine, Eric Paschall eight, and Andrew Wiggins six. Toronto’s Norman Powell knocked down 17 points in the second quarter and finished the half with 23. Kyle Lowry was second with ten.

In the third quarter, The Warriors ambushed the Raptors. Over the past few seasons, the Warriors owned the third quarter. This season, it has been the reverse. Opponents have killed them this year. Thursday night, the Warriors looked like the Warriors of old. They won the quarter 33-27 to finish trailing 89-88, heading into the final stanza.

Damion Lee and Curry led the charge. Curry was making magic for Golden State once again. He made behind-the-back passes to his teammates for scores. He made another three and drove to the basket. The Warriors had the lead 85-83. Toronto regained the lead as Powell knocked down two -three-pointers to put them back in the lead.

In the fourth quarter, it sounded like the days of old at the Oracle Arena. The fans were chanting “Warriors, Warriors.” The Warriors did the best they could, but Toronto started to pull away. The Warriors tied the game at 95.

Toronto forced three straight turnovers, and they increased the lead to five 100-95. The Raptors were leading 111-102 when Curry re-entered the game. The Warriors rallied to close the deficit to two 113-111. The Raptors’ Pascal Siakam scored to make it 115-111.

Curry countered with a bucket to make it 115-113. The fans were chanting MVP, MVP, MVP. The Warriors would not score again. The fans, with 1:34 to play, were on their feet as they gave the Warriors a rousing, standing ovation. It is rare to have fans shaking the house, knowing the team is about to lose. The Raptors scored the last six points of the game to win 121-113.

Game Notes and Stats- With the loss, the Warriors went 14-48.  Curry was on the floor for 27 minutes. He scored 23 points, had seven rebounds, and seven assists. He made three threes in ten tries. Damion Lee had 23 points. five boards, three assists, and he made five threes.

Wiggins tallied 21 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and three threes. Marquese Chriss had a double-double with 17 points and 12 boards. Eric Paschall finished with 16 points, four rebounds, and eight assists. The Warriors shot 42% from the floor. They connected on 14 threes in 50 attempts. They moved the ball well as they recorded 34 assists. The W’s outrebounded the Raptors 52-39.

Norman Powell had a career-high 37 points to lead the Raptors. Kyle Lowry had 26, Siakam, 15, Og Anunoby 14, Serge Ibaka 13, and Terrence Davis 10. It was the seventh win in a row for Toronto.

The Warriors host the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night at the Chase Center. The game will start at 5:30 pm.