Big day from Ahmed sparks D-Backs past Oakland

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Arizona Diamondbacks enjoyed a big night at the plate from shortstop Nick Ahmed, as the D-Backs stretched their winning streak to six games with a 10-1 thumping of the Oakland Athletics Tuesday in downtown Phoenix.

Ahmed homered and drove in five of Arizona’s runs. He cranked a three-run home run off A’s starter Frankie Montas (2-2) in the first inning and added a two-run base hit in the second. Montas also surrendered a home run to Kole Calhoun.

The Diamondbacks batted around in each of the first two innings.

Arizona starter Luke Weaver (1-4) picked up his first win, surrendering one run on three hits while retiring the last 10 hitters he faced before turning things over to the bullpen.

Diamondbacks relievers held the Athletics to four hits and logged 13 strikeouts.

Montas had not pitched since his Aug. 8 against Houston. He was scratched from his last scheduled start last Friday against San Francisco.

Montas, who allowed nine runs on six hits, gave up the game’s first run on a wild pitch, and was pulled after his fourth walk loaded the bases for Arizona with two out. Lou Trivino took over and Ahmed greeted him with a two-run single, giving the D-Backs an 8-1 lead.

Oakland LHP A.J. Puk may need a couple more bullpen sessions as he attempts to return from a shoulder injury. Puk threw 30 pitches at the A’s alternate site Monday and is expected to throw again on Wednesday.

The Athletics return home to host the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Lefthander Jesus Luzardo (1-0, 4.79) is on the mound for Oakland, facing the D-Backs’ righthander Merrill Kelly (3-1, 1.71).

Reign take down Barracuda with late goal in the third period in 3-1 victory photo

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif- The third period has been a period of woe for the San Jose Barracuda this season. It proved to be that once again as the Onatrio Reign scored three unanswered goals in the final 20 minutes for a 3-1 victory over their Pacific Division rival on Saturday evening at SAP Center.

The two teams are going in opposite directions heading into the All-Star break. Ontario is riding a three-game winning streak. While San Jose has dropped their past three games.

San Jose (14-22-1-2) drew first blood in the first ten minutes of the first period. Sasha Chmelevski scored an unassisted goal at the 7:47 mark for his eighth goal of the season.

The Reign outshot the Barracuda 12-10 in the opening frame as they had the only power play opportunity but weren’t able to cash in.

The second period was scoreless as San Jose controlled play in the middle frame as they outshot Ontario 13-9 while killing two penalties in the period.

Ontario (20-18-4-1) started their comeback early in the third period. Paul LaDue scored his fifth goal of the season at the 3:22 mark. Sheldon Rempal recorded his 12th assist on the season.

San Jose had a chance to regain the lead when Brett Sutter went into the sinbin at the 12:38 mark for slashing. However the Reign penalty kill, led by Reign goalie Matthew Villalta, was successful killing off Sutter’s penalty.

Ontario scored the game winning goal with 1:08 left in the game when Sutter set up Tobias Bjornfot who snapped a wrist shot past ‘Cuda goalie Zachary Sawchenko for his third goal of the season.

Matt Luff iced the game for Ontario with an empty net goal with 20 seconds left to seal the deal for the Reign. Mikey Anderson was credited with an assist on Luff’s fifth goal of the season.

Villata (4-3-1) made 30 saves on 31 shots to earn his fourth win of the season. Sawchenko (3-2-1) finished with 28 saves on 30 shots in suffering the defeat.

GAME NOTES: San Jose was 0-for-3 on the power play. Ontario was also 0-for-3.

The three stars of the game were 1) Bjornfot  2) Chmelevski  3) LaDue

The announced attendance was 5,718.

UP NEXT: The Barracuda return after the All-Star break on Friday 1/31 as they travel down to San Diego to take on the Gulls at 7:00pm at Pachenga Arena.

Warriors win again defeat Minnesota Timberwolves 113-104

By Jerry Feitelberg

San Francisco- The Golden State Warriors won their second game in a row Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-104. It was the first time this season that the Warriors have won two straight. The Timberwolves, who started the season 10-8, extended their losing streak to 11 games. Minnesota was without the services of the best player, Karl-Anthony Towns, due to an injury.

Both teams played a lousy first quarter. The score was tied 22-22 at the end of 12 minutes. The Warriors shot 28% from the floor while the Timberwolves were slightly better at 33%. Neither team played well.

The Timberwolves grabbed an early lead to start the second quarter. The Warriors were able to even the score at 31 and again at 35. It was at this point in the period when the Warriors got their act together to go on a 20-3 run to lead 55-38. The W’s finished the first half with 14-point lead 57-43. D’Angelo Russell led the team with 13, Alex Burks had 10, and Willie Cauley-Stein kicked in with 10, too. Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague led the T-Wolves attack with 12 and 10.

The Warriors extended the lead to 21 early in the third quarter. They were leading 80-58 when Minnesota went on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to fifteen. Alec Burks made a two-point bucket, and the W’s finished the third quarter with a comfortable 84-67 advantage.

As basketball fans know, teams have to play for all 48 minutes if they hope to win. Even though a team has a big lead, they have to be careful to not let the other side get back into the game. The Warriors had lost several games as they let down in the final period. Minnesota gave them a tussle as the W’s started to make mistakes, and that let Minnesota get within six points. The Timberwolves went on a 16-5 run to make it 89-83. The Warriors made 8 turnovers in the quarter. The T-Wolves cashed in. The Warriors met the challenge as Russell, Burks, and Damion Lee all connected on threes to thwart the T-Wolves. The W’s built the lead back to 10 and held on to win 113-104.

Game Notes- The Warriors improved to 7-24 while Minnesota fell to 10-19. The Warriors’ Glenn Robinso III was out of action with a sprained ankle. The W’s recalled guard Ky Bowman from the G-League to take his spot on the roster.

The Warriors had four starters in double figures Monday night. D’Angelo Russell paced the team with 30 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and he connected on 5 threes in 11 tries. Burks was second with 25 points and 8 assists. He made 2 threes. Damion Lee had 14  points, 7 boards, and 3 assists. He knocked down 3 threes. Willey Cauley-Stein had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Draymond Green’s line was 9 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. Eric Paschall rerturned to action and tallied 8 points in 8 minutes of playing time.

The Timberwolves had two starters in double figures. Andrew Wiggins led them with 22. Gorgui Dieng added 11. Bench players Jordan McLaughlin had 19, Jeff Teague 12, and Keita Bates-Diop had 10.

The Warriors meet the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Christmas Day, at the Chase Center. The game will start at 2 pm PT.

Bumgarner to the Diamondbacks

Photo credit: @MLB

By Jeremy Kahn

What is that old adage, all things must come to an end and an era came to the end with the San Francisco Giants.

In this day of free agency and big bucks, Madison Bumgarner took his glove and left for a division rival.

No, Giants fans, he did not travel about 350 miles south on interstate 5 to the Los Angeles Dodgers; however, the Hickory, North Carolina native signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for a reported $85 million over for five years.

The Giants did not go without a fight in re-signing Bumgarner to a long-term deal, as the two sides were talking as late as Wednesday in getting a deal done. The deal that the Giants put out there was five years at $85.5 million according to some reports.

With Bumgarner gone, the Giants staff for 2020 will be different indeed; however, it will include holdovers Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto. Also in the mix to join the starting rotation will be Andrew Suarez, Dereck Rodriguez, Tyler Anderson and newly signed Kevin Gausman, who the Giants signed during the Winter Meetings.

It will be a different scene in the Giants clubhouse when the 2020 season commences, as Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt are the only three players remaining from the 2014 World Championship team that defeated the Kansas City Royals in seven games.

Bumgarner will best be remembered for his World Series heroics in 2010, when as a 21-year old, he shutout the Texas Rangers in Game Four of the World Series, who can ever forget his postseason run in 2014 that started with the Wild Card game at PNC Park, Game Five of the World Series and finally those final five innings against the Royals in Game Seven on two days rest.

Despite nine healthy players, Warriors fall to the Pelicans 108-100

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By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors’ miseries continued Sunday night as the team, who has just nine players available, lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 108-100 at Smoothie King Center.

Warriors starting point guard, D’Angelo Russell, suffered a sprained right thumb Friday night in the loss to Boston. Russell will be out for the next two weeks. As a result, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had to redo his starting lineup. He had Draymond Green start at the point guard position. He was joined in the backcourt by Alec Burks. Eric Paschall and Glenn Robinson III started at forward, and Willie Cauley-Stein was at the center position.

The Warriors were competitive in the first quarter. They trailed 26-23. The Pelicans’ JJ Redick led the Pelicans to the three-point advantage. The Pelicans outscored the Warriors 29-26 in the second period to finish the first half of play leading 55-49.

The Pelicans continued to control the game as they built a 17-point lead. The Warriors got things going as they cut the deficit to three 77-74 early in the fourth quarter. The Warriors did not have enough firepower in the lineup to overtake the Pelicans down the stretch. The Pelicans held on to win 108-100.

Game Notes and Stats: The star of the night for Golden State was rookie Eric Paschall. The young man, who played college basketball at Vilanova, continued to impress as he tallied 30 points and had 7 rebounds. The backup point guard, Ky Bowman, knocked down 19. He was 3 for 7 from 3-point range. Bowman had 4 assists in the game. Marquese Chriss, coming off the bench, had 10 points and 7 boards. Glenn Robinson had 14 points and 6 rebounds. Draymond Green had a tough night as a point guard. Green scored seven, had 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. He was also charged with his fourth technical foul of the season.

The Pelicans had six players in double figures. JJ Redick led his team with 26 points. Redick connected on six three-pointers. The other guard, Jrue Holiday, had trouble scoring throughout most of the game. Holiday caught fire late and ended with 22 for the night. Nickeil Alexander-Walker knocked down 19. He made 5 threes. Nicolo Melli had 16. E’Tuan Moore had 10. Six-foot-11 inch Jaxson Hayes, making his first start in the NBA, had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. He also blocked three shots.

After the game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had this to say:

“There are some funky lineups that are out there because of our injuries, and we’re short on shooting … If you can’t spread the floor shooting, you’ve got to be able to play with pace and make all the cuts. You’ve got to play faster. You have to get stops defensively so you can run.”

“I didn’t think we did a very good job of making New Orleans guard,” Kerr added. “We just kind of took quick shots.”

With the loss, the Warriors fell to 2-12. The Pelicans improved to 4-9.

Up Next: The Warriors meet the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night. Game time will be at 5 pm PST.

Not Here, Not Tonight: Slovis, Trojans overwhelm Bears in 41-17 win

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, CA–The USC Trojans dealt with adversity early, then seamlessly eased into cruise control, whipping the Cal Bears 41-17 Saturday night.

Freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis threw 406 yards and four touchdowns in a game that was tied 10-10 late in the second quarter, but quickly turned for the Trojans at that point.  Slovis connected with Michael Pittman Jr. for a 33-yard touchdown pass 43 seconds prior to halftime. Then on the opening drive of the second half Slovis hooked up with Drake London for an 8-yard score that made it 24-10.

That sequence highlighted the theme for the evening: Cal’s highly-regarded secondary was no match for the Trojans’ receivers and the crafty Slovis.

“Credit the wideouts,” USC coach Clay Helton said. “They did an elite job when they got in one-on-one situations, making big plays for the kid. When you have four touchdowns and zero interceptions, that’s a hell of a day.”

Slovis repeatedly bought time in and out of the pocket in order to make big plays downfield. London, Pittman and Amon-Ra St. Brown each had pass plays for 45 yards or more. USC would go on to reel off 31 consecutive points, turning the game into a rout.

“Our guys wanted to compete against them. I love that about them,” said head coach Justin Wilcox. “But you have to give them credit. The matchups are as tough as it’s been. I’ve seen great receivers in this league, but not a collection like that.”

While USC made highlight reel plays, the Bears struggled to keep their best players on the field. First, Christopher Brown was lost for the evening when USC’s Michael Rector delivered a vicious hit as the Bears were driving. Upon further review, Rector was hit with a targeting penalty and ejected from the game.

Chase Garbers returned to action after missing five games, and appeared sharp, as well as afforded snaps to ease into a competitive ballgame. But that scenario ended abruptly when the sophomore quarterback injured his shoulder in the second quarter and did not return.

Reserve inside linebacker Evan Tattersall was injured during a punt coverage play in which he was pushed backwards and suffered an apparent neck injury. Tattersall remained down on the field for several minutes and was taken to a local hospital. After the game, Wilcox reported that Tattersall had movement in all of his extremities and was expected to be released from the hospital.

On defense, senior safety Ashtyn Davis suffered a knee injury and did not finish the game.

The Bears have not defeated USC in Berkeley since 2003. They remain one win from Bowl eligibility with games remaining at Stanford and at UCLA.

The 122nd Big Game is up first next Saturday at 1pm.

Warriors lose to the Timberwolves 125-119 in OT

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By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors gave the Minnesota Timberwolves all they could handle Friday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. D’Angelo Russell returned to action after missing three games with an ankle injury. Russell paced the Warriors’ offense with a career-high 52 points. It was not enough as the T-Wolves prevailed in overtime 125-119.

The Warriors finished the first quarter with a 31-29 advantage. Russell led the offense, and the Warriors played sound defense. They finished the first half leading 61-60.

The Warriors continued to play well in the third quarter. They outscored the T-Wolves by five to lead 86-80. The Warriors were able to maintain the lead until late in the fourth quarter. They led 110-106 with less than a minute to play. The T-Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns was fouled, and he knocked down the two free throws to make it a two-point game 110-108. T-Wolves’ coach, Ryan Saunders had his team put on a full-court press as the Warriors tried to get the ball into the forecourt. The T-Wolves’ Robert Covington was able to tie up Alec Burks to force a jump ball. Covington won the jump, and the T-Wolves gave the ball to Andrew Wiggins, who would make a layup to tie the game with 5.6 seconds left. The Warriors failed to score, and the game went to overtime.

The Warriors continued to stay close to the lead behind D’Angelo Russell’s hot hand. They stayed close as they trailed 120-119. The T-Wolves made a three to lead 123-119. The Warriors would not score again. Minnesota added to more points to ice the 125-119 overtime win.

Game Notes: The Warriors’ record dropped to 2-7. It was the first time since 2004-05 season. Minnesota improved to 5-3.

D’Angelo Russell finished the night with 52 points. He scored 21 of the last 23 points scored by the Warriors. Alec Burks, coming off the bench, had 18. Rookie Eric Paschall had 12. No other Warrior was in double figures.

Minnesota was led by Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins scored 40 to help his team to the win. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Robert Covington had 17, Jake Layman, 14, and Josh Okogie also had 14.

Up Next: The Warriors face the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night in OKC. The game will start at 5 pm PT.

Rockets knock off the young Warriors 129-112

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By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors started a three-game road trip at the Toyota Center against the Houston Rockets Wednesday night.

The Warriors, still short-handed and inexperienced, started the five players that upset the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night. The Rockets, lusting for blood after being eliminated by the Warriors in the playoffs last year, showed the five new players they have a long way to go. The Rockets easily won 129-112.

The Warriors gave the Rockets a tussle in the first quarter. They finished the period trailing 30-29. They tied the game at 36 early in the second quarter. The Rockets started to pull away and finished the first half leading 63-52. The Warriors shot just 38.8% from the floor.

The Rockets stopped the Warriors’ attack in the third period. The Rockets built up the lead to 23. The Warriors played better but ended the period trailing by 15. The Rockets kept the pressure on, and the Warriors fell 129-112.

The Warriors lost for the sixth time in eight games. The Rockets improved to 5-3.

The Warriors’ leading scorer was Alec Burks with 28. Burks did not start, but he played well. He made three threes in 8 tries and had 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Eric Paschall continued to play well for Golden State. Eric led the starters with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Glenn Robinson had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Damian Lee and Omari Spellman were in double figures with 13 each. Jordan Poole and Ky Bowman each had 8.

The Rockets had six players in double figures. Harden had 36. Danuel House, Jr, had 17, Clint Capela had 19 points and 16 boards, Russell Westbrook, 18, and Austin Rivers, coming off the bench had 12. Rivers made four threes in four tries.

Draymond Green did not accompany the team on the road trip. He is recovering from an injury to his index finger on his left hand. D’Angelo Russell is with the team and may play in the next game or two. Kevon Looney will be out at least another two weeks with a nerve condition. He will be evaluated at that time. Alen Smailagic is also recovering from an ankle issue, and he may be back soon.

The Warriors travel to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday night. The game time is at 4:30 pm PT.

Young Warriors, behind Paschall’s tremendous effort, down Trail Blazers 127-118

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By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors led by three rookies — Eric Paschall, Ky Bowman, and Jordan Poole — and stunned the Portland Trailblazer Monday night at the Chase Center by a score of 127-118. It was the Warriors’ first win at the Chase Center this season.

The Warriors were again without the services of Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, and Kevon Looney. Steph Curry is out for at least three months. Klay Thompson is out for the season. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s starting lineup had three rookies and two veterans, Willie Cauley-Stein and Glen Robinson.

The Warriors, who played well for most of the game Saturday against Charlotte for three quarters, were able to put together a complete game as they stunned Portland. The Warriors played all four quarters with a lot of energy. They played well on offense as they recorded 28 assists. They improved on defense. They outrebounded Portland 47-44. The Warriors attacked the basket all night long. They had 36 free throws and made 33.

The Warriors’ player of the game was Eric Paschall. The young man that played his college ball at Villanova turned 23 on Monday. Paschall, who won a National Championship with Villanova, was the 41st player picked in the 2019 NBA Draft and showed the NBA that he came ready to play. In his seventh NBA game, Paschall tallied 36 points and had 13 rebounds for his first career double-double. Also, he knocked down four three-point shots. He scored 17 points in the first quarter and had his third game in the league with more than 20 points. His 36 points were the most scored by a rookie this year.

The Warriors and Blazers played a fast-paced and entertaining first quarter. The Warriors led most of the way. The most significant lead they had was 14-7. The teams tied at 22 and again at 27. Portland led 30-29 near the end of the period. The Warriors went on a 5-0 run to finish leading 34-30.

The Blazers outscored the Warriors 31-26 in the second quarter to lead 63-60 at the end of the first 24 minutes of action. Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside pace the Blazers with 17 points and 14 points. Eric Paschall finished the half with 19 points. Rookie point guard Ky Bowman, who played his college ball at Boston College, knocked down 10.

Portland increased the lead to 65-60 to start the third quarter. The Warriors responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead 68-65. It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the third quarter. Eric Paschall, Willie Cauley-Stein, Damian Lee, and Ky Bowman played with a lot of energy, and the Warriors refused to wilt. The Warriors won the period 27-20 and led 87-83 with 12 minutes left to play.

The Blazers, who probably has the best backcourt in the league now that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are on the shelves, fought back and tied the game at 99. Alec Burks made a couple of crucial three-point plays. Eric Paschall was a force on offense as well as on defense. Eric scored a bucket after fighting for a rebound to put the Warriors up 117-105. Jordan Poole and Damian Lee played exceptionally well. The Blazers double-teamed Lee every time he handled the ball, trying to force turnovers. They were successful a couple of times, but they fouled Damian several times. Lee made 8 free throws in nine attempts. The Warriors refused to fold, and they ran out the clock with a stunning victory over the Blazers.

Game Notes: As mentioned above, Eric Paschall had the biggest night of his young career. In just seven games, he has shown that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. The Dubs had six players in double figures. Paschall led the way with 36. Ky Bowman had 19, Jordan Poole and Damian Lee each had 16. Alec Burns, coming off the bench, added 13, and Cauley-Stein had 10.

Damian Lillard, who is from Oakland, led the Blazers with 39. he hit five threes in 13 tries. His backcourt partner, C.J.McCollum, finished with 14. Big Hassan Whiteside, who killed the Warriors when he was with the Miami Heat, had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers’ bench players, Anfernee Simons and Mario Hezonjka, had 14 and 11.

The Blazers shot almost 45% from the floor. The Warriors were better as they shot 48.8%. The Blazers hit 13 threes while the W’s connected 10 times on 26 attempts. The Blazers committed six turnovers. The Warriors turned the ball over 10 times.

Up Next: The Warriors improved to 2-5 while Portland dropped to 3-4. The Warriors travel to Houston to face the Rockets Wednesday at 4:30 pm PT.

Warriors play better, but still lose to Spurs 127-110

Photo credit: @warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors received the news that their superstar, Steph Curry, had surgery on his broken hand Friday. Curry will be re-evaluated in three months. He might not be able to return until at least February.

The Warriors’ Friday night opponent was the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs lost for the first time last night in Los Angeles to the Clippers. Spurs head coach Greg Popovich wanted his team to rebound, and they did just that as they downed the young Warriors 127-110 at the Chase Center. The game was closer than the score would indicate. The Warriors held their own until late in the third quarter when the Spurs were able to pull away.

The Warriors played a very competitive first half. They lost the first and second quarters by one point. They trailed 57-55 at the end of the first 23 minutes of action. D’Angelo Russell led the team with 19 points. Jordan Poole and Alec Burks helped keep the Warriors in the game. The Spurs were led by bench players Rudy Gay and Patty Mills. Mills had 16 and Gay added 10.

The Spurs broke it open late in the third period. They outscored the Warriors 40-31. LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored eight in the first half, scored the Spurs’ first 10 points in the third quarter. The Warriors stayed close, but the veteran Spurs team pulled away to lead 97-86. The Warriors, who were led by Jordan Poole, Damian Lee, and D’Angelo Russell, could not close the gap. The Spurs cruised to a 127-110 win.

With the loss, the Warriors dropped to 1-4. The Spurs improved to 4-1. D’Angelo Russell tallied 30 points for Golden State. Russell also had 8 assists and was 3 for 11 from three-point range. Jordan Poole knocked down 20. The young man from Michigan made four threes in seven tries. Damian Lee had 16, and Alec Burks pitched in with 14.

The Spurs were led by Patty Mills, who finished with 31 points. Mills, who played college basketball at St. Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., made six threes in nine tries. Aldridge had 22, Rudy Gay had 16, Bryn Forbes had 14, and DeMar DeRozan had 13.

The Spurs took nine more shots from the floor than the Warriors. They shot 47.3% while the Warriors shot a respectable 46.4%. The Spurs also made more free throws than the Warriors. They made 26 freebies compared to the Warriors’ 19.

The Warriors were outrebounded 52-39, but they recorded 25 assists. They had good ball movement and were able to find the open man. They also handled the ball better and were able to reduce the number of turnovers. They had just 11 turnovers Friday night.

The Warriors return to action Saturday night at the Chase Center. They will be hosting the visiting Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets will be led by former Boston Celtic, Terry Rozier, who will be their point guard. Their record is 2-3 so far this year. The game will start at 5:30 pm.