NASCAR Sonoma 2022 Toyota/Save Mart 350 series: Suarez finds his groove, wins at Sonoma

Nothing fine but the wine and a win at the NASCAR Sonoma Toyota/Save Mart 350 series as race car driver Daniel Suarez enjoys a post race beverage at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma on Sun Jun 12, 2022 (AP News photo)

Suarez finds his groove, wins at Sonoma

By Tom Zulewski

SONOMA – After 194 career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series – including just two top-5 finishes in 2022 – Daniel Suarez was a driver in search of any good break he could find. When the third stage of the second road course race of the season was finished, Suarez earned his own slice of history.

Leading for 47 of the final 55 laps, Suarez won the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 12. The driver of the No. 99 Chievrolet for Trackhouse Racing earned hi s first Cup victory, became the second driver (Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007) to win his first race on a road course, and became just the fifth foreign-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup race.

Suarez beat runner-up Chris Buescher – who returned to the No. 17 car after missing last week’s Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway due to COVID protocols – by nearly four full seconds.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Suarez said of his initial reaction to the moment after taking the checkered flag. “I’ve been working very hard for this moment not only for myself, but for my whole team. I’m very lucky to have great people around me.”

One of Suarez’ biggest supporters is his owner at Trackhouse Racing, Justin Marks. Marks had the utmost confidence that a breakthrough and celebration in Victory Lane would happen.

“Daniel checked a lot of boxes for us right away,” Marks said. “He’s an experienced Cup driver and he’s won when he’s been in position to win with his XFINITY championship (2016) and his truck wins. He’s had a chip on his shoulder and wanted to prove he belonged in the Cup series.”

When he took the lead from Buescher as Stage 3 began, Suarez was finally able to crush the chip and leave no doubt he belongs in NASCAR’s top series. The only time Suarez wasn’t at the front of the 36-car field came when Brad Keselowski led for a three-lap stretch from Lap 82 through 84.

A debris caution allowed Suarez to move back in front, and he stayed there over the final 26 laps to secure the win as his red-shirt supporters cheered loudly from the grandstands.

With teammate Ross Chastain already in the win column from the EchoPark Automotive Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in March, the confidence had more than enough carryover for Suarez, who qualified 8th for the Toyota/SaveMart 350.

“We came here with a lot of road-course confidence,” Suarez said. “We didn’t have the best car today, but I felt like we made the right calls and the results showed that.”

Suarez gave additional credit to team engineer Jose Velasco, who wasn’t able to be at Sonoma due to illness.

“He called me crying,” Suarez said of Velasco, who was at home in Mexico City. “He’s a big part of this team.”

In the final stretch that gave Suarez the win, no words were necessary.

“”I just tried to stay calm,” he said. “I wanted to do my thing and didn’t want too much noise on the radio. I was controlling what I could control, and fi the caution came out, I was going to fight again.”

After Buescher, Michael McDowell finished third, while Kevin Harvick and Austin Cindric completed the top five. The race had four cautions for 14 laps, and the winning average speed was 78.008 mph.

The NASCAR Cup Series is off for Father’s Day and will return to racing June 26 at Nashville SuperSpeedway.

154th Belmont Stakes winner Mo Donegal’s exciting victory a 5-2 favorite

Mo Donegal (6), with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. up, crosses the finish line to win the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes horse race on Sat Jun 10, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

The Belmont Stakes favorite, Mo Donegal, won the 154th running of the race on Saturday evening with an official time of 2:28:28.

Mo Donegal entered as a 5-2 favorite, and initially trailed We The People, who entered at 7-2. We The People lead the pack for roughly the first mile but fell to fourth place. Mo Donegal was in the middle and Skippylongstocking was second and trying to take the lead. But Mo Donegal surged from fifth place to first to take the crown.

It was his Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher’s fourth time winning the Belmont Stakes. Pletcher won Belmont in 2007 with Rags to Riches, with Palace Malice in 2013 and with Tapwrit in 2017.

In addition to winning with Mo Donegal, Pletcher’s other trainee Nest came in second place.

Owner Mike Repole said “this is my Derby.”

“This has been a dream that I’ve had for 40 years,” said Repole. “This is the biggest goal I had in my racing life, and I just accomplished it, and I ran 1-2.”

The Belmont betting favorite has won the race more than 42% of the time in the history of the running.

“I’m always going to be Mike from Queens,” Repole said. “This is New York’s biggest race, and to win it here, with family, friends, I’m sort of overwhelmed.”

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike came in sixth place. Saturday was the first time that three different horses won the Triple Crown races in four straight years.

Here are the Belmont Stakes results and payouts:

1 – Mo Donegal WIN: $7.20 PLACE: $3.80 SHOW: $3.00 2 – Nest PLACE: $5.30 SHOW: $4.10 3 – Skippylongstocking SHOW: $5.60

Finishing order: 

  1. Mo Donegal
  2. Nest
  3. Skippylongstockin
  4. We the People
  5. Creative Minister
  6. Rich Strike
  7. Barber Road
  8. Golden Glider

He Was A Giant (Hot Dog)? Willie Montanez 1975-76 by Tony the Tiger Hayes

Former San Francisco Giant first baseman Willie Montanez who played first for the Giants at Candlestick Park during 1975-76 is the subject of Tony the Tiger’s He was a Giant feature (file photo from Under The Radar Sports)

He Was A Giant (Hot Dog)?

Willie Montanez – 1B – 1975-76 – # 22

He Was A Giant?

Philadelphia sports columnist Bill Conlin once wrote the following about a rangy former San Francisco center fielder:

“Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third by Garry Maddox.”

Meanwhile, another sage baseball mind once had this to say about the animated first baseman the Giants acquired from Phillies in exchange for Maddox in 1975:

“There isn’t enough mustard in the ball park to cover Willie Montanez.”

While Maddox was a defensive leading man, Montanez was a storied showboat.

Whenever a ballpark vendor cried out “ hey hot dog!”, the Puerto Rican infielder, who played the game with a lot of relish, would turn and ask “que paso?

Though the term has not had much play in recent years, “hot dog” was the old school appellation used to describe players who liked to show over the top flair.

While some of today’s ball players show pizazz with the occasional bat flip or fist pump, few show boastful exuberance on a daily basis like former colorful players such as Babe Ruth, Satchel Paige, Luis Tiant, Jimmy Piersall, Pasqual Perez or former Giants fan favorite Tito Fuentes.

But Montanez, was baseball’s most colorful and consistent frankfurter in spikes.

On defense, Willie swiped at pop flies as if he were literally trying to swat flys.

As he approached the plate to hit he twirled his Louisville Slugger as if he were fronting a marching band at the Rose Parade.

After striking out he would distally flick his bat away as if it were defective.

Montanez’s sideways ambling home run jog approximated a crab casually strolling the beach.

For fans, Montanez was a hoot to watch. But he was hardly exclusively adored.

Not everyone – including a few of his teammates –

“Hot dog” was one of the tamer phrases used to describe Montanez. But he didn’t seem to mind one bit.

“I don’t care what they call me,” Montanez once said. “That’s my style and I can’t change, even if I wanted to. Sure, I hear a lot of stuff yelled at me, but it don’t bother me.”

Montanez played for San Francisco during arguably the most trying time in Orange & Black franchise history.

During Montanez’s mid-1970s tenure by the Bay, the club flailed aimlessly in post-Mays era fog.

As Montanez performed a matador impression with his bat and caught balls between his legs without a care as if he was on loan from Ringling Bros., the Orange & Black was going bankrupt and nearly ended up moving to Toronto.

And while he was outwardly showing zeal for the game, inside Montanez was hating life as a Giant.

The astroturf was too hard, Candlestick was too cold and the City was too far his home base of Puerto Rico.

Not surprisingly his uniform number was “Too-Too”, make that “22.”

So Willie’s life as a Giant did not last long – 195 games – but fans got an eyeful while it lasted.

Why Was He a Giant?

Montanez was acquired by San Francisco in exchange for center fielder Maddox in a straight up deal with Philadelphia on May 4, 1975.

History would soon reveal the swap to be one of the best in Fightins’ history. The stylish Maddox became a perennial All-Star and a lineup stabilizer who would win eight consecutive gold glove awards in Liberty Town.

But the early returns had the advantage in the Giants court. At the time of the trade, the popular and peppy Montanez was batting .331 with Philly, while the introverted Maddox was hitting sub-.200 for the Orange & Black.

Maddox was once the mod-looking signal caller of the most agile outfield trios in baseball (flanked by Gary Matthews and Bobby Bonds in left and right respectively).

Though the Vietnam War veteran had fine season in 1974 (.284, 8, 50), it was a significant regression from his breakout 1973 campaign. The financially flailing Giants responded with a slash to Garry’s pay. Not surprisingly Maddox asked for a trade.

When the a dour faced Garry stumbled out of the gate in ‘75, the Giants decided it was time to cut ties with the adroit athlete who grew up idolizing Willie Mays.

With Oakland born product Von Joshua waiting in the wings to step into center field, the Giants – also, desperately looking for a gate attraction – sprung the deal for the spirited Montanez.

The proficient Montanez would give the Giants there first legitimate starting first baseman since they traded Willie McCovey two years previously.

“Montanez gives us hitting, a good glove, speed and durability,” explained Giants manager Wes Westrum. “The significance of this deal is quite simple. “We wanted Willie for his bat and he will hit fifth between Gary Matthews and Chris Speier.”

Despite Maddox’s soon to be evident dividends, shipping the popular Montanez out of dodge after five very good seasons with Philly was a very difficult choice for Phillies general manager Bill Giles.

The veteran front office man got chocked announcing the Montanez swap.

“I was in tears; he wasn’t… Oh, Willie cried a little bit at first, but then he was very calm and cool and collected. I love the guy,” an emotional Giles told Philly scribes the day of the trade.

Giles was seemingly ashamed to be sending his loyal bat twirler to a destination as abhorrent as Candlestick Park.

“I thought he’d get very emotional, especially when he found out he was going to San Francisco. Nobody wants to play there,” the GM somberly modulated.

Before & After

Montanez is one of the more well-traveled players in baseball history. In 14 big league seasons Montanez played for nine big league clubs, including twice for Philadelphia. He also played a significant amount of time in the Cardinals farm system.

Montanez had yet to formally graduate from high school when he was signed by the Cardinals in 1965. He was just 17.

Surprisingly he found himself in the big leagues the following spring when he was plucked out of the Redbirds nest by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft. But an obviously overmatched Montanez did not remain long in California and was returned to the St. Louis system after failing to bat safely in eight Halos contests.

Montanez eventually resurfaced in the bigs again in 1970 with Philadelphia. He began 1971 as a starting outfielder for the Phillies and belted a career high 30 home runs with 99 RBI for the last place club. Montanez was runner up to Altlanta’s Earl Williams for NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1971.

It was in ‘71 that reports of Willie’s hot dog attitude became a regular addendum to his bio.

His bat flips and demonstrative display of dissatisfaction after strike outs rubbed opponents and umpires alike in a very wrong way.

“I know it’s around the league, Montanez is a big hot dog,” said Phillies manager Frank Lucchesi that season. “But my answer to that is I’ll take 25 hot dogs (if they play like him.)”

After five straight seasons of finishing last or next to last in the NL East, the Phillies began to come together in 1974 – with young talent such as Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Larry Bowa blossoming around superstar starting pitcher Steve Carlton. The team moved up to third place that season.

Despite putting up good numbers with the Giants, Montanez was never really satisfied with being on the west coast. He groused publicly about Candlestick Park and being separated from his family. Prior to the 1976 season Willie refused to sign a contract extension and requested a trade.

He was dealt later that season to Atlanta in a six-player swap that netted the Giants future long-time starting corner infielder Darrel Evans.

Montanez enjoyed a nice two-year run with the Braves where he became an All -Star in 1977. Montanez saw significant playing time in the Mid-Summer Classic played at Yankees Stadium. As a mid-game replacement for starting first baseman Steve Garvey, Montanez batted 0-for-2.

Montanez also made career stops with the Mets, Rangers, Padres, Expos and Pirates before wrapping up his career back with Philadelphia in 1982.

For his career Montanez was a career .275 hitter, with 139 homers and 802 RBI.

Those are very good career home runs, but all any body seemed to remember was Willie’s on-field flavor and off-field blabber.

He Never Had a Bobblehead Day. But…

Philadelphia’s love affair with Montanez was on full display when the Giants visited Veterans Stadium shortly after his trade to San Francisco.

In an 8-6 loss to the Phils, (5/28/75) Willie batted 2-for-3. He was welcomed with several standing ovations and on two visits from the stands by fans showing true Brotherly Love.

Montanez appreciated the love fest.

“It was a great compliment,” said Willie of the fans who were whisked presumably to Veterans Stadium notorious in house bastille.

Through he would later claim to be dissatisfied with life as a Giant – joining fellow imported ingrate Bobby Murcer – Montanez played some of his best ball with San Francisco, batting .306, 10, 105 in 195 games.

It was near the end of his brief Giants engagement that Montanez enjoyed two near perfect consecutive games at the plate.

In back-to-back home wins over the visiting Astros (5/25-26/76) Montanez batted a composite 8-for-10, with four RBI and two runs scored.

In the first game, played on a Tuesday night before just 2,903 fans, Montanez collected two singles, a double and a game winning, 8th inning homer off Ken Forsch as Giants outlasted Houston 7-6.

The following afternoon, Montanez came back and skidded three more singles off the school yard hard ‘Stick turf and hammered a double while collecting two more RBI behind the pitching of Jim Barr and Randy Moffitt in a 11-4 bulldozing of Houston.

This time there were 3,115 paid to see Montanez batting exhibition.

The win capped a four game winning streak for the last place Giants.

But despite hitting the cover off the ball, hustling as if his life depended on running out ground balls and of course putting on a sideshow with his Frisco Frank schtick, Montanez wasn’t having any of the ‘Stick’s creature feature comforts.

“My family is still far away in Puerto Rico and the wind is going to be cold here when we get back,” said Montanez after the second game as the club prepared to depart for an eight game road trip.

He continued to fill up reporter’s notebooks as if he were a tele-type service. “I don’t want to be traded just to be traded. I want to go to a club that’s in the race, and to a place where it’s warmer and nearer my family,” he blathered.

You are probably now realizing why Montanez moved around so frequently in his career.

He wasn’t exactly easy to please.

Three weeks later, Montanez got his wish and was shipped about as close to Puerto Rico and still be in the big leagues at the time… Atlanta.

No word if his family were pleased however.

Giant Footprint

The Giants didn’t have many positive national headline grabbing events in the mid-1970s, but Montanez played a role in a couple of them.

The Giants recorded their first no-hitter in eight seasons in 1975, when Ed Halicki dominated the feckless Mets 6-0 in the second game of a double header (8/24/75) at Candlestick Park.

Montanez batted 2-for-4 with two RBI in the historic victory, but more importantly he finished played outstanding defense, making nine putouts on the day.

A year later Montanez found himself on the other end of a Giants no-hitter when John Montefusco capped a brilliant sophomore campaign with dazzled the Braves on the road with a brilliant 9-0 no hit, no run game (9/29/76).

Montanez, the Braves starting first baseman that night, batted 0-for-3.

Golden State Warriors report: Head coach Kerr comes up positive for Covid 19 sits out tonight; Mike Brown to coach game 4 vs. Memphis tonight

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sat out for game 4 due to Covid 19 protocols against the Memphis Grizzlies at Chase Center on Mon May 9, 2022 (sfgate.com file photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr entered Covid 19 protocols as announced by the Warriors on Monday ahead of game 4 as the Warriors prepared to host the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

Mike Brown the Warriors assistant coach and who was recently hired to be the Sacramento Kings head coach for next season took over as head coach for tonight’s game at the Chase Center a few hours after it was learned that Kerr would not be coaching the NBA Playoff game.

It was not disclosed by Golden State if Kerr was experiencing symptoms but was learned that he’s is quarantining from home and it was not known how long he will be out. Covid 19 according to White House reports says that the pandemic is flourishing again and it’s just a question whether masks and social distancing at NBA playoff games would return depending on how the spread gets.

Brown is in the unique position of being a head coach officially of two NBA at the same time as Brown was hired by the Kings on Monday. After the post season Brown will be taking over at the Kings and will be working from the Golden One Center in Sacramento.

The Warriors who have a 2-1 best of seven series lead on the Grizzlies both teams have had quite a physical series with a number of flagrant 2 fouls called with the Grizzlies Dillion Brooks who was suspended for game 3 after fouling the Warriors Gary Payton II who broke his elbow on the foul.

Red Hot Celtics Roll Warriors 110-88; Curry out for rest of game with foot injury

Red Hot Celtics Roll Warriors 110-88; Curry out for rest of game with foot injury

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, left, can’t quite get the loose ball as Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart makes the recovery at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Wed Mar 16, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Barbara Mason

Wednesday night the Golden State Warriors (47-23) took on the Boston Celtics (42-28) in their quest for a fifth win in a row. This will be another tough match-up for the Warriors especially since the Celtics are one of the hottest team in the NBA right now. The Celtics lost a close game to the Mavericks Sunday night 95-92 while the Warriors took care of the Washinton Wizards Monday night 126-112.

The Celtics are an elite defensive team led by Jason Tatum and will challenge the Warriors winning streak. The Warriors will need to take care of the ball in this game and limit the empty possessions.

The first quarter was a disappointing start for the Warriors. They looked out of sorts and continued to force those three’s that were not dropping. Instead of driving the basket they kept on attempting three’s and it was not working. At one point in the quarter Golden State trailed by eleven points but was able to pull to within four points.

The second quarter was a replay of the first with missed three’s and as the quarter began to wind down points in the paint were 18 to 6 in favor of Boston. The Celtics had their largest lead of the game 44-30 with 1:48 left before the half.

The Warriors would have a lot of work to do in the second half. Another concern for the Warriors was Stephen Curry who had left the game and headed into the locker room with left foot soreness.

Boston led at the half 48-32. This was the lowest scoring half for the Warriors all season which was testament to the Celtics amazing defense. Golden State was 4 of 24 from beyond the arc and with little success in the paint the Warriors were in trouble.

The way that Golden State was playing in the first half, they probably couldn’t throw the ball in the bay. They were terribly off but the Celtics were thankfully missing some of their own. So no Andrew Wiggins. Nemanja Bjelica, Andre Iguodala and now Curry and Moses Moody were out for the remainder of the game.

The third quarter was a wild one and it belonged to Jordan Poole. Six minutes into the quarter the Warriors trailed by 24 points. Than along came Jordan Poole with five shots from downtown plus a couple of two point jumpers. It was an electric quarter for Poole and pushed the Warriors to within ten points of the Celtics after three quarters 79-69.

When it looked as if the Warriors just might make a run the Celtics came roaring back. They finished off the Warriors 110-88 and Golden State’s winning streak came to an end.

The Warriors are lacking the big man in the middle, and tonight Golden State saw what a great defense looks like. The Celtics showed why they are so hot offensively and defensively right now.

A lot of credit to the effort in the third quarter by Golden State. The bright spot in this game was a resounding Poole with 19 points in the third quarter but the loss of Curry and Moses Moody was a blow. Poole finished with 29 points and Klay Thompson with 18. They were the only two players on the floor tonight in double digits. Looney and Draymond Green had eight rebounds each.

The Celtics Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown each had 26 points.

The Warriors will have some much needed time off not playing again until Sunday. They will be taking on the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 PM.

San Jose Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa: Sharks hope to snap 7 game skid Thursday against Islanders

Anaheim Ducks left wing Rickard Rakell (67) puts the winning goal on net against San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (47) in the overtime shootout at the Honda Center in Anaheim Tue Feb 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the SJ Sharks podcast with Mary Lisa:

#1 The San Jose Sharks lost to the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in a shoot-out. It was their seventh loss in a row. Derek Grant and Rickard Rakell scored for Anaheim, with two goals from Rakell. Anthony Stolarz made 40 saves for the win.

#2 Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored for San Jose, with two goals from Couture. James Reimer made 26 saves in his seventh start in a row.

#3 The Ducks took the lead at 3:38 of the first period. Derek Grant scored on a two-on-0 after the Ducks picked off a neutral zone pass. Assists went to Sam Carrick and Nicolas Deslauriers.

#4 A scoreless overtime period saw the Sharks get seven shots on goal, three of those on a power play. The Ducks had no shots in overtime. In the shootout, Stolarz stopped Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl missed the net. For the Ducks, Trevor Zegras and Rickard Rakell scored, and Reimer stopped Troy Terry.

#5 The Sharks next play on Thursday night at 7:30 PM in San Jose against the New York Islanders (19-20-7). The Isles are coming off a 5-2 win over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

Join Mary Lisa for the Sharks podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Golden State Warriors podcast with David Zizmor: Warriors hope to get back on winning track host Nuggets tonight at Chase Center

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr seen here coaching against the Los Angeles Clippers on Mon Feb 14, 2022 at the Chase Center in San Francisco hopes to point the Warriors in a winning direction on Wed Feb 16, 2022 versus the Denver Nuggets (AP News photo)

On the Warriors podcast with David:

#1 David, the Golden State Warriors (42-16) suffered a tough loss to the Los Angeles Clippers (29-30) 119-104. The second and third quarters the Clippers dominated the Warriors.

#2 One of the key factors in the game the Clippers were able to shut down the Warriors Klay Thompson who had been in mid to high double figures but only scored seven on Monday night.

#3 The Warriors have lost three of their last four very unusual for them they come back to the Chase Center to host the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have won three of their last four games and defeated the Orlando Magic on Monday night 121-111. Talk about tonight’s match up with the Nuggets and Warriors.

Join David for the Warriors podcasts each Wednesday morning at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Clippers White Wash Warriors 119-104; Third loss in four games

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry takes a shot over the Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Mon Feb 14, 2022 (AP News photo)

Clippers White Wash Warriors 119-104; Third loss in four games

By Barbara Mason

Monday night the Golden State Warriors (42-16) took on the LA Clippers (29-30) at Crypto.com Arena. Both teams are coming off pressure-packed games. Saturday night the Clippers beat the Mavericks by the score of 99-97 and the Warriors survived a marathon against the Los Angeles Lakers 117-115. Both of these teams have proven that they can handle pressure.

Jonathan Kuminga is playing at a very high level right now and this will bode well for Golden State as we head into the All-Star game and the final months of the 2021- 2022 season. His youthful energy provides a real spark for the Warriors.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will provide the offense along with Andrew Wiggins and Kuminga in this game. Reggie Jackson will lead the Clippers with his offensive skills. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George out since early February there will be a lot of work for Jackson.

The Clippers have a very good defense and so the Warriors will have to control their ball movement and avoid those turnovers in this third meeting of the season.

The Warriors got a good start with Curry hitting all six of his opening shot attempts in the first quarter. Both teams were shooting better than 60% in a great offensive game.

It wasn’t until three minutes left in the opening quarter that Curry missed a shot. He had 16 points in the first quarter. The Warriors led after 12 minutes 37-34 and finished the quarter shooting at 64% in a high-powered offensive game by both teams.

It was a 61-59 Clipper lead at the half. Curry finished with 26 points in the two quarters. He was 6 of 7 from downtown and was the only Warrior in double digits. Jackson led the Clippers with 12 points. Both Ivica Zubac and Nicolas Batum had 11 points in the half.

The Warriors needed to limit Jackson and protect the ball in the second half. Most of the seven turnovers for Golden State were in the second quarter and came practically back to back.

The second half began nothing like the first quarter for the Warriors. Their offense went cold in the first three minutes as the Clippers took the largest lead in the game 71-61 after the opening four minutes. The Warriors offense had dried up and every one of the Clipper starters were in double digits. After three quarters the Clippers led 94-78.

The Clippers were rolling with one of their best offensive efforts of the year and the Warriors were getting rolled. It is a rare thing to see Golden State on the short end of the score in the third quarter. They had a lot of work to do in the fourth quarter.

Shoot and miss was just about all we saw in the fourth quarter. The Warriors went from 60% to 29% in the final quarter. It was just not the Warriors night. Turnovers, missed open shots, and empty possessions buried the Warriors in this game.

The Warriors will have the day off tomorrow before taking on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM at Chase Center. This will be the final game before the All-Star game next Sunday.

Kupp’s heroics spark Rams to 23-20 Super Bowl LVI win over Bengals

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandon Powell rushes against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sun Feb 13, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sunday, February 13, 2022

A late touchdown pass, combined with a stellar defensive stand, helped the Los Angeles Rams win their second Super Bowl in franchise history Sunday at their own stadium in Inglewood, Calif., holding off the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

Cooper Kupp snared a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford with 1:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, letting the Rams surge ahead from a 20-16 deficit. In what became the game-winning drive, Kupp also had a 7-yard run to convert a key fourth-down play, caught key passes and drew two defensive penalties.

Kupp, the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, finished with eight receptions for 92 yards and two TDs. Kupp became a primary target for Stafford after Odell Beckham Jr. left with a knee injury in the second quarter. For his clutch efforts, Kupp was selected as the game’s most valuable player.

The Bengals had one last possession and reached midfield, but on a fourth-down play with 39 seconds remaining, the Rams’ Aaron Donald forced Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow to throw a wild, incomplete pass.

That play clinched the Rams’ first Super Bowl championship while residing in Los Angeles, having won the 1999 title in St. Louis. The Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles after winning the 1945 NFL championship, and the L.A, Rams last won an NFL crown in 1951.

Cincinnati took its first lead of the game on the first play of the third quarter, when Burrow found Tee Higgins on a deep route for a 75-yard score. Replays showed that Higgins got away with grabbing L.A. cornerback Jalen Ramsey’s facemask on the play.

An interception set up a Evan McPherson 38-yard field goal that gave the Bengals a 20-13 lead at 10:19 of the third quarter, and the Rams responded at 6:02 of the third with a field goal of 41 yards by Matt Gay. The game turned into a defensive battle for most of the fourth quarter.

The Rams opened the scoring at 6:26 of the first quarter on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to Beckham. McPherson’s 29-yard field goal in the final minute of the first quarter put Cincinnati on the board.

Stafford’s first TD pass to Kupp, from 11 yards out, put the Rams up 13-3, but missed the extra point on a botched hold. At 5:52 of the second quarter, Joe Mixon threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Higgins on the halfback option, pulling the Bengals to within 13-10 at the half.

Stafford threw for 283 yards, completing 26 of 40 passes for three touchdowns and two interceptions. Cam Akers was the Rams’ leading rusher with 21 yards on 13 carries.

Burrow, who was sacked for a Super Bowl record-tying seven times, completed 22 of 33 passes for 263 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Mixon ran 15 times for 72 yards, and Higgins caught four passes for 100 yards and two TDs. Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd each caught five passes for Cincinnati.

The Bengals are winless in three Super Bowls – the Bengals’ previous losses came in XVI (1981 season) and XXIII (1988 season), both against San Francisco,

Golden State Warriors podcast with Barbara Mason: Warriors prepare for struggling Kings tonight at Chase Center

Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby (3) drives at Golden State Warriors’ Damion Lee, center, and Moses Moody (4) on Sat Dec 18, 2021 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto (Canadian Press via AP photo)

On the Warrior podcast with Barbara:

#1 Barbara, one of the things that head coach Steve Kerr wanted to do for his key players Stephen Curry (rest), Draymond Green (right hip), Andre Iguodala (right knee), Otto Porter Jr. (left foot) and Andrew Wiggins (left knee) was get them some rest from Saturday night’s game in Toronto and had them fly back from Boston after last Friday’s game.

#2 One of the other things that Kerr wanted is to have the starters not to have to go through possible Covid 19 exposure and possible quarantine in Toronto Canada which would be two weeks.

#3 Barbara talk about Jonathan Kuminga he got lots of minutes and scored a career high of 26 points you had a chance to mention in your post game recap after Saturday night’s game what was your impression Kuminga.

#4 Kerr said after the game that he felt the second half was better than the first half using G league players and developmental players and gave Kerr a chance to see who they have in the minor league system.

#5 The Warriors take on the Sacramento Kings tonight at Chase Center in San Francisco. The Kings are struggling they’ve lost four of their last five games. They lost a frustrating home game at Golden One Center on Friday night to the Memphis Grizzlies 124-105 and their head coach Alvin Gentry and star player De’Aaron Fox were both out because of Covid 19 protocols. Barbara how do you see the Kings and Warriors match up this afternoon at 3pm?

Join Barbara Mason for the Warriors podcasts heard each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com