Dismal second half drowns Warriors, lose 90-74 to the Trail Blazers

By Gabe Schapiro

In their final preseason tune-up, in what wasn’t a particularly well-played game for either side, the Golden State Warriors were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers, 90-74. The Warriors had a solid first half, but the wheels fell off from there, doing more damage then they could overcome. Golden State finishes the preseason with a 3-4 record.

Coming out of the gate it was the Warriors who looked more crisp and ready to play. Portland was extremely sloppy, thanks in part to strong defensive play from Golden State, turning the ball over seven times and shooting just 33% from the field in the first quarter. The Warriors, on the other hand, turned the ball over just once. They made a few mistakes but as a whole played well. Klay Thompson led the way with eight points. Andre Iguodala chipped in another five. Damian Lillard was the only thing keeping the Trail Blazers in the game with seven points. At the end of one the Warriors had a 23-16 lead.

The second quarter saw both benches get extended play. The Trail Blazers started finding their shot and chipped away at the lead, but never managed to overtake it. Golden State’s starters returned and grabbed a hold of the momentum again. Curry caught fire, scoring eight points in the quarter including a big three-pointer in the waning seconds that lifted the fans to their feet. For Portland it was Mo Williams’ turn to keep them in the game, coming off the bench to the tune of 11 points in the quarter. It wasn’t enough, however, and through 24 minutes of play, the Warriors maintained their seven-point lead, 48-41.

Coming out of the locker room Golden State scored a quick three points to give them their biggest lead of the game at 11. From there, however, they completely lost their shot and things got ugly. Portland went on a 22-0 run, fueled in large part by Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, before the Warriors finally found the bottom of the net again with a little over two minutes to play in the quarter. After out-scoring Golden State 25-9 in the third, the Trail Blazers had grabbed a 66-57 lead.

The Warriors made a small push in the fourth quarter, at one point going on a 7-0 run, but they would never seriously threat re-taking the lead. Fans started heading for the exits in packs with several minutes remaining, as the Trail Blazers eased their way to victory.

Lillard had a game-high 21 points. Aldridge (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Nicolas Batum (10 points, 15 rebounds) both finished with double-doubles.

For Golden State Curry led the scoring with 17 points and a game-high six assists. Thompson finished with 16 points and five rebounds.

For the Warriors the regular season begins next Wednesday, October 30 when they will be taking on the LA Lakers at Oracle Arena.

Raiders, Steelers set to battle in Oakland Sunday

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Fresh off their bye week, the Oakland Raiders will look to get back on the winning track when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at O.co Coliseum.  The game is sold out and will be seen locally on CBS affiliate, KPIX Ch. 5. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m.

Oakland (2-4), leads the all-time series, 11-9, and hold an 8-5 edge in home games over the Steelers. The Silver and Black have not lost to the Steelers at O.co Coliseum since 1995.

In last year’s meeting in Oakland, the Raiders dropped the Steelers 34-31 behind a 43-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski in the final seconds of a tough battle. Running back Darren McFadden had a great day, carrying the ball 18 times for 113 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run.  Oakland will need a healthy McFadden against the sixth ranked Steelers defense.

Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor spent the bye week working with quarterbacks coach, Tom House refining his mechanics. Pryor worked with House during this past offseason, and House has worked with quarterbacks such as Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

Pittsburgh (2-4), started the season 0-4, but are coming along after winning their last two games, including a 19-16 victory over their AFC North foe, the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

It’s no secret that the Steelers will only go as far as the right arm of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can take them.

Roethlisberger is coming into Sunday’s game completing 66-percent of his passes for 1,655 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Owner of two Super Bowl rings, Roethlisberger is a top-five quarterback in the NFL and the Raiders are going to have their hands full with him, but if Oakland is going to have any success, it will be on the defensive front.

Defensive ends Lamarr Houston (team leader with three sacks) and Jason Hunter (two sacks), will have their chances to get their hands on Roethlisberger, especially with the anchor of the offensive line, center Maurkice Pouncy, on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

Roethlisberger has been sacked 21 times this season (third behind New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (25 times), and Miami Dolphins quarterback  Ryan Tannehill (26 times)). Oakland has been getting after the quarterback this season, sacking the opposing quarterback 16 times through six games.

In order for Oakland to have a chance at moving to 3-4, they will need to apply pressure on Roethlisberger and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. Defensive Coordinator Jason Tarver will need to be creative in concocting blitzes if Oakland is going to have chances at throwing Roethlisberger’s timing off to his wide receivers, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

Sprinkle in a few timely plays by Pryor and the offense, Oakland has a legitimate shot at winning Sunday.

 

 

49ers travel to London to take on the hapless Jaguars

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 10:00 AM the San Francisco 49ers (5-2) will be coming to you from across the pond in London, England where they will be facing off with the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7) at Wembley Stadium. The 49ers are on a roll having won four straight contests. They sit in second place in the NFC West behind the Seattle Seahawks. The Jaguars are a team still trying to find their way, and have yet to win a game this season. They are in last place in the AFC South.

Last week the San Diego Chargers beat Jacksonville with relative ease, 24-6. The Chargers grabbed a lead in the first quarter and never looked back. All the Jaguars offense could muster was two field goals. That has been Jacksonville’s season in a nutshell, as they have struggled in every facet of the game in what is clearly a rebuilding year.

San Francisco had slightly better luck with the Tennessee Titans, running away with a 31-17 victory in a game that wasn’t as close as the score makes it appear. The 49ers were pitching a 24-0 shutout heading into the fourth quarter before the Titans found the scoreboard for 17 points during garbage time. Frank Gore continued his strong production, running for 70 yards and two scores on 24 carries. In addition, Colin Kaepernick had possibly his best game since week 1, finding some success through the air and with his feet. He completed 13-of-21 passes for 199 yards, and ran for another 68 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Most importantly he didn’t turn the ball over once. On the defensive side Justin Smith recorded two sacks and Tramaine Brock grabbed his third interception of the season.

Despite the Jaguars problems, they do have some talented players that San Francisco will have to account for. They have a good receiving corps headlined by the young duo of Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for the 49ers, they haven’t had a quarterback who can reliably get the ball to them. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew isn’t the player he once was, and doesn’t have much of an offensive line to run behind, but still presents a threat. On the defensive side of the ball things don’t look much better for them, but Paul Posluszny is a very good linebacker to try and build around.

As a whole Jacksonville is the worst team that the NFL has to offer. They have scored the least amount of points in the league, and they’ve given up the most. While playing in London is a bit of an X-factor, this still isn’t a game that the 49ers should have any trouble with. Expect them to lean on the running game as they have been over their last four victories, but look for Kaepernick to find more openings to air it out as well.

On the injury front there is no bad news to report this week. Wideout Mario Manningham, who resumed practicing with the team last week, is nearing his return. Coach Jim Harbaugh has yet to rule him out for Sunday’s contest. It may take him some time to be a real contributor again, however. Michael Crabtree’s rehab is going according to plan, and is expected back in about a month.

On a similar note, Aldon Smith, who had to leave the team in Week 3 because of the much-reported on personal issues, could re-join the team within the next couple of weeks.

Stanford vs. Oregon State Preview

by Jerry Feitelberg

Stanford vs Oregon State Preview

Stanford (6-1,4-1 Pac-12) travels to Corvallis Oregon Saturday to take on the Oregon State Beavers (6-1,4-0 Pac-12. Game time will be at 7:30pm PT and will be televised on ESPN.

The Beavers are unranked but have won their last six games after being upset by Eastern Washington in the opening game of the year. The Beavers did something that the Cardinal couldn’t do and this was

beating Utah in Salt Lake City. The Beaver offense is led by quarterback Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks. Both are both Northern California products. Mannion is from Pleasanton and Cooks is from Stockton. How dynamic are these two? Mannion leads the nation in passing yardage(2992) and touchdowns(29) while Cooks has made 76 receptions good for 1176 yards and twelve touchdowns.

Mannion’s completion percentage is 68.6 and the Beavers like to go deep. It has been noted that Oregon State’s pro-style system features the most productive downfield passing game in the conference.

The Beavers defense has improved since the opening day loss to Eastern Washington and the offensive line has improved greatly since that loss.

Oregon State’s coach,Mike Riley thinks Stanford’s secondary will be a challenge to his team’s passing game. Riley said “they are very athletic and tough. They really compete. It’s a good looking group of guys. They’re always well coached and sound in what they do. It’s the most athletic group on defense that we’ve seen so far and they’re very sound in what they do.”

Stanford coach David Shaw, when asked about slowing down Brandin Cooks, replied “ He’s everybody’s responsibility. There is no other way around it. Safeties,corners nickels all have to be aware he is. Coach Shaw noted that receiver Kodi Whitfield and tailback Barry Sanders will continue to share the punt return duties. Kevin Hogan will be at quarterback again and Tyler Gaffney will

be the Cardinal’s main running back. Gaffney had a terrific game against UCLA last week.

Cardinal Safety Jordan Richards was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after recording two interceptions against UCLA last week. There is a possibility that receiver Devon Cajuste may play against the Beavers on Saturday. Cajuste suffered a right knee injury last week. Kicker Jordan Williamson will be on the trip to Corvallis but it is not clear if he will play. If Williamson can’t play, Conrad Ukropina will again fill in. Ukropina was one for two on field goals against UCLA.

The game should be very close. Stanford needs to win as they face the high-flying Oregon Ducks on November 7th. Should Stanford lose, it would dim their chances for a Pac-12 championship. If the Beavers win, they will probably become a nationally ranked team. Stanford will be playing in a hostile environment again and they have their work cut out for them on Saturday.

Bulls Lose In Overtime to Steelheads 3-2

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By Kahlil Najar

BOISE, Idaho

The San Francisco Bulls lost a tough one to the Idaho Steelheads, 3-2, in overtime. Chris Crane and Dale Mitchell scored for the Bulls, while Tyler Beskorowany stopped 39 shots in the loss.

Both teams were quiet through two periods and waited until the third period to get themselves on the board. In the third period Idaho got a power-play goal from William Rapuzzi at 1:25. The Bulls answered back with a power-play goal of their own when Chris Cane took a shot from the faceoff circle at 8:25. Less than 5 minutes later, Dale Mitchell scored on a one-timer from the slot and made it a 2-1 lead for the Bulls. On another power play and with an empty net, Anthony Nigro found the back of the net with only 18.6 seconds left on the clock. In overtime, Nigro was the hero again as he put the puck past Beskorowany to give the Steelheads the victory.

The Bulls head to Utah to take on the Grizzlies this Friday at 6:05pm.

Warriors lose at the end, 91-90

By George Devine, Sr.

The Warriors showed great promise at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, including a 12-2 run in the second period, only to lose to the Kings at the end, 91-90.

At one point Golden State led by 17, and even had a 14-point advantage in the last period, but scored only 9 in that last quarter and came up a point short. The final frame was crucial, as the W’s made only 3 of 19 shots and were outgunned 21-9. David Lee was fouled with 1.2 seconds left and the Warriors were behind, 91-89. His two free throws could have put the game into overtime, but he missed the second.

Breaking down the game by quarters: at the end of the first, Golden State trailed 23-20 but at the half led 51-48. At the end of the third the Warriors’ lead was 81-70 but it was a game of endurance and Sacramento squeaked by.

Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to tally 21 points — the high for Sacramento — and excited the hometown crowd, still giddy over the retention of the Kings’ franchise. Darrell Cousins had 9. For the Warriors, Curry led the scoring with 24, Klay Thompson had 18, and Andrew Bogut had 12 in addition to 7 rebounds. Lee had 11 points. Andre Iguodala had 8 points, 6 assists, 4 boards and 3 steals.

Kings Play Tough 4th, Beat Warriors

By Tony Renteria

Sacramento CA: The Sacramento Kings (3-2) continued a strong preseason by outscoring the Golden State Warriors (3-2) by twelve points in the fourth quarter for a dramatic 91-90 win at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings coming off a loss up in Portland had strong guard play from Isaiah Thomas who came off the bench to lead the Kings in scoring with 21 points on 5 for 13 shooting. The strong inside presence of DeMarcus Cousins was limited by foul trouble. He finished the night on the bench with eleven points to go along with his six fouls.
Stephen Curry had 24 points and six assist while playing over 36 minutes in this second to last preseason game. David Lee played well for the Warriors but was not his usual high scoring self.
The Kings finish the preseason on Friday down at Staples Center as they take on the Los Angeles Clippers while the Warriors host the Portland Trailblazers tomorrow in Oakland.
Side note Assistant Coach Brendan Malone resigned from his sons coaching staff today.

After Seahawks and Colts loses 49ers are now on four game win streak

by David Zizmor

SANTA CLARA–It’s funny the 49ers looked really good against the Green Bay Packers on opening day they won that first game and they looked really good. 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for over 400 yards and then they played Seattle and Indianapolis back to back and lost both games in what you might call embarrassing fashion.

The Niners really just got outclassed in both of those games maybe after those two games something woke up with them, maybe the embarrassment was enough for them to get back on track and maybe it was that they were playing two good teams. We all knew that Seattle was going to be tough and that the 49ers had their struggles up in Seattle.

So losing in Seattle wasn’t quite a big surprise losing to he Colts was a surprise at the time but in retrospect losing to the Colts wasn’t such a big surprise. It turned out that the Colts are a really good team, they weren’t only able to beat the 49ers but they beat the Seahawks just a couple of weeks ago. Then they went out on Monday night and beat the Denver Broncos.

The Colts are a good team and their a playoff force to be reckoned with the 49ers may have lost that game but you can’t be embarrassed about losing to the Colts because their apparently quite good. Someone said their one of the top five teams in the league if not top three. So no shame to losing a team that good the 49ers have used it to their advantage.

They have taken and fixed some of the problems in their offensive scheme and moved forward and their playing a lot better football even though they’ve had several injuries they had to fight through and they lost a couple of players here and there for a couple of games Patrick Willis lost a game or two, Ray McDonald was banged up, Aldon Smith is out on indefinite leave as he deals with his problems, and the 49ers are having continuing issues at wide receiver.

The 49ers they got back to do what they did best, their running the ball and passing when the opportunity presents itself and in the last several weeks running back Frank Gore has been just fantastic this is a guy who a lot of people wanted to write him off at age 30 who they said is washed up I don’t know why they would do that in the fact a lot of running backs tend to slow down when they hit that age.

You have to look at each player individually and at age 30 Gore looks just as good as ever maybe he’s not as quick as he once was but nobody is as patient as he is and nobody blocks better than Gore. While maybe he’s not going to break off a 70 yard run he breaks off more double digit runs than anybody in the league. Gore is as dependable as they come in this league he had a great game against the Titans scoring a couple of touchdowns from inside the ten yard line this is a guy whose a leader and when he does well you know the 49ers are going to do well.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders coming off bye could give tired Steelers a fight

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders have a chance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their next game on Sunday there is really no games where the Raiders can sit back and claim it to be a sure thing to win it’s not like the 49ers playing Jacksonville where it’s a 99 percent chance the Niners will beat Jacksonville in London. The Raiders won’t have that this year their just not a good enough team.

On the other hand they are playing Pittsburgh and the Steelers have been struggling as well they are coming off a victory from the defending champions the Baltimore Ravens. So the Steelers definitely have a feather in their cap right now and their feeling good about themselves. The Steel curtain is having a lot of similar problems to the Raiders.

The Raiders are a team that’s going through a big rebuilding process, Pittsburgh kind of are on the other side of that they are a team that’s probably about to go through a big rebuilding process. They’re just aging at a number of positions and probably need to revamp this squad. On the other hand the Steelers have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger whose one of the better quarterbacks.

Roethlisberger has won a couple of Super Bowls you can trust him but their biggest problem is the Steelers offensive line has just been terrible. They don’t have much of a running game this season and it means their passing game is suffering because Roethlisberger simply didn’t have time to throw the ball. There’s just a lot of age on the Steelers defense.

If the Steelers have a lot of different problems the Raiders can’t take advantage of that the fact their coming off a bye week and had two weeks to prepare for this game should definitely helped them out as well for the fact the Steelers have to travel cross country for this one after playing a very physical game against Baltimore. Those Steelers-Ravens games are always tough and physical and they take a lot of energy out of you and you throw in a cross country trip for Pittsburgh their going to be in a tough spot.

It’s going to be tough for them to recover in that game against Baltimore, You wonder if their going to have the energy to really fight the rested Raiders team. Of course the Raiders have their own issues their still a very inexperienced team and as you watch them in that game against Kansas City you notice they have a lot of injuries especially along with their own offensive line.

Not all those problems have been rectified the players on the offensive line have not fully recovered from their injuries so it’s anybody’s guess as to how healthy they will be this coming Sunday and if that’s the case all bets are off.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Let Timmy throw smoke; Giant pitcher signs 2 yr $35 M deal

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

SAN FRANCISCO–Speculation at the end of last season was that Giants ace pitcher Tim Lincecum was going to leave the Giants and shop other markets like his hometown Seattle and sign with the Mariners. Tuesday Lincecum signed a two year deal worth $35 million that runs through the 2015 season with the Giants.

Lincecum 29 reflected about all the things he went through as a Giant and that pretty much was the deal breaker, “I’ve been one of the most fortunate pitchers in this organization just to be part of many things, it was pretty special just to be in that kind of situation today, you kind of really see what’s going on and the emotions that are tied with it, I’m trying to figure out how to handle it” said Lincecum.

Lincecum is a twice winner of the National League Cy Young Award for two years straight in 2008 and 2009, Lincecum despite his struggles from last season finished at 10-14 was well sought after by the club and wanted to stay in San Francisco he was in awe of playing with former teammates, pitcher Randy Johnson and outfielder Barry Bonds, and current star teammates Pablo “the Panda” Sandoval and Buster Posey. He said with those memories and two World’s Championships from 2010 and 2012 it was very hard to walk away from San Francisco.

2013 World Series: The St.Louis Cardinals are in Boston for game one of the World Series, Adam Wainwright (21-10) starts for St.Louis and Jon Lester gets the call for the Sox (17-9) on Wednesday night. This is the fourth time in franchise history that these two teams match up in the World Series since 1946, 1967, 2004 and here we are again.

These are two great franchises St.Louis has won 11 World Series titles only second to the New York Yankees who have won more and this will be one interesting series and I can predict that this one will go a long way six to seven games and I don’t really have any winner in this one that both teams are so evenly matched that I really don’t have a choice in this fight.

Although I worked with in the American League with the Oakland A’s in radio and the Angels in Anaheim for TV it’s just hard to pick a winner both teams can win it’s not going to be a zero-zero match there’s going to be loser and a winner but their both winners, they already have rings already people forget when you make it to the World Series you already have a ring.

Looking back on Jimmy Leyland: Leyland was a class act and I’m glad that he retired and he’s leaving the Detroit Tigers and in a way I feel for him and I watched him in his press conference the other day some reporter asked Leyland “why did your team lose?” Come on this guy has been around 50 years in baseball here’s a 22 year old kid asking why did your team lose, it’s because the other team played better it’s baseball.

So it’s getting to him, he’s 69 let him enjoy life outside the media and the game and from baseball travel and wearing the uniform each day and answering these stupid questions and he deserves it and he could be a Hall of Famer. He won a World Series with the Marlins in 1997, he won a bunch of pennants, he’s well regarded with over 1700 wins, he’s managed for four teams, the Pirates, the Marlins, the Rockies, and now the Tigers.

So I’m glad he retired and I wish him nothing but the best he’s a classy old school manager. I can appreciate what he does and the traveling is overrated you go out many times to a town like Cincinnati in the summer it’s 100 degrees outside there’s nothing to do you stay in your room with your shirt off and the A/C on. It’s overrated and he already had a great career I congratulate him and I exactly understand what he is saying and wish him nothing but the best in retirement.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for the A’s, TV Spanish voice for Angels baseball and does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio