Headline Sports with Amaury Pi-Gonzalez for Tony Renteria: US Women’s team set to meet the Netherlands Sunday; Will Angels regroup and battle for a playoff spot?; plus more

Photo credit: @dabeard

On Headline Sports with Amaury Pi Gonzalez for Tony Renteria:

#1 The US Women’s soccer team will be playing the Netherlands Women’s team on Sunday. The US Team has had a great ride to get into the finals the last game they played they defeated the English Women’s team 2-1.

#2 Megan Rapinoe has been the face of the team politically. She said she won’t go to the White House and would put her hand over her heart during the anthem, and accepted an invitation from NY Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to meet at the House of Representatives after the finals. How much of a influence was Rapinoe for the women’s team during this World Cup?

#3 The LA Angels’ Tommy LaStella fouled a pitch off his right leg breaking his fibula and will be out for six weeks of action and will miss the All-Star break. This came right after the Angels lost pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who died in his sleep on Monday.

#4 The Oakland A’s are coming on after taking three of four from the Angels and winning the first game against the Minnesota Twins 8-6 — one of baseball’s best teams on Tuesday night.

#5 With the departures of Jordan Bell, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala from the Golden State Warriors, are the Warriors now considered just an average NBA team?

Tony does Headline Sports each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Skaggs’ death a tragedy, waiting for autopsy results; Nets aren’t just banking on KD when he gets back

Photo credit: @KleinschmidtJD

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died on Monday at a Texas hotel. Amaury had a chance to work with and interview Skaggs when Amaury was doing Spanish play-by-play on Angels TV. He was a good kid and his mother, although her last name wasn’t Spanish, she was Mexican American.

He spoke Spanish. His dad’s last name was Skaggs. He was 27 years old. Amaury had a chance to speak with him during his time broadcasting Angels baseball. He was a nice young man always available to speak to with the media.

The Southland Police said they do not suspect foul play and it has not been determined if Skaggs passed away due to natural causes. Officers found Skaggs unresponsive at the hotel and was deceased at the scene.

Amaury also talks about how the moves at the Golden State Warriors and how the Kevin Durant move will impact the team as he moves to the Brooklyn Nets and Andre Iguodala was rumored to go to the Memphis Grizzlies so Golden State can shed that salary. Iguodala could end up at the Lakers. DeAngelo Russell comes to the Warriors from the Nets and will probably be the point guard on the second unit.

Amaury is the Oakland A’s Spanish play-by-play radio talent on KIQI 1010 San Francisco and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Kevin Durant signs four-year $164 million deal to play with the Brooklyn Nets

file photo from sfgate.com: Former Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant #35 gets help off the floor in his last hurrah for Golden State with the injured Achilles tendon in the first half of game 5 against the Toronto Raptors.

By Jerry Feitelberg

OAKLAND–The Golden State Warriors lost a key player to free agency on Sunday. Superstar forward Kevin Durant decided to leave the Warriors, a team that he won two championships with, to play for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets were active Sunday signing point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan. They will have to wait a year for Durant to play for them as he will be recovering from an Achilles tendon injury that will sideline him for the entire 2019-2020 season.

The big question is, why did Durant decide to leave the Warriors. Golden State offered him a five-year deal worth $ 221 Million. The answer has to be that he was unhappy here with the Warriors. He had a massive dustup with Draymond Green early in the season. The two players didn’t speak for a while, and that may have been a factor even though Green apologized to Durant. Another factor may have been the injury that he sustained in Game Five of the NBA Finals with Toronto. Durant had suffered a calf injury in the series with the Houston Rockets. The team may have asked him to return to action before that injury was healed. No one knows what the Warriors’ doctors told him about the possibility that he might make it worse if he played.

The Warriors did agree to terms with a five -year $190 million contract with Klay Thompson. Klay will be out for at least nine months as he recovers from surgery to fix a torn ACL in his left knee. The Warriors want to re-sign Kevon Looney.  Looney is being courted by the Houston Rockets. Looney proved his worth as he played inspired basketball in the Finals after suffering an injury to his collarbone. The Warriors may try to get DeMarcus Cousins back. The most the can offer Cousins is about 6.3 million. Cousins could help fill the gap left by Durant’s departure. Cousins may stay to get a better deal a year from now. Shaun Livingston may retire, and that is another hole that the W’s will have to fill.

The Warriors should be competitive next year with Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala still on the roster. Players such as Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Alonzo McKinnie, and Quinn Cook will have to step up if the Warriors are to be successful next season. The fans are hoping the GM Bob Myers might have something rolled up in his sleeves to help make the team better. It will be a very different season for the Warriors as they start to play next year at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

Kings beat the Warriors at Oracle 98-93

GSW 2 vs Kings
Kings sweep both game in Oakland this season Photo @warriors

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won in Oakland for the second time this season as they defeated the World Champion Golden State Warriors 98-93 on Friday night. Yes, the Warriors were shorthanded as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were all on the bench in street clothes due to injury but that is exactly when a team must take advantage of an opponent. “Kick ’em when they’re down” is the motto of successful teams.

The Golden State bench is also better than many of the starting lineups for non-playoff teams in the NBA. A team does not win a championship without having a very strong second unit and bench. The Warriors certainly meet those requirements.

Two Kings players who did not have terrific performances early in the contest came up big late in the game. De’Aaron Fox scored four of his six points in the final two minutes and forty-seconds of the game. Willie Cauley-Stein took a charge and then blocked a 3-point attempt by Nick Young that led to a game punctuating slam dunk that would seal the win for Sacramento.

Top Performances

Kings

GSW Kings starting 5
Kings starting versus the Warriors Photo @SacramentoKings
  • Buddy Hield not only led the Kings in scoring with 22 points but he provided a scoring punch that kept his team in the game when Warriors threatened to runaway with the contest. Hield not only led his team in scoring but he pulled down seven rebounds and distributed seven assists in just over 30 minutes of playing time.
  • Skal Labissiere returned to the floor after being out with a bruised hip that he suffered in a hard fall under the basket. The second-year power forward put up 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists. Labisissiere hit 3-of-4 attempts from 3-point land. He played just over 25 minutes in his return to action.
  • Kosta Koufos continued to be an impact player for the Kings as he scored five points and more importantly hauled in game-high 12 rebounds. Five of his rebounds came on offense which led to second chance scoring opportunities.
  • Other Kings scorers: Bogdanovic 11 points, Cauley-Stein 9, Mason 9, Jackson 8, Temple 8, Fox 6 and Randolph 5.

Warriors

gsw starting 5
Warriors starting five vs Kings Photo @warriors
  • Two-way player, point guard Quinn Cook made a real case that he should be playing in the NBA full-time next season by leading the Warriors with 25 points versus the Kings. Cook shot 10-for-13 overall and hit 5-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
  • Nick “Swaggy P” Young recorded 16 points but shot just 5-for-15 from the field and 3-for-8 from downtown.
  • Draymond Green recorded a double-double scoring 14 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. He also led GSW with seven assists.
  • Andre Iguodala added 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
  • Former King Omri Casspi started the game strong with six points but had to leave the floor after playing just over six-minutes when came down on the foot of teammate’s foot and twisted his ankle.

By the Numbers

Sacramento (23-47)

  • The Kings shot 43.4-percent (36-for-43) from the floor. They converted 14-of-31 (45.2-percent) from 3-point range.
  • SAC went to the free throw line 17 times and hit 12 of those opportunities (70.6-percent).
  • Sacramento out-rebounded the Warriors 47-40 in the game. They grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and 36 rebounds on defense. The scored 16 second chance points (7-for-15) in the game.
  • The Kings recorded 25 assists and 14 turnovers. The TOVs resulted in 17 GSW points.

Golden State (52-17)

  • This loss dropped the Warriors two and one-half games behind the Western Conference leading Houston Rockets. If the season ended tonight, Golden State’s first round playoff opponent would be the Utah Jazz.
  • GSW shot 42-percent (34-for-81) for the game. They hit 12-of-26 (46.2-percent) 3-point shots.
  • They converted 13-of-18 (72.2-percent) chances from the free throw line.
  • The Warriors had 21 assists and committed 12 turnovers which became 17 Sacramento points.

Up Next

Kings

SAC will be back in action tomorrow night in Salt Lake City as they face the Utah Jazz in back end of of back-to-back road set. Ricky Rubio will not play after being injured in the Suns game on Thursday. They will have to face former King and Reno Big Horn David Stockton who has been signed by the Jazz to a 10-day contract.

Warriors

GSW will also complete a back-to-back set on Saturday night in Phoenix versus the Suns. The Warriors are hoping that their game will not be as physical as the Suns versus the Jazz game was on Thursday night.

 

Extra Dribbles: Short-handed Warriors put 3-0 stranglehold on Trail Blazers

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

PORTLAND — Stephen Curry scored a game-high 34 points to go along with eight assists and Klay Thompson finished with 24 points and the Warriors erased a 16-point third quarter deficit to put the Trail Blazers on the brink of elimination with a hard-fought 119-113 victory Saturday night in Portland.

Both Curry (10-of-25) and Thompson (8-of-21) struggled in the first half before finding their respective strokes in the second half.

Andre Iguodala scored 16 points and Patrick McCaw (starting his second career postseason game), added 11 points.

Draymond Green had another stat-sheet filling night with nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and six blocks.

With the win, Golden State snaps a five-game postseason losing streak in Game 3s. Through the first three games, Golden State’s +47 combined win margin is the largest for any playoff series in franchise history.

Golden State can send the Trail Blazers fishing for the summer with a win in Game 4 on Monday night in Portland.

Without head coach Steve Kerr (illness), Kevin Durant (calf), Shaun Livingston (hand), and Matt Barnes (ankle),  the Golden State Warriors resembled more of the walking wounded rather than the NBA’s best team entering Game 3 of their best-of-7 series; but played smart and calm down the stretch that resulted in the victory.

Check out my takeaways below that led to Golden State’s win:

Golden State owned the third quarter: Trailing 82-66 after a Damian Lillard finger roll with 6:20 left in the third quarter, the Warriors stormed back with a 19-1 run, taking an 85-83 lead when JaVale McGee slammed through a lob with 2:01 left in the quarter.

Golden State overcame a 16-point hole and 52-42 rebounding edge by the Blazers to neutralize Portland to 30.4-percent shooting for the quarter. During their hot run, Golden State held Portland to 0-of-8 shooting, with three turnovers.

Per ESPN Stats and Information, Thompson made more 3s in the third (4) than total field goals made (3) in the first half.

The Warriors ended the third quarter on a 21-6 run.

Take another bow, McGee: There’s no question that Curry and Thompson were huge in Golden State’s second half comeback, but the play of McGee in Game 3 was just as vital.

McGee, who has been referenced as a “vertical spacer” by the Warriors’ coaching staff, has been just that against the Trail Blazers this series with his penchant for catching the lob pass for hammering dunks.

In 16 minutes on the floor tonight, McGee scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor, to go along with four rebounds. The reserve center was +24 whenever he was on the court.

When you combine his performances from Game 1 (6 points on 3-of-4 FG) and Game 2 (15 points on 7-of-7 shooting) with his line from Game 3 (14 points on 6-of-8 shooting), McGee has scored 35 points on 16-of-19 shooting.

Portland’s backcourt is fun to watch and aren’t the problem: Through the first three games, Lillard and C.J. McCollum have made life difficult for the NBA’s second-ranked defense during the regular season with their ability to score nearly at will. Outside of Game 2, Portland’s electrifying backcourt has torched Golden State:

In Game 1: 75 of Portland’s 109 points on 38-of-54 shooting (7-of-15 3FG).

In Game 2: 23 of Portland’s 80 points on 9-of-34 shooting (1-of-7 3FG).

In Game 3: 63 of Portland’s 119 points on 20-of-46 shooting (10-of-22 3FG).

McCollum led all Trail Blazers with 32 points and Lillard finished with 31 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in Game 3, where Portland was feeding off of its raucous crowd.

Portland did get center Jusuf Nurkic back in the starting lineup for Game 3 after missing the first two games of the series with a non-displaced fracture in his left leg he suffered late in the season that caused him to miss the final seven games.

Nurkic finished with two points and 11 rebounds in 17 minutes of action and was a non-factor.

Al-Farouq Aminu had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Portland’s bench, while Noah Vonleh added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Allen Crabbe, whose struggled in the series shooting just 33-percent from the floor, scored eight.

Golden State held the edge in points in the paint (46-38) and fastbreak points (22-6).

The Warriors win a thriller in Portland as they hold on to win

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors, without their All-Star guard Steph Curry, faced-off against the Trailblazers in Portland Sunday night. Steph, who was sidelined with the stomach flu, was not able to play and Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr had to juggle the starting lineup. He inserted Shaun Livingston at point guard, and the rest of the starters remained the same. The result was the same as the Dubs won 113-111.

The Blazers took an early 8-4 lead in the first quarter. The Dubs went on a 16-2 run to lead 20-10. Kevin Durant was the man in the quarter as he led the team with 11 points. The Dubs led 33-24 after the first 12 minutes of play. The Warriors’ defense was terrific in the period as they held the Blazers to just 24 points. The Warriors’ first bucket in the quarter was a play that should make anyone’s highlight reel. Shain Livingston made a great play by stealing the ball. He ran the court and then made a bounce pass to Andre Iguodala coming down the court on the right side.

Andre swooped in a made the layup and was fouled in the process. He completed the three-point play when he made the free throw. The Warriors led 37-24. They increased the lead to 51-30 about halfway through the quarter. The Warriors offense went ice cold at that point in the game. They continued to play great defense, but they could not buy a bucket. The Blazers took advantage and finished the quarter on a 20-2 to trail by 3 at the end of the half 53-50. KD led the Dubs with 15, Klay Thompson and Zaza Pachulia each had 10. The Blazers’ scoring leader was C.J. McCollum with 14. Big Mason Plumlee had nine.

The third quarter was very close. The Blazers tied the score twice but could never take the lead with the score at 68 apiece, the Dubs finished the period on a 16-4 run to take a 10-point lead heading into the final 12 minutes of play. Draymond Green missed most of the quarter as he was saddled with 4 fouls, but the Dubs still were terrific on defense as they   outscored the Blazers 33-26. In the fourth quarter, the Warriors could not shake the Blazers. Portland kept coming back, and they tied the game at 93. At this point, Andre Iguodala hit a three-point shot that was immense at the time. The Dubs kept answering every Portland challenge until they took a 7-point lead 106-99 with just 37.5 seconds left to play.

The Blazers decided to foul the Dubs every time they touched the ball in the hopes that they could either tie the game or win it at the buzzer. The feel was similar to the situation in Miami when the Dubs lost at the buzzer. The strategy worked as the Blazers closed to trail by 2 111-109. Klay made 2 free throws to give the Dubs the lead 113-109. They let the Blazers make an easy layup with just 5.6 seconds left on the clock.The Warriors almost made a fatal mistake when they were taking out the ball. Kevin Durant was charged with a foul when he pushed off trying to get free. The ball went to Portland, and the Warriors escaped when Evan Turner, a 30% three-point shooter, missed from the corner. The Dubs hold on to win 113-111.

Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors’ big man, Kevin Durant was the player of the game. He had a double-double with 33 points, 10 rebounds and six assists Klay Thompson, who was couldn’t make a shot in the second quarter, finished with 27. Zaza Pachulia had a big night with 14. JaVale McGee added 7. Draymond Green scored 5points, 5 assists, and 6 rebounds. The third star of the night went to Andre Iguodala, Andre knocked down 12 points to go along with 5 assists and three boards. Andre made 4 3-point shots in the game.

Scoring leaders for Portland were McCollum with 25. Oakland native Damian Lillard had 19, Evan Turner,18, Mason Plumlee 15, and Maurice Harkless, off the bench, added 10. On defense, Warriors had 13 steals and 6 blocked shots. Portland outdid them in three categories. Portland scored 22 points off turnovers while the Dubs could manage just 18. The Blazers held a 60-32 advantage in points scored in the paint and they had a one-point advantage 18-17 on fast breaks.

The Warriors improve to 41-7 while Portland falls to 21-28. The Warriors snapped Portland’s modest three-game winning streak.

After the game, Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr had this to say about the win:”we survived.” “Our guys didn’t have a ton of energy” as the played another back-to-back game.” “We gutted it out.”

The Warriors do not play until Wednesday. They play the Charlotte Hornets at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30. The Warriors travel to LA to face the Clippers Thursday night to start a six-game road trip.

 

The Warriors do it again, win their sixth in a row over the Houston Rockets 125-108

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Warriors are on a roll. They beat the Houston Rockets in Houston by a score of 125-108. The Warriors continue to play great defense as the held the Rockets All-Star James Harden to just 17 points. The Warriors led by five at the half 62-57. However, as they have done so often this season, they put it into gear and outscored the Rockets 37-22 to lead by twenty at the end of three periods of play.

They continue to shine on defense. They blocked seven shots and had eight steals. They continue to lead the NBA in both those categories. The big block of the night came in the fourth quarter when Kevin Durant blocked Eric Gordon’s 3-point shot. Gordon was 2-for-14  from the floor and ended the night with just six points.

With the win, the Warriors are now 37-6 for the season. The Rockets drop to 33-13 and are 2 games back of the San Antonio Spurs in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. All five Warrior starter were in double figures. KD had a big night with 32 points,7 assists, 4 boards, and 2 blocked shots. Steph Curry made 5 three-point shots and ended the night with 24 points and he, too, had 7 assists. Klay Thompson knocked down 16. The Dubs’ defensive whiz, Draymond Green continued his excellent season with 15 points, 7 assists,8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots.

Zaza Pachulia, who seems to be getting better as he gets used to the Warriors’ offense, recorded 10 points, 2 assists, and 9 rebounds. Andre Iguodala had 5 points, 2 assists, and 9 big rebounds helping the Dubs to the win. Patrick McCaw and James Michael McAdoo, who is filling in for the injured David West, each had 8 points. James Harden had a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. Harden also committed 7 turnovers.Clint Capela scored 22, Sam Dekker 17, Patrick Beverly,13, and Trevor Aziza 12.

The Warriors have recorded 30 or more assists for the fourth game in a row and the 30th time this season. No other team in the NBA has had more than 8 games with 30 or more assists.

The Warriors have now beaten three of the five teams that have defeated them so far this year. They evened the series with a convincing win over the Cleveland Cavaliers last Monday. They beat the Lakers in November after an embarrassing early season loss in LA. They now defeated the Rockets to get a measure of revenge as the Rockets beat the Dubs in double-overtime at Oracle Arena in December. The Dubs now have to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, and San Antonio Spurs to get even. They play Memphis twice in February, once in Memphis and once at Oracle. They play the Sputs two more time, and both games will be in San Antonio.

The Warriors fly to the Sunshine State to play the Orlando Magic. Game time is at, gulp, 9 am Sunday morning. They play the Miami Heat on Monday.

The Warriors blow out the Cavs, send them down to defeat

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors, having lost their last four games against the Cleveland Cavaliers, were on a mission  Monday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors still smarting from losing the NBA Finals to the Cavs last year and a one-point loss on Christmas Day in Cleveland sent a message to the Cavs by beating them by 35 points. The final score was 126-91. The Warriors Big Four played extremely well. The Warriors excelled on offense as they shot 50.5% from the floor. They made fifteen three-point shots. The Cavs had a miserable night as the best they could do was shoot just 35% from the floor. The Warriors had more rebounds 58-35, assists 37-11, steals 10-7 and blocked shots 11-4.The Warriors scored 37 fast break points and had 46 points in the paint.

The Warriors started fast. They had an early 9-2 lead. Cleveland trailed by four 18-14, but that was as close as they would get. The Warriors poured in on as they led 37-22 at the end of the quarter. They then scored 41 points in the second quarter and held the Cavs to 27. They led 78-49 at the end of the half. The 78 points were the most the Dubs scored in a half this season. The onslaught was led by Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson.

In the third quarter, the Warriors did not play well. The Cavaliers held the Dubs to just 17 while they scored 22. Cleveland held the Dubs without a field goal in the last 5 minutes of play in the period. The Cavs went on a 13-1 run to end the quarter. The Dubs were ice cold as they missed 12 shots in a row.The Warriors still led by 24 but the fans were getting nervous as they remembered the Cavalier comeback on Christmas day. The Warriors, behind Klay Thompson’s fantastic performance in the quarter, upped the lead to 38 with 4:41 left in the game. Coach Steve Kerr pulled his starters, and the bench finished the game.

Game Notes and Stats. Steph Curry had a double-double in the game. Steph scored 20 points and had 11 assists and 2 rebounds. Draymond Green notched his third triple-double of the season. Green was all over the court. He had 11 points,11 assists,13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Zaza Pachulia tied Draymond with 13 rebounds. The fans loved his play as they gave him a standing ovation when he left the game in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant pitched in with 21 points, 5 assists, 6 boards, and 2 blocked shots. Andre Iguodala continued to play well. Iguodala had a slow start earlier in the season, but his production has gone up lately. Klay Thompson led the Dubs with 26. Klay had 18 in the second half and many of them came in the fourth quarter.  Andre knocked down 14, had 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and one blocked shot. Shaun Livingstone, David West, and JaVale McGee all were productive off the bench.

The Warriors held LeBron James to just 20 points. Kevin Love was not a factor as he scored just 3. Kyrie Irving had 17, Tristan Thompson,6,  and Imam Shumpert 15. Kyle Korver, who the Cavs obtained from Atlanta for his 3-point shooting, was held to 11. Richard Jefferson scored twenty, but most of his points came in garbage time.

The Warriors record improved to 35-6 while Cleveland dropped to 29-11. The Warriors face the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm. They then travel to Houston to face the Rockets Friday night.

The Warriors squeak by the Hawks, win twelfth in a row

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors had to fight tooth and nail to defeat the Atlanta Hawks Monday night at the Oracle Arena. The Dubs trailed for most of the game but rallied in the fourth quarter to down the Hawks 105-100. The game was a thriller, and the outcome was in doubt until the final fifteen seconds of the contest.

The Dubs got off to a slow start as they trailed the Hawks 14-8 in the early going. The Dubs went on a 15-1 run to take a 23-15 lead, but the Hawks clawed their way back and trailed the Dubs 29-27 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawks played their game and refused to let the Warriors get any rhythm. Atlanta, coached by Mike Budenholzer who was an assistant at San Antonio under Greg Popovic, had his team use most of the twenty-four-second clock as they took the lead 42-38. The Dubs tied the game at 44, but Atlanta kept making shots and led by three 53-50 at the half. Klay Thompson put in fifteen for the Dubs while Steph Curry and Kevin Durant were held to 8 points each. Malcolm Delaney and Dennis Schroder had nine each and Tim Hardaway; Jr added eight. The Warriors committed eleven turnovers in the half and looked like they were out of sync.

The Hawks led the entire third quarter. Every time the Dubs got close, the Hawks had an answer. They led by seven 74-67 with just 3:53 left in the quarter. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala each made a three-point shot to close the gap to just two points 78-76. The Hawks increased the lead to four but backup guard Ian Clark hit a three-pointer as time expired to make it a one-point game 81-80. The Dubs scored the first ten points to start the fourth quarter. Iguodala made two clutch layups to put the Dubs ahead by five 86-81. The Hawks would not fold. They fought back but could not regain the lead. They narrowed the lead to two, but the Warriors fought them off. Steph made a huge three-point bucket to put the Dubs up by eight 102-94. The Hawks know how to play defense too, and the kept the Dubs from scoring. However, Draymond Green stepped up in the final few minutes of the game as he blocked a Dennis Schroder shot and seemed to be everywhere as he guarded Hawks’ center Dwight Howard and guard Dennis Schroder. The Dubs held on to win their twelfth game in a row 105-100. The game was a thriller.

Game Notes- The Warriors are now 16-2 for the season. The twelve-game winning streak is fourth longest in franchise history.  The Warriors big three of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson all scored over twenty points in the game. The Dubs are 8-0 when those three score more than 20 in a game. Durant had a double-double with twenty-five points and fourteen rebounds; Durant blocked two shots too. Steph added twenty-five and three assists and three boards. Klay Thompson knocked down twenty. Draymond Green was fantastic on defense; Green had just three rebounds, but he blocked four shots. Andre Iguodala scored twelve, and he had five assists, five rebounds, and one blocked shot. Andre provided the spark the Dubs needed to get the win. The Warriors committed eleven turnovers in the first half but just four in the second. Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 24. Paul Millsap had fourteen points and fourteen rebounds for Atlanta. The big man, Dwight Howard added fourteen and had sixteen boards. Atlanta falls to 10-8.

After the game, coach Steve Kerr had this to say about the defense and Draymond Green in particular. “That was amazing. Don’t know if I ever saw a sequence like that. Incredible defensive sequence. (Green) can guard anyone in the league. Defense in the second half was great. I thought Andre was brilliant. He played with great energy, such a great basketball player.”

The Warriors meet the Houston Rockets Thursday night at the Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm.

The Warriors defeat the Raptors, it was not easy

by Jerry Feitelberg

Toronto- The Golden State Warriors downed the Toronto Raptors 127-121 Wednesday night in Toronto. The Raptors were playing the second game of a back-to-back series. They faced the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night and lost 121-117. The Raptors, however, did not show any signs of fatigue as they scored thirty-eight points in the first quarter to take a four-point lead 38-34 over the Dubs. The Warriors, as has been their custom so far this season, started slowly. The trailed by ten 29-19 late in the quarter. The Raptors were controlling the boards on defense and driving the lane attacking the rim on offense. Raptor center, Jonas Valanciunas, scored eight points and clogged the middle for Toronto. The Dubs closed the gap to four late in the quarter. Kevin Durant hit a three-point shot as time expired. The Warriors came to life in the second quarter. The Warriors took the lead 41-40 when Durant hit another three. Toronto regained the lead and led by four 49-45 when Steph, KD, and Draymond Green went to work. The Dubs went on a 21-2 run at the end of the quarter to take a thirteen point lead 66-53. They outscored the Raptors 32-15 in the second quarter.

In the second half, Klay Thompson got hot, and the Dubs increased the lead to twenty(74-54). The Dubs appeared to have put the game away, but the Raptors are not exactly chopped liver. They fought back behind the play of Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. The Dubs had no rhythm and were committing dumb fouls. DeRozan kept going to the charity stripe and the Raptors went on a 17-4 run to trail by nine 95-86 at the end of three.

The Warriors behind Steph, Andre Iguodala, Patrick McCaw were able to fend off the Raptors as they refused to go down. DeRozan kept making free throws, but Shaun Livingston and David West made key buckets for the Dubs. McCaw sank a three-point shot from the corner and played well on defense making a couple of steals. The Warriors held on to win 127-121.

Game Notes- With the win, the Dubs improve to 9-2. The Raptors drop to 7-4. Steph led the scoring with thirty-five points. KD had thirty, and he had six assists and nine rebounds. Draymond added eleven, and he had five assists and seven rebounds. Draymond also had a couple of steals and several blocks in the contest. Klay Thompson scored fifteen, but he made three key three-point shots in the third quarter.

DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with thirty-four points. He made all seventeen free throws, too. Kyle Lowry had twenty-four. Valanciunas had twelve, and Corey Joseph(14) and Terrence Ross(11) helped the Raptors, albeit in a losing cause.

The Warriors became the first team since 1990 to shoot better tan 50% from the floor and had thirty plus assists in five straight games.

The Warriors travel to Boston to play the Celtics Friday night.