#1 Critics says that there is no market for DeMarcus Cousins. What would you say the reason are as someone who covered him while he was at Golden State? Too many injuries, didn’t fulfill what the Warriors expected out him, too much baggage.
#2 Would the Lakers consider picking up Cousins? Cousins is reportedly watching if Kawhi Leonard decides to sign with the Lakers and if so would Cousins want to join Leonard in the Southland?
#3 You were there, how impressive were the Earthquakes when they shutout the LA Galaxy 3-0 at Stanford Stadium last Saturday?
#4 Quakes head coach Matias Almeyda said the game was a spectacle and the team is on the right path and has improved.
#5 The US Women’s team got a 2-1 win over England to advance to the Finals, which will be played on Sunday. Talk about how nervous you are for this upcoming match that could win it all.
#1 The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant and the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard are going free agency to see if they can get the maximum for their buck.
#2 Some of the teams that most likely will show interest in Durant and Leonard are the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. It’s very likely everyone should learn either by Sunday night or Monday morning where they’ll be going.
#3 The Houston Rockets are shopping center Clint Capela, guard Eric Gordon, and forward PJ Tucker in their bid to get Philadelphia 76ers star Jimmy Butler. The Rockets are to trying to solidify themselves after failing to make the NBA Finals in the last two seasons.
#4 In the game of baseball, fans come many sit as close to the action as they can. After some serious injuries to fans last season, the MLB thought they got it covered with all the netting they possibly muster up to protect the fans. Last Sunday, a young girl was hit in the eye with a bullet hit by the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, and on May 29th, a two-year-old girl was hit by a foul ball hit by the Chicago Cubs’ Albert Almora Jr. that fractured her skull at Houston’s Minute Maid Park leaving her with injuries that she will have to battle with for years to come. The Dodgers, Nationals, and White Sox have said during the All-Star Break, they’ll be netting their entire stadiums from foul pole to foul pole.
#5 The San Francisco Giants’ lineup has been noted for having the worst offense in baseball and possibly the worst in their franchise history. The Giants do not have a batter hitting over .300 in their lineup and have lost nine of their last 12 games.
#1 Will Kawhi Leonard bolt from the Toronto Raptors? It looks like Leonard will decline the $21.3 million player option and will consider becoming a free agent. There is talk that Leonard is considering signing on with the Raptors and Leonard said he love playing in Toronto so much last season why ruin an opportunity and re-up with the Raptors again.
#2 San Francisco Giant starter Drew Pomeranz, who had some very rough outings this season, has also had some successful games. Monday night against the Colorado Rockies was one of them throwing for 11 strikeouts at Oracle Park after throwing 93 pitches was lifted in the bottom of the fifth inning.
#3 The New York Mets are going through some rough times. There is talk that the Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has been making in game moves and over ruling Mets manager Mickey Callaway. What’s so bizarre about it is Callaway has followed Van Wagenen’s decisions resulting in the Mets finding themselves nine games out of first fourth in the NL East.
#4 The biggest baseball name was Aaron like in Hank Aaron famous for the home run, then there is the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who had a lights out season last season, then there’s the Yankees’ Aaron Hicks, whose home run on Monday night help extend and tie the Major League mark for the most consecutive home runs by a team at 27.
#5 After a young girl Katlin Salazar was hit in the face by a Cody Bellinger bullet, the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to extend the netting from the dugouts to the foul poles at Dodger Stadium. The bullet hit the girl who was seated four rows just up from the dugout. She had to leave some 15 minutes after being hit and was also paid a visit by Bellinger between innings.
photo from wisconsinstatejournal.com file photo: In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives on the Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcom Brogdon (13) in Toronto on May 25th.
On the NBA Finals/Golden State Warriors podcast with Dave:
#1 Much like James Harden of the Houston Rockets, will it be the same challenge for Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors? Will it be four or five guys versus Leonard? Will Leonard have to do all the heavy lifting?
#2 Is there any chance that this can be a balanced NBA Finals as the Warriors have dominated throughout the postseason? Do the Raptors have any advantage opening up the series at home in Toronto?
Barbara Mason is filling in for Amaury on That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:
#1 What about all the talk from ESPN radio that they can see a LeBron James and Kyrie Irving reunion at the Los Angeles Lakers especially if Jason Kidd had come on board as head coach but Frank Vogel got the job as Lakers head coach? Stephen A Smith says that not going to happen that his sources tell him that Irving is going to the Knicks and Brooklyn is trying to weigh in on Irving, but Irving is focused on going to the Knicks and Madison Square Garden.
#2 The Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard sunk a four-bouncer on the rim and got the Raptors into the next round defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 on a buzzer beater. Leonard had himself a game finishing with 41 points in a Game 7 elimination contest to advance to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.
#3 The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lilliard will be all the rage as the Blazers are coming off a narrow 4-3 win past the Denver Nuggets. It took seven games for the Blazers to advance. Do the Blazers have enough to go deep with Golden State? In game one the Warriors rolled past Portland 116-94.
#4 In hockey, the San Jose Sharks and St Louis Blues played Game 2 Monday night in the best of seven in this third round of the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Final. The Sharks have been getting help from all around, but the Sharks’ Timo Meier has been on fire with two goals scored in Game 1. The Sharks had home ice in game for the first two games.
#5 The Oakland A’s opened up a two-game series in Seattle on Monday night the A’s got five homers but couldn’t win it in the end. The A’s and M’s are battling for that third place spot in the American League West and are two games out of second place but eight games behind Houston. The A’s and M’s have almost identical records in a short series that could prove to test the A’s on the road and the M’s against an A’s team who’s capable to break out the bats and get good pitching.
The Toronto Raptors handed the Kings their second consecutive loss in two days as they downed Sacramento 120-105 at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night. This was the second game of a back-to-back set that began in Brooklyn on Monday. The Nets beat the Kings 123-94 on MLK Day.
Battle of the Tiers
The Raptors are a Tier One team. They know that they will be playing deep into the month of May and could be playing in the month of June for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Their 36 wins are the most in the NBA to date.
The Kings are a Tier Three team that is working very hard to become a Tier Two team. Becoming a Tier Two team does not mean that they would make the playoffs this season, but it would mean they would have very few ping pong balls in the barrel for the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Kings are just four wins away from matching their win total of the 2017-18 season, and they still have 34 games to play in the regular season. Sacramento is just 1.5 games out playoff contention, even after losing on Tuesday night.
Both teams played shorthanded
The Raptors played without Kawhi Leonard, who has been on an eight-day break. Leonard has now sat out 13 games this season and the Raptors are 11-2 without him in the lineup. That is what you call depth.
Toronto plays the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday night, and it is believed that the Raptors felt it was more important to have Kawhi available for that game than to play against the Kings at home on Tuesday night.
The official reason for Leonard’s absence was “Rest-Load Management”. Some observers are beginning to ask if Leonard would be worth a long-term contract investment since he has needed to be rested 13 times in 49 games to date this season.
The Kings also held out three key players on Tuesday night. De’Aaron Fox and Nemanja Bjelica did not dress and did not play. That was listed as a coach’s decision. Iman Shumpert was also held out of the game for “Rest-Load Management”.
Coach Dave Joerger mentioned in his postgame comments that two of those players went through therapy on Tuesday without giving any details. It would be fair to project that Fox was one of those players since he has needed on-going attention for a shoulder he injured approximately one month ago.
The Raptors did not miss a beat without Kawhi
Six Raptors scored in double figures in the win over the Kings on Tuesday night (four were starters):
Fred VanVleet put up 19 points to go with seven assists and seven rebounds. VanVleet has been the “designated started” when Leonard has been unavailable.
Kyle Lowry also scored 19 points and dished out nine dimes in 34-minutes on the floor.
Pascal Siakam put 18 points up on the board, shooting 8-for-14 from the floor.
Serge Ibaka had a double-double night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
CJ Miles came off the bench to score 15 points in just over 15-minutes in the game. Miles hit 4-of-5 3-point attempts.
Norman Powell was the last of the double-figure scorers with 11 points.
Toronto refused to let the Kings build a lead in this game. The biggest lead for SAC on the night was five points. There were seven lead changes and six ties. The Raptors’ largest lead of the game was 19 points.
The Kings had seven players score in double figures
Sacramento has some strong individual performances, but they could not put together the runs they needed to stay with the Raptors. Much like game on Monday in Brooklyn, the Kings kept things close in the first half then the game started slipping away in the third quarter. By the time the clock started in the fourth quarter, the game became a runaway for the home team.
Important Kings performers:
Marvin Bagley III made his first start of the season and he did not disappoint. MBIIIV scored a game-high 22 points and made it a double-double by adding 11 rebounds. It will not be his last start of the season.
Bogdan Bogdanovic put 16 points in the book to go along with nine assists and eight rebounds. “Bogi” also had three steals in the contest.
Buddy Hield scored a “quiet” 15 points in the game. He shot 5-for-14 overall and hit just two 3-point baskets. Hield did dish out five assists, but one has to wonder if fatigue was not a bit of a factor for “Buddy Buckets” in the game.
Harry Giles III had a very productive 22-plus minutes off the bench for the Kings on Tuesday night. He scored 11 points, shooting 4-for-8 from the floor.
Willie Cauley-Stein, Yogi Ferrell and Ben McLemore each scored 10 points in the game.
The Kings outscored the Raptors 50-46 in the paint
Toronto scored 24 Second Chance Points to 12 for Sacramento
The Raptors scored 26 Fast Break Points to 16 for the Kings
The Kings (24-24) will travel to Memphis on Wednesday to prepare for their game with the Grizzlies (19-28) on Friday night.
The Raptors (36-13) will face the Pacers (31-15) in Indy on Wednesday night.
AP photo: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry can only roll on the floor in the first half after being overwhelmed by too much San Antonio Spurs in Tuesday night’s game at Oracle Arena for the home opener
My oh my. The San Antonio Spurs spoiled opening night by trouncing the Golden State Warriors 129-100. The Spurs, led by Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Johnathan Simmons outplayed the Warriors in every facet of the game and sent the sellout crowd home wondering if the Warriors are in trouble. Golden State did not look at all like the team that won 73 games last year. They are still a very good team, but it may take a little time for all the pieces to mesh together.
The Dubs took the lead 16-14 with 5:54 left in the first period. That was the only lead they would have the entire night. The Spurs outran, outshot, outrebounded and beat the Dubs on defense all night long. The Spurs, Kawhi Leonard who was second in last year’s MVP voting, scored a career-high thirty-five points. Big LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down twenty-six and had fourteen rebounds. The Spurs bench outscored the Dubs’ bench by an astounding 45-13. Every time the Dubs made a run to narrow the gap, the Spurs answered the challenge. Leading 18-16 late in the first period, they went on a 13-4 run to lead 31-20 at the end of the first period. The Spurs scored thirty-three in the second period as they took an eighteen-point lead at the half 64-46. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant led the Dubs’ attack with eighteen and fourteen respectively, but Klay Thompson had just two points and was one for seven from the floor. The Warriors made just four three-point shots in nineteen attempts. San Antonio made six treys in just ten attempts. Leonard, Aldridge and Jonathan Simmons, off the bench, were the key players for San Antonio.
The home crowd was hoping for a patented Warrior come-from-behind surge in the third period. However, The Spurs continued to beat the Dubs on offense and continued to disrupt the Warrior attack. The Spurs led by twenty at the end of the third and won by twenty-nine 129-100. Leonard finished the game with 35, Aldridge with 26 and bench players Simmons had 20, Mills with eleven and the veteran, Manu Ginobili pitched in with 10. Kevin Durant led the Dubs with 27 points and ten rebounds. Curry scored 26, and Draymond Green knocked down 18 to go with six assists and twelve rebounds. Klay Thompson finished the night with 11. The Spurs dominated the board on both ends of the court. They outrebounded the Dubs 62-41. They had the edge in offensive rebounds 20-8 and 34-27 on defense. The Dubs turned the ball over sixteen times to add to their woes.
The Warriors are a work in progress. The Warriors lost six key players. The new players have shown that they can play in the NBA. However, it takes time for the players to mesh together and find the rhythm that the Dubs had the last two years. They have 81 games left, and the Spurs are an excellent team and will be in contention for the best record in the Western Division. The Dubs play the next three games on the road. They face the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night. They then travel to Phoenix on Sunday. They are in Portland next Tuesday to face Damian Lillard and the Blazer. They return home November 4th to face the Oklahoma Thunder, Kevin Durant’s old team. Talk about a grudge match. That game should be a barnburner.
George Karl has talked all season about the tendency of his Sacramento Kings (25-36) to fall into “black holes” and lose games because of it. A black hole to Karl is a loss of momentum that continues for seven to eight possessions allowing the opponents to go on a scoring run that the Kings ultimately cannot overcome.
The Kings played well in the first half against the Spurs (53-9) trailing by just three points at halftime, 57-54. As the third quarter began, Sacramento fell into a proverbial “black hole” and allowed San Antonio to go on a 12-0 run led by Kawhi Leonard’s nine points in the opening minutes of the period. The Spurs would outscore the Kings 29-13 in the third and would go on to win the game 104-94.
As the game began, it appeared the Kings had drawn the lucky straw. Spurs head coach Greg Popovich had decided to rest Tim Duncan and Danny Green. A third San Antonio starter – LaMarcus Aldridge – was unable to answer the bell due to a migraine headache. A situation that should have been advantage Kings was negated by the outstanding play of Leonard and Manu Ginobili who returned to the team after missing 12 games due to surgery.
Sacramento was led by DeMarcus Cousins who scored 31 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Cousins shot 50.0-percent (10-for-20) from the floor and hit on 10 of 15 free throw attempts.
Quincy Acy had a monster game starting at forward for the Kings. Acy – who is known more for his defense that his offense – scored 16 points for his team. Acy was a perfect 7-for-7 including two 3-pointers from the field.
Rajon Rondo had a quiet night scoring nine points, recording just one rebound and dishing out eight assists.
Darren Collison continues play well off the bench adding 12 points, seven assists and three rebounds.
Marco Belinelli – who had two strong outings heading in San Antonio – had a tough night versus his old team. Belinelli scored seven points going just 3-for-11 from floor.
Rudy Gay scored nine points, Ben McLemore (3), Omri Casspi (6) and Willie Cauley-Stein (1). Kosta Koufos was not available due to a case of food poisoning.
Sacramento shot 45.7-percent (37-for-81) and hit on six of 16 (37.5-percent) from 3-point land. The Kings struggled from the free throw line going just 14-for-21 (66.7-percent) at the stripe.
The Spurs out-rebounded the Kings 46-33.
MVP-candidate Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 25 points despite going just 9-for-24 from the floor. Leonard made it a double-double game by hauling in 13 rebounds.
Manu Ginobili played just 15 minutes in his return to play but he scored 22 points in that limited playing time. Ginobili shot 8-for-12 from the floor and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
The Spurs shot 49.4-percent (40-for-81) from the field. They were just 8-for-23 (34.8-percent) from beyond the 3-point line. San Antonio shot an impressive 84.2-percent (16-for-19) from the charity stripe.
The victory lifted the Spurs record to 30-0 at home for the season.
The Kings will wrap up their four-game road trip on Monday night in New Orleans. The Kings are 0-2 versus the Pelicans this season. Sacramento desperately wants to finish 2-2 on this road trip to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They will have to play better against Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson than they have so far this season if they want to post a win in “the Big Easy”.
OAKLAND — Stephen Curry finished with a game-high 25 points and 11 assists, and fellow Splash Bros. Klay Thompson added 20 points as Golden State picked up right where they left off pre-All-Star Break with a 110-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs Friday night to improve to 24-2 at Oracle Arena this year and 43-9, both NBA-bests.
Curry’s second quarter technical foul ignited the Warriors, who finished the second quarter on a 21-11 run to take a 62-55 lead at halftime and never looked back.
Golden State avenged their 113-100 home loss to the Spurs back on Nov. 11 with a full team effort, including shooting a blistering 51 percent (17-for-33) from behind the three-point arc.
Harrison Barnes scored 16 points and five rebounds, while Andre Iguodala finished with 14 points including knocking down 4-for-6 from downtown.
“The ball movement was tremendous tonight,” Iguodala said of the Warriors, who outscored San Antonio 23-10 on fast break points.
Draymond Green and David Lee each finished with 11 points. Green finished tied with Iguodala and Andrew Bogut for a team-high six rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard and Aron Baynes each scored a team-high 12 points for San Antonio (34-21), who dropped their second straight road game post-All-Star break. San Antonio lost 119-115 to the Clippers in Los Angeles Thursday night where Leonard shot 1-for-11 from the floor.
Baynes finished with a game-high 11 rebounds.
Boris Diaw had 11 points, while Marco Belinelli had nine points for the Spurs, who shot 60 percent in the first half, but cooled off in the second half finishing with 48 percent from floor.
San Antonio controlled the points in the paints, 44-40, and shot a better free throw percentage than Golden State (15-for-20 75 percent for Spurs to 11-for-18 61 percent for Golden State) but the Spurs couldn’t buy a bucket from three-point range, shooting 6-for-19 (31 percent).
Tony Parker, who was harassed by Curry’s defense the entire night, finished with just two points and six assists.
Tim Duncan scored just eight points after a 30-point effort in Los Angeles.
The Warriors hit the road for a six-game stretch through the Eastern Conference, starting Sunday in Indiana.