#1 The San Francisco Giants had a second meeting with free agent superstar Bryce Harper. Does that look like an indication that Harper likes what the Giants organization is all about and what they have to offer?
#2 Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was released by the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes for violations of his contract. The Alouettes further informed the other eight teams in the CFL of Manziel’s release. The Alouettes did not give a reason why he was being released. But sources say Manziel violated his confidentiality agreement. It was reported that the CFL ordered his release.
#3 The Golden State Warriors have lost three of their last four games and have showed signs of tiring. They trailed the Miami Heat in Wednesday night’s game and talk has it that besides Kevin Durant who could go shopping after this season Draymond Green could announce for free agency after next season as well.
#4 The Sacramento Kings are coming off a tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night and hosted the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night and lost 141-140. The Kings–even when they lose–still make it interesting right until the end of the game.
#5 How concerned should the Oakland A’s be about their starting rotation now that pitchers Jharel Cotton and A.J. Puk are returning from surgery from last season? Can the A’s rotation stay healthy this season?
The Warriors, as has been their custom, lately, did not get off to a good start against the Miami Heat Wednesday night. The Heat, a team that averages 103 points a game, did everything right in the first half of the game as they poured in 74 points and held the W’s to 59. The 74 points almost tied the heat record of 75. At one point they led the W’s by 24 as they were making threes. The Heat players were driving the lanes and getting fouled. The Heat made nine 3s in 18 attempts. They made 17 free throws in 20 attempts. The Warriors were 5-for-21 from behind the arc. They made six free throws and missed two. The Heat shot 59.5% from the floor in the first quarter, and the Warriors were at 36%. The Heat led 32-22 after the first 12 minutes of play.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. The Heat continued to play well while the Warriors were trying everything to get points on the board. Heat coach Eric Spoelstra sent in his two veteran sharpshooters, Dwayne Wade and Goran Dragic, to generate some offense and they did just that. Dragic was on fire as he knocked down four 3s and scored 20 points in the quarter. He finished the half with 25. Wade added 12, and the Heat led 67-43 before the Warriors woke up. The Warriors had a run late in the half behind Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Miami, the third-worst scoring team in the NBA, took it to the Warriors in the first half. Klay Thompson’s 21 points kept the Warriors in the game. Kevin Durant had 11, but he could not connect on a 3-point attempt. Curry finished the half with 9 and he, too, had trouble connecting on the shots from downtown. The Heat ended the first half leading 74-59.
The Warriors knew what to do in the second half. The first thing they had to do was stop the Heat’s offense. They did that. The second thing was to get more offense, and they outscored the Heat in the quarter 33-26 to finish the period trailing 100-92.
In the NBA, teams can erase an 8-point deficit without too much trouble. Draymond Green hit a 3 to bring the Warriors within six with 8:20 left to play. Curry followed with a 3 and the Heat’s lead shrunk to 3, 106-103. The Warriors continued to make stops and were able to take a 4-point lead late in the fourth quarter. In the last minute of the game, Durant missed a free throw. Had he mad the free throw, the Warriors would have had 3-point lead 126-123. He didn’t, and the lead was just two points, 125-123, when Dwayne Wade hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 0.1 seconds left on the clock to stun the Warriors and send them down to defeat 126-125.
Game Notes and Stats: The Warriors gave Demarcus Cousins the night off for rest. The Heat was missing James Johnson and Hassan Whiteside.
With the loss, the Warriors drop to 43-18 and remain 1/2 game ahead of the Denver Nuggets for the Western Conference lead. The Heat snapped a six-game home losing streak and improved to 27-33.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 36 points, Curry finished with 24 points, but was 4-for-14 from 3-point land. Durant had 29 points and made three 3s in 12 attempts. Jordan Bell was the only other Warrior in double figures with 10 points. The Warriors shot 49% from the floor.
The Heat had six players in double figures. Dragic was held to two points in the second half, and ultimately finished with 27 points. Dwayne Wade ended with 25 points. Josh Richardson had 21 points, Kelly Olynyk had 15 points, Justise Winslow had 12 points and Bam Adebayo added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Up Next: The Warriors meet the Orlando Magic Thursday night in Orlando, Fla. Game time will be at 4 pm.
Oakland- It appeared to be deja vu all over as the Warriors, as they did in Phoenix Friday night, got off to a slow start and trailed the visiting Heat until late in the third quarter. The Warriors could do nothing right in the early going, and the Heat did everything right as the visitors raced out to an early 34-24 lead after twelve minutes of play. The Heat have two players on their roster that have killed the W’s in the past. They are the big center Hassan Whiteside and guard Dion Waiters. It seems these two mark the calendar as to when they will be playing Golden State and salivate knowing they do well against the World Champions. The Warriors outscored the Heat 30-25 n the second quarter and finished the half trailing 59-54.
The Warriors made the necessary adjustments at halftime and scorched the Heat 36-23 in the third quarter. The W’s led 90-82 and the Big Three of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry led the team in scoring. The W’s started the fourth quarter with an 8-point lead but any team in the NBA can easily make up that deficit, and that is what the Heat did. The Warriors had a slim one-point lead 115-114, but the W’s turned the ball over twice in a row. Josh Richardson and Dwayne Wade had back-to-back steals, and that gave the Heat the lead 118-115. Kevin Durant connected on a three to tie the game. Durant recorded 11 straight points down the stretch for the Warriors. He missed a three-pointer that would have put the W’s in the lead. However, DeMarcus Cousins was able to snag the rebound. Cousins was fouled on the play, and he was able to make both free throws with just 5.4 seconds left to play. The Heat tried but failed to score, and the Warriors won the game.
Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors are now 15-1 in their 16 games and improved to 40-15 for the year. Miami drops to 25-29. Kevin Durant led the W’s with 39 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists. Draymond Green put 5 points on the board, but he corraled 7 rebounds and dished out 14 assists. Klay Thompson had 29, and he connected on six 3s. Curry added 25, and he made five 3s. The Warrior bench added just 15 points. Cousins had 7 points but his two free throws late in the fourth quarter won it for the Warriors. “I was really happy that he was out there at the end of the game,” coach Steve Kerr said of Cousins, playing his 10th game for Golden State. “It’s good experiences for him because he hasn’t been out there much since he’s come back to close games.”
Josh Richardson led the Heat Heat with 37. He made eight three-pointers. Dion Water had 24, and he made six three. Justisce Winslow had 24 including 4 threes, Hassan Whiteside finished the night with a double-double. He had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Dwayne Wade, who may have made his last visit to Oracle Arena as a player, ended the night with 10 points. The Warriors gave a nice tribute to Wade as they showed highlights of his career on the big screen and the fans gave him a nice round of applause.
Andre Iguodala was not able to play Sunday night as he tweaked hi left hamstring Friday night against the Suns in Phoenix. The Warriors resume play Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm.
Kings head coach Dave Joerger summarized the game on Friday night with one word — discombobulated! With two new players in the rotation and two key players traded to other teams, getting into sync was difficult for the Kings on Friday night.
Sacramento took their first lead of the contest with 1:21 to go in the game. Buddy Hield converted the second of two free throw opportunities to give his team a 97-96 lead. The Kings scored the final six points of the game to make the final score 102-96 to give them their 29th victory of the season.
Both teams had shooting and turnover problems
The Kings struggled early in the with their shooting. In the first period, they shot just 24.0-percent (6/25) overall and hit just 2-of-7 (28.6%) of their 3-point field goals. Sacramento also turned the ball over five times.
The Kings’ shooting percentage improved from there. Although it never was spectacular– 41.1–percent for the game. They cut down on the turnovers, finishing with 14 that resulted in 11 Miami points.
Miami’s poorest shooting streak came in the fourth quarter. The Heat shot just 25-percent (6/24) from the floor and hit just 1-of-9 (11.1%) from downtown. They turned the ball over six times in the final period that became nine Sacramento points.
The Heat shot 43.2-percent for the game and recorded 20 turnovers (22 SAC points). Those turnovers led to their demise.
Harrison Barnes who just joined the Kings made his first start on Friday night
Barnes who was traded to the Kings from the Dallas Mavericks started in his first game in a Sacramento uniform. The veteran forward scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out two assists in just over 36 minutes of playing time. Barnes went 2-for-4 from 3-point distance and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
Buddy Hield had an important night on the floor and in the huddles
Buddy Hield posted a game-high 23 points in the Kings winning effort. He hit 8-of-16 shots overall and went 4-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc. Hield converted 3-of-4 opportunities at the free throw line.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 16 points, hauled in five rebounds, made four assists and added two assists.
De’Aaron Fox added 12 points, four steals, and three assists.
Harry Giles III was very productive in his 16-plus minutes of playing time. He booked 10 points, three rebounds, and one steal.
Coach Joerger was quick to point out that Willie Cauley-Stein had a very strong game on defense to go with his seven points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots.
Newcomer Alec Burks recorded nine points in just over 14-minutes on the floor. He also had four rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
More Sacramento Team Stats
The Kings had a good night at the charity stripe as they hit 19-of-25 (76%) opportunities. Both the number of attempts and conversion percentage showed improvement.
The Kings were outrebounded 49-46.
SAC distributed 18 assists and turned the ball over 14 times.
The team had a total of 11 steals and five blocked shots.
The Heat outscored the Kings 50-48 in the paint.
The Kings won the battle of 2nd Chance Points 17-6.
Sacramento also won with speed scoring 19 Fast Break Points to 8 for Miami.
The best performances by the Heat
Josh Richardson scored a team-high 21 points to go with four assists and three blocked shots.
Hassan Whiteside was especially productive scoring in the first half and scored 17 points to with 19 rebounds in the game.
Dwyane Wade overcame a nasty fall in the first quarter to go on and score 15 points and dish out four assists in his final appearance in Sacramento.
The Kings (29-26) will have Saturday off – no practice. They will return to action on Sunday afternoon when the Phoenix “Tankers” — I mean Suns — come to Sacramento to wrap up the longest homestand of the season.
The Heat (25-28) have a date with Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
This is what a man looks like. Marvin Bagley III #MB3FIVE did not have the kind of game for #SacramentoKings that he would like to remember – he came out of the locker room to speak to the media. There are a lot of vets who wouldn’t have done that. Thumbs up 👍 to MB35. #NBApic.twitter.com/J5IDZa4EBx
The Kings will practice on Friday and then travel to Las Vegas to get ready for the Summer League Tournament. Sacramento will play its first game on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm PDT when they will face the Phoenix Suns. That game can be seen on ESPN.
Sacramento — The inaugural California Classic NBA basketball showcase began play on Monday night at the Golden 1 Center. The six-game classic is an opportunity for the four teams to prepare for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Breaking news almost overshadowed the games
As the Warriors and Heat were preparing for the first game of the evening’s doubleheader, news broke that former Sacramento Kings star and current free agent DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins had signed a one-year, $5.3-million contract with the Golden State Warriors.
There was a definite buzz that came over the arena as news of the signing spread among the fans. Leave it to “Boogie” to try and steal the Kings thunder.
The good news — it did not take long for the fans to forget about Cousins and start concentrating on basketball.
Kings two “Dukies” made their debut in front of the hometown crowd
The Kings number one draft pick (number two overall) Marvin Bagley III was one of the starting forwards versus the Lakers in the second game on Monday night. He was joined on the front line by center and former Duke player Harry Giles III. Giles was “redshirted” last season while he completed bi-lateral rehabilitation.
The number two lottery selection in the NBA Draft is expected to be an immediate impact player, so the near-sellout crowd was ready to Bagley perform right from the opening tip. The word about Giles and his performance in workouts was so positive that many fans could not wait to see him in actual competition.
The two former Blue Devils did not disappoint.
Bagley III scored his first points at 6:58 in the first quarter when he hit a seven-foot fadeaway shot. Giles III got into the act 24-seconds later when he finished a fastbreak with a layup off an assist from Frank Mason. Giles started the fastbreak opportunity when blocked a 3-point shot attempt by Moritz Wagner.
Not to be outdone, Bagley III came back seconds later with a monster dunk on a fastbreak of his own. About a minute later, Bagley would sink a 26-foot 3-point shot. Yes, the big home crowd was going wild.
Frankly, my focus for the majority of the game was on Bagley III and Giles III. We had not had a chance to see the two players in action and this was a chance to really focus on their skills.
What did we learn about Harry Giles III?
First, Harry Giles III is a very tough, physical player. After being out for an entire season, there was a possibility he could have been a bit cautious getting back into action. The exact opposite happened. Giles looked like a man who was hungry to get into action and mix it up.
Giles III played physical with and without the ball. He left no doubt that he was on the floor for any Laker that had to play against him on Monday night. Giles III committed six personal fouls (players get 10 this time of year) in the game and some of them were very physical.
Giles III scored 13 points shooting 6-for-10 from the floor. He hit 1-of-2 3-point shots. Even though he played a very physical game, Giles III did not go to the free throw line once in 25-minutes of playing time. He grabbed three rebounds, had one steal and one blocked shot.
It was a nice professional debut for Mr. Giles III.
Marvin Bagley III is going to be a tough guy on the court
The Kings top draft choice made his presence known early in the game. He is not shy. Bagley III is into the game and very demonstrative about it. He is very active on the floor and does not appear to have any fear about mixing it up with opposing players.
At one point in the game, Bagley III made a move to the basket leading with his right shoulder. He did not make the shot but did go to the line to shoot free throws. The defender was left clutching his chest in pain after taking “the bump” to clear him out before Bagley III made his move to the hoop.
Bagley III posted 18 points in just under 26 minutes on the floor. He shot 6-for-11 overall and hit 1-of-2 from downtown. Bagley — who has not been know as a great free throw shooter — went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. He also hauled in six rebounds and blocked three shots.
In his first professional game, Marvin Bagley III performed as advertised, and that is a good thing.
The Kings beat the Lakers 98-93 on Monday night. It is important to remember that the rosters of these teams are made up of first-year players, rookies, G-League players and undrafted free agents. These are young players that the teams want to get experience plus players they may be considering for “two-way” contracts or for their G-League teams.
De’Aaron Fox — who will not play in the Las Vegas Tournament — was the leading scorer for Sacramento. He recorded 23 points, had eight rebounds, dished out six assists and made three steals. Fox shot 9-for-15 from the field but went just 1-for-6 from long-range. He went to the free throw line six times and converted five of those opportunities.
Frank Mason also had a very good game for SAC scoring 16 points. He hit 4-of-7 shooting and sank 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Mason also took advantage of the free throw line dropping in 6-of-7 shots from the line.
The Lakers were led by Moritz Wagner and Josh Hart who each scored 23 points in the contest. Svi Mykhalliuk added 15 points of his own.
This contest also featured two technical fouls charged to the Lakers. A Flagrant 1 Foul charged to Frank Mason and an ejection to one of the Lakers leading scorers — John Hart.
These young players have a great deal on the line, so they are willing to play with reckless abandon.
Golden State vs. Miami
The Heat and the Warriors played in the first game of the doubleheader on Monday night. Golden State won the game 79-68. Kendrick Nunn led the Warriors scoring attack with 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Derrick Jones, Jr. was the leading scorer for the Heat and the game. He also recorded a double-double posting 24 points and 11 rebounds.
The schedule for Tuesday night
The Lakers and Heat will faceoff at 6:00 PM. The Warriors and the Kings will meet in the nightcap will tip-off at approximately 8:00 PM.