Sacramento Kings Friday night game wrap: Kings second half come back falls short

by Michael Martinez

picture credit USA Today

SACRAMENTO- The Kings had a horrendous defensive first half, giving up 39 first quarter points and 66 in the half. 66 points for the Heat in the first half was their season high and Sacramento looked doomed. The game looked very out of reach for the Kings when they were down by 24 points a little over halfway through the third quarter.

But the Kings found their stride and played tough defense in the second half. The Kings turned things on, especially in the fourth quarter with big offensive production from Darren Collison who had 11 fourth quarter points. Seth Curry was big as well with nine points in the quarter.

Sacramento was able to cut the lead to one with a minute and a half remaining as the crowd got louder. A surprising turn of events made a blow out into an incredible come back. As the Kings played tough defense and worked on double teaming and trapping Heat players, they left Luol Deng wide open for a corner three. Deng sunk the three with 45 second left to go and put the Heat up by six. Ultimately, the three would be the dagger as the Kings were unable to complete their valiant effort of trying to win their third straight at home.

Once again, the Kings lose a game with DeMarcus Cousins not playing in the game as he was suspended by the NBA for his 16 technical of the season. The Kings first half mishap cost them the game as they gave up 20 first half points to Gerald Green who started in place of Dwayne Wade. Green finished the game with a game high 30 points.

Collison scored 26 points for the Kings as he played while Rajon Rondo sat out for most of the second half. Curry matched his career high with 21 points as he continues to play well for Sacramento. The Kings defense forced ten second half turnovers, but the Heat’s first half was too much.

The Kings will head to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Nuggets tomorrow. Sacramento will be without Cousins in tomorrow night’s game as he will not play in road games for the rest of the season. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.

Warriors Tie Franchise Record with 15th Home Win In A Row, Beat Heat 104-89

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 14: The Golden State Warriors huddle before the game against the Miami Heat on January 14, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – JANUARY 14: The Golden State Warriors huddle before the game against the Miami Heat on January 14, 2015 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND – In a big news day around the Bay Area the Golden State Warriors (31-5) made sure their names were in the headlines as the tied a franchise record with their 15th straight home win with a victory over the Miami Heat (17-22) 104-89. Stephen Curry led all players with 32 points which included a seven of ten night from beyond the arch. Andre Iguodala lead the team with 7 assists and David Lee and Marreese Speights both had a team high six rebounds.

For Miami, Chris Bosh had 26 points and seven rebounds while Luol Deng added 19 points of his own. Dwayne Wade was held out of tonight’s contest with a strained left hamstring.

Curry and Klay Thompson got the Warriors off to a great start as the scored the teams first 14 points and led the Warriors to a 26-18 after the first quarter. In the early second quarter, head coach Steve Kerr sent in the second unit to face the Heat and they helped build the lead from 8 points to 17 to end the first half with a 55-38 lead.

“I thought that was the key point in the game. Our defense really kicked in and it was nice that the defense came from the group that maybe you didn’t expect it from,” said Kerr. “David (Lee) was terrific and I loved his energy. Andre was always in the right place and handled the ball for us. That group was really good for us.”

The Heat turned up the pressure in the second half when they outscored the Warriors 51 to 49 but the Warriors defense came up big and stopped the Heat before they were able to start a run. With a little over nine minutes left in the game the Heat’s Shawne Williams made a 27-foot three pointer to bring the Warriors lead down to nine points. However the always impressive Justin Holliday scored five points in under 40 seconds and brought the lead back up to 14.

The Warriors are now 13-0 over Eastern Conference teams and off to their best start in years. With the amazing start by the Warriors Steve Kerr had this to say on the rest of the season.

“I think this is the beginning of the dog days in the NBA. Now until the All Star break is when it gets hard. The newness of the season is over and we’re on this great run and we’re not even halfway through and guys are getting tired. We’re trying to get through that and if we’re able to pick up wins then that’s great.”

The Warriors head to Oklahoma City and try to extend their win streak to nine on Friday night to take on Kevin Durant and the Thunder.

Giants Shutout for Second Loss in as Many Nights

Photo Credit: Miami Marlins Google +
Photo Credit: Miami Marlins Google +

By: Joe Lami

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–The Miami Marlins defeated the San Francisco Giants for the second night in a row on Saturday night by the final score of 5-0 to take the lead in the four game weekend set 2-1.

The night looked promising for the Giants, when Tim Lincecum smoked through the first inning with two strikeouts.  However, it looked like a completely different Lincecum in the second inning, as he walked two to set up the Marlins first run of the inning.  Lincecum walked both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna to put runners on first and second, when  Adeiny Hechavarria knocked in Saltalamacchia for the eventual game winning run with the Marlins first hit of the evening.

Controversy occurred in the bottom half of the second inning for the Giants, when Brandon Hicks came up to the plate.  He lined a hard hit ball off of the bricks in right field for what should have been a double.  However, when rounding first, Hicks apparently missed first base.  After being challenged by the Marlins, it was deemed that Hicks missed first base, so he was called out.  “I thought I hit it, but I was looking up for the ball so I don’t know,” explained Hicks.

Instead of having runners of first and third with only one out, the Giants had two outs when Brandon Crawford was the next one to step to the plate.  He flied out to center on what would have been an easy sacrafice fly, but instead the fly out ended the inning.

“Crawford hit one and it would have been a run,” expressed Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

The Marlins were able to add two more in the sixth off of a tired Lincecum.  Casey McGehee started the inning with a leadoff double, only to be batted in when Garrett Jones came up next with a triple.  A scary moment occurred on the play, as Angel Pagan went diving for the ball, and ended up missing it, allowing Jones to get to third.  He banged up his shoulder on the play.  “He said he was a little sore, and will evaluate him tomorrow, but he should be okay,” Bochy commented.  Saltalamacchia then hit in Jones with a sacrifice fly to left to extend the lead to 3-0.

Lincecum was coming off of his best start of the season against Atlanta where he struck out 11, while allowing one run on two hits.  On Saturday night, the former Cy Young winner lasted six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, while striking out six.  “Timmy had a good outing, the way we have been swinging the bats of late, we could have expected more,” added Bochy.

Miami was able to add one in the seventh, when Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo shot for his 12th homerun of the season.  The Marlins also added one in the ninth that went unearned to make it 5-0.

Marlins’ pitcher Tom Koehler bounces back from his worst performance of the season, where he only pitched 3.2 innings against the Dodgers, with the win.  Koehler pitched seven, striking out seven, while only allowing four hits.  He ups his record to 4-3 on the year.

The Giants try to get back in the win column Sunday, as they will face these same Marlins for the final matchup of the four-game weekend set.  San Francisco will be putting Ryan Vogelsong on the mound, while they face Jacob Turner.


Miami Backed By Yelich’s Four Run Game to Get Past Giants 7-5


By: Joe Lami

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.–A sold out crowd of 41,819 were treated to a rockin’ game on Metallica night at AT&T Park on Friday night, as the Giants and Marlins played the second game of a four-game series.  The Marlins tied the weekend series at one with the 7-5 win.  In a back and forth game, Miami finally took the stranglehold in the top of the ninth with a two run inning.

Casey McGee earned the game winning hit with one out in the ninth as he slapped a ball through the right side of the infield bringing in Christian Yelich, who earned his fourth run of the evening on the play.  “We’re going to have games like this, the game winning hit had eyes,” said Giants Manager, Bruce Bochy, following the loss.

Miami was able to add another one with a groundball base hit from Garrett Jones, as Brandon Crawford was unable to come up with the ball on a sliding ball to his left with two outs.

The Marlins got on the board first, when Yelich earned his first run of the game with a lead-off home run just five pitches in.  For Yelich, it was his fifth homer of the season and second of the Marlins road trip.  “I lost my command in the first, but after it I settled down,” Giants Starting Pitcher, Yusmeiro Petit commented.

Petit was put in as the spot starter, after projected starter Tim Hudson was unable to make it due to a strained left hip.  “I’m going to be ready anytime he (Bochy) needs me,” Petit added.

The Giants were able to answer right back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first, when Pablo Sandoval hit in Angel Pagan with a two out double.

Miami would hit their second home run of the game in the top half of the third inning.  This time it was off of the bat of Derek Dietrich, who hit it with a runner on in Yelich that reached on an error.  Miami would add another in the fourth inning to go up 4-1 when Adeiny Hechavarria hit in Jones on a sacrifice fly.

The Giants would once again answer with two runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning to make it 4-3, with runs coming from Sandoval and Michael Morse.

Miami would add on another run in the fifth, making it three straight innings with a run to go ahead 5-3.  Yelich notched his third run of the game on a McGehee single.

The Giants would add runs in the fifth and sixth to eventually tie the game.  “We just came up short tonight, after we tied it,” explained Bochy, after the game.

Santiago Casilla gets marked with the loss, dropping his record to 1-1 on the season.  Mike Dunn picks up the win for the Marlins, upping his record to 4-3.

With the loss, the Giants remain in first.  However, they lose a game on the Colorado Rockies, who defeated San Diego 3-1 on Friday night.  San Francisco has a three-game lead on Colorado.

Saturday’s matchup will feature Tom Koehler and Tim Lincecum as the projected starters.  Koehler has a 2.57 ERA for a 3-3 record on the year and AT&T Park holds a special place in his heart, as it is where he recorded his first Major League win.  Lincecum will be on the bump for San Francisco, as he goes into Saturday with a 4.78 ERA, good enough for a 3-2 record.  Lincecum is also coming off of his best outing of the season, as he struck out 11 batters in his win over the Braves on Monday.

Marlins avert sweep at home, beat Giants

By Jeremy Kahn

Looking for their first sweep against the Miami Marlins in the City of Miami since 2010, one unfortunate bounce denied that to happen.

Jeff Mathis hit a double in the bottom of the eighth inning that scored the eventual winning run, as the Marlins came back to defeat the Giants 6-5 at Marlins Park.

The Mathis double bounced off of Giants center fielder Andres Torres that scored Ed Lucas, who singled off of losing pitcher Sandy Rosario.

Chad Qualls pitched 1.1 innings to pickup the win, and Marlins closer Steve Cishek picked up his 27th save in 29 chances.

Hector Sanchez singled with one hit in the top of the ninth inning, but Buster Posey grounded into a game-ending double play.

Hunter Pence hit his first home run in 112 at bats, a two-run poke that was estimated at 458 feet to give the Giants 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Pence tied up the game in the top of the fifth inning, as he singled and it was his eighth run batted in during the three-game series.

Brandon Crawford tied up the game in the top of the seventh inning, as he hit a solo home run and then Sanchez gave the Giants the lead in the top of the eighth inning; however they were unable to hold the lead.

Madison Bumgarner went five innings allowing four runs.