Warriors overcome 21-point deficit to beat Pelicans 125-115 ; Curry is hurt

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts after making a 3-point basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Warriors were thoroughly outplayed in the first half of Monday night’s game with the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Arena in the Crescent City.

Everything worked for the Pelicans in the first half. They had terrific ball movement, they were making three point shots, they were rebounding, and they were beating the Warriors. However, the Warriors are the defending NBA champions, and they showed the Pelicans as they started the third quarter on a 15-0 run and stopped the Pelican offense cold as they won 125-115.

The Pelicans were playing without their big man, Anthony Davis, who was out with a groin strain. They still had to deal with Demarcus Cousins and Jrue Holiday. Cousins, perhaps the best center in the NBA, was a force in the middle. He has been effective making three point shots, and that gives his game an added dimension. The Warriors could usually handle Cousins when he was with the Kings, but he has a better supporting cast in New Orleans.

The Pelicans offense really clicked in the first half, and their defense had Golden State completely out of sync. Holiday led the Pelicans with 23 points in the half. E’Twaun Moore had 13. Rajon Rondo had eight, Dante Cunningham had nine, and Cousins knocked down 11.

Steph Curry led the Dubs with 12, but he was just 3-9 from the floor. Durant had nine, McGee had five, Green had six and Klay Thompson had just two. The Pelicans led by 20 at the half (69-49). The Warriors looked tired as they made 10 turnovers and were outrebounded 28-26. The Pelicans recorded 20 assists while the Dubs had just 14.

The Warriors, as most fans know, seem to figure out what to do at the halftime intermission and get going in the third quarter. They did exactly that. They started the quarter on a 15-0 run to cut the deficit to just five points. The Pelicans calmed down and didn’t appear to be fazed as they were able to maintain the lead and were up by six (82-76). It was at this point that Holiday got hot and propelled the Pelicans to a 91-80 advantage. Curry took over, and he scored the last eight points of the period to make it a 91-88 game. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 37-22 in the quarter.

The Warriors continued to roll in the fourth quarter. They found their rhythm and were back in sync. The lead changed hands several times, but the Pelicans were starting to wilt. They regained the lead 105-102 but Steph made a three-pointer, and Nick Young came up big with two consecutive three-point shots that put the Warriors ahead for good. The Warriors increased the lead to ten (120-110) when Steph injured his ankle and had to leave the game. The Warriors were able to hold on, and they won 125-115.

Game notes and stats — Zaza Pachulia did not play Monday night as he had a sore shoulder. JaVale McGee made his first start of the season. Patrick McCaw was injured in the first half when he was hammered on the head and appeared to have blood running from his nose. He was taken to the locker room and did not return. Shaun Livingston was given the night off.

The other injury occurred late in the game when Curry appeared to twist his right ankle. He hobbled to the locker room, and X-Rays were taken. The X-Rays were negative which is a good sign. Curry said he will “see how it feels tomorrow and go from there” “The surgical repairs from five or six years ago are fine.”

Cousins and Kevin Durant were both ejected from the game with just 1:13 left to play. Each player had a technical called on them earlier in the game, and since this was their second technical, they had to exit.

Curry led the Dubs with 31. Thompson came to life in the second half and finished with 22. Green and Durant finished with 19. Holiday had 34, and Moore had a career-high 27 points in a losing effort. The Warriors are 19-6 while the Pelicans fall to 12-12

The Warriors play game five of the six-game road trip in Curry’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Game time is at 4 pm PST.

Pelicans sweep season series vs Kings

by Michael Martinez

picture credit Jacob Gonzalez

SACRAMENTO- The Kings had a great win last night in Los Angeles and things were looking up, but then the team came home. Recently, the Kings have struggled mightily at home and tonight was no different. The defense was flat out bad tonight especially in the first half.

The difference tonight was El Dorado Hills native, Ryan Anderson. Anderson’s huge second quarter change the game completely and the Kings really never had a chance thereafter.

The Oak Ridge high grad put up 21 points in the second quarter on 8-11 shooting, 3-4 from the field. The forward’s huge second quarter put the Kings down 74-53 as he made the defense look silly.  Some of his shots were incredible, but nonetheless giving up 74 points was inexcusable. As a team, the Pelicans shot 83.3% in the quarter.  The Kings offense slowed down in the second quarter, scoring 22 points to New Orleans’ 41. The Pelicans’ had their largest lead of the half in the second when they were up by 24 points.

Fans booed the Kings towards the end of the quarter as the Kings gave up the most points in a half all season. Maybe that sparked some fire under Sacramento’s belt out of the locker room.

Out of the break, the Kings scored 10 straight points and cut the deficit down to 11, looking for some hope. But New Orleans never let the Kings get any closer, going up by 21 points at one point in the third quarter.

The Kings continued to struggle while New Orleans kept pouring it on. The Pelicans’ largest lead of the game came in the fourth as they went up by 27 points at one point. New Orleans absolutely dominated the Kings tonight and there was really no question about if they would get the win. Although the Kings only lost the game by 15, 123-108, the Pelicans out played the Kings in every aspect.

The loss is not all that surprising with the Kings recent struggles, plus they have not been able to defeat New Orleans. This is their sixth straight loss to the Pelicans who won all four games this season. And as the Sleep Train Arena starts to see its last games, the Kings have dropped seven consecutive games on their home floor and the games really haven’t been all that close.

The Pelicans shot 54.4% from the field and an astounding 57.1% from behind the arc, knocking down 12 three-pointers.

Anthony Davis finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds, while Anderson totaled 29 points. New comer Tim Frazier scored 14 points for New Orleans and added nine assists.

Darren Collison was the Kings’ leading scorer with 23 points. DeMarcus Cousins finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for another double double. Cousins now has 26 double doubles in his last 32 games he’s played in.

The Kings once again showed struggles in playing back to back games. Heading into the contest, the team was 3-12 when playing consecutive games and now that makes it 3-13. It is difficult to play without three of the team’s guards, including Rajon Rondo, but there’s no excuse for the team’s poor effort tonight.

Sacramento is now 26-41 and will head to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Friday. With the season coming to an end, maybe it’s best for the Kings to hope for the best possible draft pick and regroup next season.

 

Turnovers cost Kings in New Orleans

by Michael Martinez

picture credit USATSI

SACRAMENTO-I’m just as confused as the next person who watched tonight’s game against the Pelicans. The Kings looked dominate early on and played great basketball, however the team could not find a way to close out.

Turnovers and lackluster defense hurt this team especially down the stretch. After leading for the majority of the game, the Kings let a 17 point lead in the third quarter completely vanish. And while the Kings kept holding onto their lead, they let the Pelicans come back late and win the game, 115-112.

Out of the gate, both teams scored very quickly. Offense came in a hurry and the Kings started with a fast paced tempo. This allowed Sacramento to take the lead for most of the quarter, but the Pelicans never quit.

Up 27-20 with 3:35 left in the first quarter, the Kings allowed New Orleans to go for a 10-0 run that ended after Omri Casspi put back a lay up for the Kings’ first field goal in two plus minutes.. The Pelicans held a 30-29 lead, but Casspi knocked a pair of free throws to regain the lead. The Pelicans would finish the quarter with the lead after Alonzo Gee made a layup and was fouled with .3 seconds in the quarter. Gee made the free throw to put the Kings at a disadvantage after one, 33-31.

DeMarcus Cousins and Norris Cole put on a scoring frenzy for their respective teams. Cousins finished with 13 points and Cole scored 14 for team highs. The Pelicans shot 56% from the field, but their seven turnovers allowed the Kings to keep it close. Rajon Rondo added five points and five assists with Rudy Gay scoring seven.

The second consisted of a lot of scoring runs. New Orleans started it off with a 6-0 run, 9-0 continuing from the first quarter. But the Kings were able to hit a 9-0 run of their own. Again, the Pelicans scored 5 straight to take a 44-40 lead.

Sacramento once again answered with an 11-0 run to lead 51-44. Jrue Holiday stopped the run with a lay up but the Kings kept their scoring up. The Pelicans turnovers really cost them. Their 15 first half turnovers led to 18 Kings’ points. The Kings largest lead in the quarter was 15 and Sacramento would hold a 63-50 lead heading into the locker room.

Cousins held a game high with 23 points in the first quarter and tallied nine rebounds. The Kings shot at 54.2% in the half as they dominate the second quarter with their uptempo offense.

The third quarter is where things changed. Pelicans’ head coach Alvin Gentry picked up a technical before the third started. Gay hit the free throw for a 14 point lead before any time came off the clock.

Anthony Davis was dominate and chipped away at the Kings’ early 17 point lead. Davis kept the Pelicans right in the game in the third and the score was 89-83 after three. Cousins was once again phenomenal but Sacramento had seven turnovers in the third, which led to eight Pelicans’ points. The turnovers allowed the Pelicans to hang around even after the Kings had been up by so much.

The Pelicans started the final quarter with a 6-0 run to tie it up at 89. The Kings answered right back with an 8-0 run to go back up, 97-89. Sacramento was unable to figure out a way to close out the resilient Pelicans. The turnovers cost Sacramento again as they gave the ball away seven more times in the fourth quarter.

Holiday was huge for the Pelicans with nine fourth quarter points. With a little under two and a half to play, the Kings had a 108-106 lead. Cousins knocked down a pair of shots at the charity stripe to go up 110-106. Davis had dunk to keep the game within two.

With a under a minute remaining, the Pelicans had the ball. The Kings left Dante Cunningham wide open for a three and the forward nailed the jumper. The Pelicans took the lead 111-110. Holiday came up big as he knocked down a shot after a Sacramento miss to put the lead up to three.

Out of the timeout with 12.8 to go, Gay was able to score a quick two. Cole was then fouled and made both free throws. Darren Collison rushed to bring the ball up court and lost it to Holiday who let time expire.

Cousins was his usual self, scoring 40 points and grabbing 16 boards. Rondo had a nice game with 18 points, 10 assists but the point guard had five turnovers. Gay added a double double as well with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Kings shot the ball at a great 49.4 shooting percentage from the field but 24 total turnovers led to 22 points for New Orleans. Davis had 31 points and 10 rebounds. The backcourt duo of Cole and Holiday was key to the Pelicans success. Cole totaled 23 points and Holiday scored 20 while adding 10 assists for the double double.

After looking to have a sure win, the Kings will need to regroup and figure out how to close out games. This is the Kings’ second consecutive loss after losing to San Antonio on Saturday.

The Kings will take on the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7 p.m. at Arco Arena.

Worn Down Kings lose, 112-97, in Portland

by Michael Martinez

Picture by (Steve Dykes/AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO- DeMarcus Cousins has been a treat to watch, notching career highs in points in back to back games. 48 in a win against the Pacers and 56, a Sacramento franchise high, against the Hornets in a double overtime loss. But Boogie looked tired and struggled mightily tonight, which really hurt the Kings who were without Rudy Gay who suffered a corneal abrasion in last night’s ball game. Nobody for the Kings stepped up and there was not much from the bench besides Marco Belinelli, giving the Portland Trailblazers the victory, 112-97.

Early on, the Kings looked good with Rajon Rondo and Willie Cauley-Stein connecting on consecutive alley-oops for the team’s first two field goals. Rondo penetrated the defense well and did a nice job of getting open looks or easy baskets for his teammates, especially Cauley-Stein. Rondo tried to give a team who looked tired some early energy. The team’s ball movement was nice with nine team assists in the quarter.

Tied at 15, Cousins got called for a charge and Coach George Karl was not happy, picking up a technical foul. Once the Blazers knocked down the free throw, Portland never looked back and held the lead for the majority of the game afterwards. Both teams were not too careless with the ball and scored well in the paint as the Blazers led 33-29 at the end of the first. Nonetheless, the game still looked close.

As the second quarter got underway, Cousins frustration grew and Rondo and Cauley-Stein couldn’t continue their hot start. Rondo scored nine in the first and WCS notched eight. Cousins could not buy a basket from the field going 3-14 in the half, but getting to the line seven times and making six of the seven shots. The Kings played pretty good defense, but the Blazers found a way to shoot at a high percentage, 50% for the half. The Kings found a way to hang around even with their offensive struggles as Portland’s largest lead in the half was nine. Cousins had a half time high with 12 points and CJ McCollum had 11 to lead Portland.

With just under three minutes to play in the quarter, Cauley-Stein took a bump to the eye and headed to the locker room. Willie received stitches and donned a bandage on his eyebrow in the second half.

After a tough half of basketball, the Blazers held a six-point lead, 58-52.

In the third, the Blazers continued to shoot at a high percentage and the Kings faltered. Portland put up a 30-point quarter on 50% shooting. Every Blazers player who entered in the third scored, while the Kings shot at 40% and couldn’t get a bucket from their best player. Cousins only way of scoring was from the free throw line and in the quarter he went 2 of 8. The Kings were down seven at one point and could not score on possessions where they had a wide open look from Cousins and a couple of missed lay ups by Rondo. When the Kings failed to cut the lead to five, Portland attacked the Kings defense and went up by as many as 14 points. Missed free throws also kept the Kings from hanging around, 4-12 in third. With three quarters in the books, Portland led, 88-74.

The Trail Blazers started the fourth with a 10-4 run causing Sacramento to call a timeout. Portland’s offense continued to sizzle as they went up by as many as 22. With the lead very much out of reach, Karl took out Cousins, Rondo and Willie to give them some much needed rest after logging a ton of minutes the night before.

In garbage time, Seth Curry put up seven points and gave the Kings a little offense. The Kings turned the ball over six times in the quarter and after a good first quarter and mostly first half, slowed down. The Blazers took advantage of a tired Kings team to put themselves in line for the eighth seed, defeating Sacramento, 112-97. Portland came into tonight’s ball game a game behind the Kings for that eighth spot.

Myers Leonard frustrated Boogie big time and Cousins was absolutely drained. His legs weren’t quite under him, 4-21 on field goals and 9-17 from the free throw line. Cousins had a team high with 17 points. McCollum finished with a game high 18 points. The Blazers shot really well and the Kings did not shoot as well as they would have liked, 41.9%. Seven of Portland’s players scored in double figures, with their leader Damian Lilliard notching 15 points.

Rondo finished with 15 points and 11 assists for another double double as he played an excellent game, but just couldn’t get enough energy from the rest of the team. Belinelli finished with 14 points as his shot looked much better. Belinelli and the Kings hope that he can get his stroke back. Cauley-Stein finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Willie’s defense has been a huge plus for the Kings since his return.

The Kings have an off day tomorrow before they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday. Tomorrow will be a well deserved rest day as the team travels and hopefully Boogie will find his stride once again. After all, this is his first mediocre game of January, Big Cous has been dominant. The Kings have dropped two in a row now and will look to get back to their winning ways in January on Thursday at New Orleans.

Curry, Lee carry Warriors past Pelicans

By Joe Hawkes

NEW ORLEANS — Stephen Curry had 28 points and eight assists, while David Lee added 22 points and eight rebounds helping the Golden State Warriors rebound from their loss in Oklahoma City Friday night, with a 97-87 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night at New Orleans Arena.

Curry shot 10-for-22 from the field, but 2-for-9 from 3-point range. Andrew Bogut scored 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in 34 minutes, and Jordan Crawford added 10 points off the bench for Golden State (26-16), who picked up their seventh straight victory over New Orleans.

Klay Thompson had a tough night from the field, scoring eight points on 3-for-14 shooting, 2-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.

Anthony Davis led all scorers with 31 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, his seventh straight game with at least 20-plus points.

Tyreke Evans finished with 14 points, after missing the previous three games with a left ankle sprain for the Pelicans (15-24), who have lost seven straight games. Al-Farouq Aminu scored 12 points, but New Orleans finished shooting 38.6 percent (32 of 83), including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. The Warriors shot 44 percent (37 of 84), hitting 6 of 22 from deep.

Golden State needed this victory in the worse way, as they host the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers Monday at Oracle Arena and didn’t want to face a tough Pacers team on a three-game losing streak.

 

49ers Report: Kaepernick could very well be as good as Montana someday

by David Zizmor

 SANTA CLARA–We were just talking about how bad the NFC East is and no team better exemplifies that than the Washington squad their really bad and they displayed that last Monday night against the 49ers. It’s kind of surprising to think they made the playoffs last year and were kind of the toast of the league and Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III displayed his skills as he injured his knee in that playoff game last year against Seattle and it’s been a tough road ever since.

Washington is just not a very good team this season and Griffin is having a lot of trouble on offense he really has had trouble passing he doesn’t look right in fact if you look in the past game comments from 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks “we respect Robert Griffin he’s a good player he’s a warrior he also shouldn’t be out there, it’s just not right there’s something wrong he’s not healthy and he should take a break before he gets back out there” but you know what the 49ers don’t care.

The 49ers had two tough games against Carolina and New Orleans and the way they lost those two games was pretty tough they lost by a total of four points by one point to Carolina and three points to New Orleans and in that New Orleans game if you don’t like that penalty for the personal foul called on Brooks for the clothesline hit on Drew Brees late in the game when he fumbled you would think the 49ers had the game stolen from them.

They lost their two games in a very tough manner and everybody was claiming the sky was falling “the Niners stink, their going to miss the playoffs, Colin Kaeppernick he’s not as good as we thought he was” the offense needs to pick up the pace for sure but the defense has been playing great football and the Niners still are 7-4 right now this isn’t a team that hasn’t completely fallen out of the playoffs race. They had a couple of tough games and they were right in  those games if a couple of breaks go their way they could have got the win and everybody would be happy and nobody would be complaining and moaning.

Fans and media would be saying that the Niners would need to be doing a couple more things and “hey their winning so who cares” this is a good team and Kaepernick has not been quite as dynamic as he was last year but lets’ remember this is a guy who started only 20 football games in his young career and after 20 games former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana was still struggling a little bit in fact if you look at Montana’s statistics for his first 20 games their almost identical to Kaepernick’s it’s almost scary how close they are in terms of their numbers.

 

Kaepernick and Montana were in different eras their not one to one comparable but Kaepernick still has a lot of room to grow and you won’t be surprised and you’ll see him grow and become a much better quarterback as time passes the offensive line has struggled a bit this season that’s played a part in Kaepernick’s struggles and we all know the problems of the 49ers with their wide receivers being unhealthy.

As the receivers get healthy and they get more weapons on offense back in the fold you see Kaepernick get better, also the coaching staff needs adjusting their realizing there are some things they need to help Kaepernick with so their doing their best to make things a little easier for him. The most important thing is the wide receivers. Mario Manningham is getting better each week you saw him in this week’s game against Washington catching several slant passes.

Which you might remember back in the 80s and 90s under former head coaches of the 49ers Bill Walsh and George Siefert those were the bread and butter of the 49ers offense with receivers like Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Freddie Solomon, Dwight Clark, and many others were catching slants left and right. You couldn’t stop them it’s a great play and if you catch it and you get tackled you get seven yards and if you catch and you break a tackle you could go for a long one.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk radio

49ers report: A Crabtree return can really spark this offense

by David Zizmor
SANTA CLARA–The 49ers had tough back to back games and they had that terrible loss when they played the Saints in New Orleans and as we all know the Superdome is not an easy place to play. Sometimes the lights go out sometimes you have to face a good team and you really never know what your going to face. The 49ers really faced a really good New Orleans team that’s one of the best in the NFC if not the entire NFL.
The Niners lost by a field goal and it’s really rough, there were a couple of key plays in this game the most obvious one of them all Amad Brooks with the sack and the forced fumble of the New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees late in the fourth quarter that could have clinched the game. The referees called a roughing the passer personal foul for a 15 yard penalty that wiped out a sack and fumble that the 49ers recovered.
It was a questionable call taking a look at the replay Brooks really walloped Brees it looked like a legal hit. It was kind of closeline it was high on Brees chest but that’s a legal hit if you hit him in the chest. The official thought it was more in the neck area which wouldn’t be legal but watching the replay it sure look to me like it hit Brees in the chest and maybe after the hit his arm slid up higher towards his neck.
That was a play that turned the entire game around if the 49ers get that fumble recovery that’s probably the gamer which it makes incredibly difficult for the Saints to win. It definitely gives the Niners a better opportunity to win. There are several problems that the 49ers are trying to solve right now. One the receiving core is just not coming through Anquan Boldin had a nice grab and so did Vernon Davis.
The 49ers passing game was really non existent their really working things through and maybe in addition to Mario Manningham it’s helping but the 49ers have not really been active in the passing since Michael Crabtree outside of that first game of the season against Green Bay Crabtree really seemed to make this offense go last year. Once Kaeppernick became the quarterback Crabtree really blossomed and really opened things up for the receiving core and everything else.
So the 49ers could get Crabtree in a couple of weeks I don’t think it’s going to be this week against Washington on Monday night you never know but there was no report to indicate that Crabtree is going to be back. That Saints game was tough and the 49ers really have to move past that game because their going into Washington on a Monday night it’s another road game with a national audience and playoff seeding is not aligned in this one the 49ers have more or less lost the NFC west unless Seattle suffers a big collapse.
The 49ers have to focus on the wild card, they have to focus on seeding and just making the wild card, because technically speaking they’re tied with four other teams for that wild card position. Washington has been playing very poorly this season their coming off another loss this time to Philadelphia. Washington has not looked good their not the team they were last year when they made the playoffs behind Robert Griffin III.
Daivd Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

49ers faced a tough defense in Carolina

Photo Courtesy 49ers.com

by David Zizmor

SANTA CLARA– It was a tough Carolina Panthers team that the 49ers had to face there at Candlestick last Sunday. Carolina is a surging team they’re on a long winning streak. Someone had to win, someone had to lose and you look at these two teams they both have excellent defenses and that’s what really dominated and dictated this game which is two great defenses.

The bottom line was that Carolina got the last score that’s what gave them the win 10-9 and the 49ers just couldn’t get anything going on offense but it’s not like the Panthers dominated either. There’s a lot of hand wringing going on in San Francisco about the Niners offensive game plan and there’s something to be said about that. The 49ers just ran into a defense that was really, really good and it’s tough to move the ball against a team like that.

Once you lose Vernon Davis and the passing game is still coming around it makes it tough to go up and down the field. It was not like the 49ers weren’t in this one it unfortunate because the 49ers played a great defensive game. They were just as strong as the Panthers were but the simple fact is the Niners offense couldn’t solve Carolina’s defense.

10-9 is not like anyone dominated but Carolina sent a message and said “We’re here you have to deal with us” the rest of the league had to be aware of this game and Carolina is a team that is aiming for the playoffs  and the 49ers really wanted that win but they got to brush it off and look ahead to next week’s game against New Orleans.

One of the strengths of the Carolina defense was the rush, they have a great front seven their linebackers and defensive lineman were all fantastic, you talk about a team that’s going to send multiple guys to the Pro Bowl they’re that good and the 49ers offensive line have been really solid as well. When quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under pressure he’s like any other quarterback it just becomes difficult to make a play.

Some teams Kaepernick’s been able to break out and get yards with his legs but Carolina has really quick linebackers just like the Niners do and it’s really tough too for a running quarterback to gain any yards. Kaepernick had that problem even when he was able to escape the pass rush there and there was really no field for him to rush.

Kaepernick couldn’t get any yards running and frankly when your being chased all over the place unless your receivers can come back and give you options it’s tough to make a play that way either. Kaepernick he has to work on a few things to be sure but also he’s not going to face a defense as good as that outside of Seattle the rest of the season.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio