Kings fall to the Trail Blazers in home opener, 122-112

Photo credit: @Oregonian

By Jeremiah Salmonson

SACRAMENTO — After an unimpressive showing from the Kings on Opening Night in Phoenix, they turned to the home opener to try and get their first win. The Kings had been blown out by the Suns on Wednesday and faced a tough opponent in the Portland Trail Blazers. It is well-documented what the Blazers were able to do last season making a run in the playoffs. So, the Kings starring an 0-1 start in the face looked to turn things around in Sacramento at 7:00 PM PST.

In the first quarter, the Kings offense showed out. Unfortunately for the Kings, so did the Blazers. It was an expectedly back and forth first quarter. The Kings De’Aaron Fox and the Blazers’ Damian Lillard matched each other with 8 points apiece to lead their respective squads. Fresh off his new contract, Buddy Hield added 5 points for the Kings. The Blazers got a 6-point contribution from veteran forward Rodney Hood. At the end of the first quarter, it was 27-25 Kings on top.

In the second quarter, it was more of the same from both sides. The Trail Blazers and Kings continued to trade baskets. The Blazers got a great performance in the second quarter from Anfernee Simons, who put up 10 points. Damian Lillard continued to play well scoring another 7 points. However, the Kings and Bogdan Bogdanovic didn’t allow Portland to pull away. Bogdanovic put up 14 points on 4-6 shooting to lead the Kings to a tie going into the second half. De’Aaron Fox finished the half with 14 points and Buddy Hield had 12. The Kings and Blazers went into halftime all knotted up at 57 apiece.

In the third quarter, the Kings started to implode. Bad defense, missed shots, and turnovers led to an ugly quarter for the Kings. Portland outscored the Kings 37-27 as Hassan Whiteside dropped 16 points on the beleaguered Kings defense. De’Aaron Fox added 8 points to his game total to give him 22 through the third. Headed to the final 12 minutes, the Kings were down by 10.

In the fourth quarter, the Kings were able to keep the Blazers at bay. However, the deficit they built in the third quarter proved insurmountable. The Kings and Blazers both scored 28 points in the fourth which led to a 122-112 loss in the 2019 home opener. The Kings’ top scorer was De’Aaron Fox, who scored 28 points on 34 minutes of play. Hield scored 21 points on 31 minutes of play and Bogdan Bogdanovic dropped 16 on 28 minutes of floor time.

After the game, the overall mood was somber. The Kings came into this season with tons of optimism. Kings fans came into this season with tons of optimism. After all, the Kings had added some key role players in what they knew was an already strong core. They also changed leadership at the helm with new head coach Luke Walton, whose hoping to push the Kings over the next level. So far, that hasn’t happened. It’s still early, but the Kings need to course correct in a hurry to stay relevant this season.

The Kings travel to Utah for a back-to-back against the Jazz on Saturday evening at 6:00 PM PST.

NBA Finals podcast with David Zizmor: Warriors look like they could go all the way; Toronto or Milwaukee on deck

Photo credit: sports.yahoo.com

On the NBA Finals podcast with David Zizmor:

#1 From all the looks of it, the Golden State Warriors look like they can go all the way at this point. Talk about their possible opponents for the next round in Toronto or Milwaukee.

#2 The Warriors did it without Kevin Durant. What does that show as either the Raptors or Bucks are going into the NBA Finals?

David Zizmor does the Warriors podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Warriors overcome a 17-point deficit to sweep the Trail Blazers

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors downed the Portland Trailblazer 119-117 to sweep the Western Conference Finals. They now advance to the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year. They join the Boston Celtics as they and the Celtics are the only teams to reach the Finals for five seasons in a row.

The Warriors won their fifth game in a row with superstar Kevin Durant on the sidelines. DeMarcus Cousins, who injured a quadriceps muscle in the series against the LA Clippers was not available either. Andre Iguodala hurt his calf in Game Three in Portland and was questionable for Monday’s game. Warriors coach Steve Kerr opted to not play Andre. Kerr made changes in the starting lineup, and they paid off as the W’s won. It was not easy as they had to do it in overtime, but they did it.

The Blazers who had a 17-point lead in game two, and an eighteen-point point in game three, were able to gain a 17-point advantage in game four. The Blazers’ Damian Lillard, who suffered a rib injury and wasn’t at his best in games 2 and 3, was determined to play better and lead his team to a win. Blazers’ head coach, Terry Stotts, shuffled his lineup and inserted seven-foot-one -inch Meyers Leonard in the lineup. Leonard, who was averaging about six points a game, had the game of his life. He scored twenty-five points in the first half and knocked down five threes.

The Warriors, without Andre Iguodala, started forwards Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie. It was the first time that either player ever started an NBA Playoff game. The Warriors were hoping the “next man up” philosophy would work and it did.

The first period was very fast and furious. Both teams raced up and down the court. There were nine lead changes in the first quarter alone. The Warriors finished the period with a slim 36-35 lead. Steph Curry had 12, and Klay Thompson added 10 to pace the Warrior attack. Portland’s Meyers Leonard put 14 on the board, and CJ McCollum had 8, and Lillard added 7.

The Blazers, behind Leonard, McCollum, and Lillard outscored the W’s 34-29 to finish the first half leading 69-65. They led by eleven 66-55 late in the second period. Steph Curry made two three and a deuce to end the half trailing 69-65.

The Blazers knew it was now or never. They knew that they had to put away the Warriors. They knew that the Warriors had come back from significant deficits in game 2 and 3. They knew that if they hoped to win, they had to shut down the W’s offense and, at the same time, find a way to break down the Warriors defense. They held Draymond Green to just two points in the first half. Without Iguodala, could Draymond do it again? He answered the question. Yes, he did it again. The Blazers led 98-78 late in the third quarter. The Warriors scored the last eight points of the quarter to trail by eight 95-87. The Warriors knew that they had work to do in the final period, but an eight-point deficit is not impossible to overcome.

Curry hit a three to start the fourth quarter. Portland hit two-threes to go up by eleven 101-90. The Warriors defense started to throttle the Blazers’ offense. The Warriors went on a 14-3 run to tie the game at 104. Portland’s Rod Hood made a bucket, but Kevon Looney countered with one of his own to tie it at 106. Draymond gave the W’s the lead 108-106. Lillard made a three and Leonard added a bucket to put Portland ahead 111-108. Klay Thompson knocked down a three to tie it, and the game went to overtime.

The Warriors fell behind 115-114. Alfonzo McKinnie made a bucket to give the W’s the lead 116-115. Draymond Green made his only three-pointer of the game to provide the W’s their most significant lead of the night 119-115. Lillard connected on a two-point shot to close the gap to two 119-117. Neither team could relax. With 3.3 seconds left, Portland had the ball. If they made a two-point bucket, they would have tied the game and forced another 5-minute overtime period. If they made a three, they would have won. The Warriors held on, and Portland could not get off a shot. The Warriors win and end the Blazers’ season.

Game Notes and Stats- The Warriors bench players all performed well in Monday night’s win. Jordan Bell had seven, Alfonzo McKinnie was in double figures with 12. Kevon Looney continued his excellent play. He had a double-double with 12 points 14 rebounds. He, again, did a superb job getting offensive rebounds. Klay Thompson had 17, and he was tasked with trying to shut down Portlands CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. The Warriors had another first as they had two players that had a triple-double. Draymond Green, held to two points in the first half, finished the night with 18 points, 14 boards, and 11 assists. Step Curry had his fifth game in a row with 30 or more points. He tallied 37 and had 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Shay Livingston added 8, coming off the bench.

Meyers Leonard led Portland with 30 points and 12 rebounds. McCollum finished with 26. Damian Lillard had a double-double for Portland with 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 12 assists. Zach Collins was the other Blazer in double figures with 10.

The Warriors outrebounded the Blazers 55-28 The W’s had 15 offensive rebounds. Portland had six. The Warriors had 10 steals and 5 blocks.

The Warriors will now have a few days off as they await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Milwaukee Bucks lead the Series 2-1. Game four will be played in Toronto Tuesday night.

Draymond Green shines as Warriors defeat Trail Blazers 110-99 for 3-0 series lead

Photo credit: @warriors

By: Ana Kieu

The Golden State Warriors walked into the Moda Center to take on the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals Saturday night. The Warriors entered with a 2-0 series lead, which was commanding, but the series wasn’t over yet. The Warriors still had some work to do.

The Warriors’ starting lineup featured Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Damian Jones. Andrew Bogut was initially slated to start, but Damian Jones reportedly got the nod just moments before the tip-off.

The Blazers played beautiful basketball in the first half.

The Blazers’ back court of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum hit back-to-back three-pointers early in the first quarter. Also, Meyers Leonard made the most out of his second career postseason start. Leonard was a last-minute replacement for Enes Kanter in the Blazers’ starting lineup.

Steph Curry hit a couple of threes and Shaun Livingston’s mid-range shooting game was on fire. But the Blazers held a 29-27 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

The Blazers, however, showed the Warriors how basketball should be played in the second quarter. Zach Collins blocked Klay Thompson’s shot for a potential bucket early in the second quarter. Also, Evan Turner made mid-range shots as well as threes from the corner.

Sure, Dub Nation was thrilled to see Draymond Green make a buzzer-beating layup to end the first half. But it was the Blazers who took a 66-53 lead to the locker room at the break.

Meyers Leonard achieved a playoff career-high 16 points in the third quarter. But it was Draymond Green who stole the show by playing with such great energy. Green made some spiffy layups, despite multiple Blazers defenders all around him.

The Warriors finally took a one-point lead 77-76 with 1:54 left in the third quarter. The explosive play of Draymond Green and the slight leadership of Steph Curry and Jordan Bell contributed to the Warriors’ big run. Green had his seventh career playoff triple-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Blazers gave the Warriors a hard time and Steph Curry made a pass to Jordan Bell for a two, but the buzzer sounded before the shot was made and the Warriors settled for a 82-79 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Blazers were well-aware that they had 12 minutes to get the lead back.

CJ McCollum slid down the court on an arguable right hand grab and received a pair of free throws, but failed to make one or both of them. McCollum later made a two that pulled the Blazers within six 90-84 with 7:09 left in the fourth quarter. Then, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called a timeout for his team to regroup for a little bit.

It was quite a turnaround for the Warriors, who had an 11-point lead 100-89 with 4:18 left in the fourth quarter. Steph Curry stepped up his game, too. Curry’s efforts helped the Warriors to a 110-99 win and a 3-0 series lead.

Check out the Warriors’ final stats below.

Moreover, Draymond Green became the fifth player in NBA history to tally a triple-double (20 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals) in three straight NBA Playoffs series in a single postseason.

Game 4 will be Monday night at 6:00 pm on ESPN.

Warriors overcome 17-point deficit, beat Blazers 114-111

Photo credit: @warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors again showed what they have hearts of lions as they clawed their way back from a poor first half to down the Portland Trailblazers 114-111 at Oracle Arena Thursday night.

The Warriors blew out the Blazers in Game 1. Many pundits said that the Warriors will win the series in five, while others thought the Warriors might sweep the Blazers. However, games are played on the court, not on paper. People have to remember that the Blazers are a professional basketball team that finished with the third best record in the Western Conference. They have an outstanding backcourt of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. The Blazers knew that they had to outplay the Warriors on both ends of the court. They put 65 points on the board in the first half and held the Warriors to 50. They made 11 threes in the first half. Steph Curry led the Warriors with 19, but no other Warrior starter was in double figures.

The first quarter was fairly even as Portland finished with a two-point advantage 31-29. The second quarter belonged to Portland as they outscored the Warriors 34-21 to finish with a 15-point lead 65-50. The Blazers had hoped to steal a game in Oakland and return home to Portland with the series tied at one apiece.

The Warriors had to regroup and figure out what they had to do to slow down Portland and come back to win the game. Portland made the first basket of the second half to increase the lead to 67-50. Steph Curry made a three, and the Blazers hit a two to lead 69-53. At this point, the Warriors went on a 13-0 run to cut the deficit to three 69-66. Portland refused to wilt, and they maintained the lead 75-74. Klay Thompson drained a three and the Warriors had their first lead since the first quarter when they led 8-6. The Warriors offense, paced by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, had help from an unexpected source, Jordan Bell. Bell, who had played sparingly in the playoffs, had his best game of the season. The Warriors were up by five until Portland regrouped and they were able to finish the third quarter tied 89-89. The Warriors won the quarter 39-24, but still had 12 minutes left to play.

In the fourth quarter, the Trail Blazers put the pressure on the Warriors. Portland’s offense came to life, and they had a 108-100 lead with five minutes left to play. Portland’s Seth Curry, Steph Curry’s younger brother, knocked down two threes in the quarter that propelled the Blazers into the lead.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts had his team concentrate on double-teaming Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. The Warriors had seen teams use this defense before.

Players such as Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney made buckets as time was winding down. Looney made a bucket to bring the Warriors close 108-107. Steph Curry then made a three to put the Warriors up 110-108. Portland hit a three and led 111-110. Looney connected on a lob from Draymond Green, and Green made a bucket to put the Warriors ahead 114-111 with 12.3 seconds left. The Blazers knew they had to make a three to tie the game. They wanted the ball in either Lillard or McCollum’s hands. Lillard had the ball and was making his move when Iguodala slapped the ball out of his hands and stole the ball to secure the 114-111 win for Golden State.

Game Notes and Stats: Steph Curry led the Warriors with 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. He made four threes in 14 tries. Klay Thompson had 24. Draymond had a double-double with 16 points, 10 boards, seven assists and blocked five shots. Jordan Bell had 11, and Kevon Looney knocked down 14 and had seven boards. Jonas Jerebko did not score, but he did have seven rebounds while on the court. Andre Iguodala had four points, five rebounds and five assists.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 23. He had five rebounds, 10 assists, and he connected on five threes. CJ McCollum had 22 points and three threes. Seth Curry finished with 16 points and made four threes.

Up Next: The Warriors and Trail Blazers meet for Game 3 in Portland Saturday night. Game time will be at 6 pm.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: How much of a force are the Bucks?; Warriors look to take second game against Blazers; plus more

Photo credit: @BleacherReport

On the Headline Sports podcast with Tony:

#1 The Milwaukee Bucks are truly a force to reckon with. The Bucks opened their series with the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night with a game one 108-100 victory in Milwaukee.

#2 The Bucks’ Brook Lopez led the Bucks in scoring with 29 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points. The Bucks have this great punch at the top of the offensive lineups.

#3 Kevin Durant not expected to be back for game two of Golden State’s playoff game against the Portland Trailblazers. We ask Tony if the Warriors will rest Durant for the rest of the series.

#4 Even with Durant out, the Warriors managed to get a 22-point win in game one. The Blazers are predicted to be overmatched in this series.

#5 The Oakland A’s went 1-8 on their last road trip, The A’s are on a nine-game trip this time and have already lost the first two games by just a run in each game. What’s lacking — hitting or pitching not closing the deal in the end of games?

Join Tony for Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Warriors make easy work of Blazers; Raptors-Bucks series feels almost like NBA Finals itself; plus more

nba.com photo: Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) drives the lane against the Portland Trail Blazers defense in Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals last Tuesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

On the Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 The Golden State Warriors head into Game 2 Thursday night at Oracle Arena after coming away with a 116-94 win over the Portland Trailblazers. Is the 22-point win an indication of where the Warriors are in this series?

#2 You talk about the best versus the best. The Toronto Raptors with Kawhi Leonard and the Milwaukee Bucks with Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s a series that very well could go seven games.

#3 The San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues, who were a tough pick on who wins this series, are all tied up. The Sharks, who opened with home ice, set the tone with a three-goal 6-3 win in Game 1, lost Game 2 in a 3-2 squeaker that had the Sharks trying to figure out the Blues all night. Game 3 Wednesday night in St. Louis will prove no different as these teams are expected to provide a close contest and an unpredictable game.

#4 The San Jose Earthquakes host the Chicago Fire at Avaya Stadium this Saturday. The Quakes are coming off a 3-1 loss last Saturday in New England to the Revolution, but were undefeated previous to that in four games with two wins and two ties. The Quakes are ninth in the West with three wins, six loses and two draws. For the Fire, they are eighth in the East with four wins, four loses, and four draws.

#5 In baseball, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias was arrested and put on administrative leave for domestic abuse. Urias was arrested at a Los Angeles parking lot at a shopping mall. Details of what happened were not forthcoming, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said no matter this is not the ideal situation.

London Marq does Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Warriors roll over the Trail Blazers 116-94

Photo credit: nba.com/warriors

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors, still without the services of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, rolled over the Portland Trail Blazers 116-94 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors finished off the Houston Rockets last Friday night and had a few days to recover from that grueling series. The Blazers, on the other hand, had to play in Denver on Sunday and flew to the Bay Area after the game. They did not practice Monday and did not have shoot-around on Tuesday.

The Warriors were tasked with shutting down Portland’s two backcourt aces, C.J. McCollum, and Damian Lillard. Lillard, an Oakland native, loves to play at Oracle and has averaged 27 points a game against the Warriors. McCollum is also a scorer who is capable of making threes. The Warriors wanted their Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry, to get into the flow of the game early so that they could lead the team to the win.

The Warriors and Blazers played a low-scoring first half. The Warriors led 27-23 after the first 12 minutes of action. The finished the first half with a nine-point lead 54-45. Curry made two-threes late in the period to give the Warriors the advantage.

The Blazers won the third quarter 26-23 to cut the lead to six after three quarters of action. The Warriors led by 17, 70-53, but the Blazers’ offense came to life and rallied to end the period trailing by six.

The Warriors used their second unit to start the fourth quarter. Klay Thompson was on the floor with Jonas Jerebko, Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook, and Kevon Looney. Klay hit two buckets and two threes. Cook knocked down two threes, while Jerebko hit a bucket and was a force on defense. By the time Steph Curry and Draymond Green returned to the floor, the Warriors were in total command and cruised to the 116-94 victory.

Game Notes: Steph Curry led the Warriors with 36 points. He connected on nine threes in 15 attempts. Klay Thompson had 26 points. Draymond Green finished with a double-double. He had 12 points, 10 boards, and five assists. Jonas Jerebko had nine points, Quinn Cook had eight points, and Kevon Looney had six.

Damian Lillard had 19 points for Portland. McCollum and Mo Harkless each had 17 points. Rod Hood, coming off the bench, added 17 points.

The Warriors defense held Portland to 36% from the floor. The Blazers made seven threes in 28 attempts. The Warriors knocked down 17 threes. The Warriors had 13 steals and eight blocks and forced Portland into 21 turnovers.

Up Next: Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be Thursday night at Oracle Arena. Game time will be at 6 pm.

Golden State Warriors podcast with David Zizmor: Curry to take on Lilliard and brother Seth in Semifinals; Can Warriors get by Blazers without Durant?

Photo credit: @NBCSWarriors

On the Warriors podcast with David:

#1 What does it mean for Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors to be battling the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lilliard and his brother Seth in the Western Conference Finals?

#2 The Warriors are without Kevin Durant, whose situation is game to game during this series. What is the extent of his pain and injury to his calf?

David does the Warriors podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Gould insists on leaving 49ers, won’t report to practice; Kluber fractures forearm from line drive; plus more

Photo credit: @theScore

On the Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 Former Chicago Bears kicker Kevin Butler has warned San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould to be careful what you wish for in Gould not reporting to practice for the 49ers. He has asked for the team to release him so he could kick for the Chicago Bears and be closer to his home in Chicago. The 49ers refuse and have told Gould they are holding him to his contract. Butler said that going back to Chicago a second time doesn’t guarantee success.

#2 Cleveland Indians pitcher Cory Kluber took a line drive off his forearm on Wednesday night and broke his forearm. The Miami Marlins’ Brian Anderson hit a line drive that Kluber tried to block and ended up using his glove hand to scoop throw the ball to first, but it too late. Kluber has an ERA of 5.81.

#3 Omaha Beach has been scratched from the Kentucky Derby because of breathing problems. Omaha Beach developed a cough and breathing problems and a medical team said that Omaha Beach will need corrective surgery and the surgery is not life-threatening or career-ending. The new favorite for the Kentucky Derby is now Roadster (6-1) with Improbable (6-1) just behind.

#4 The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard didn’t set the world on fire against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night, but his teammates came through to help for the 97-90 win. The Blazers’ C.J. McCollum led with 20 points and Lilliard finished with 15 points. With the win, the Blazers tie the series 1-1.

#5 It was reported by Yahoo Sports that Palm Beach Florida police issued a fake bomb threat in order to install cameras at the spa which New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft would be recorded receiving sexual favors at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft’s lawyers said that the video was obtained by illegally installing the cameras. A masseuse has been arrested in connection with the case.

Tony does the Headline Sports podcast each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com