All tied up -- Sharks fall flat in 4-0 loss to Kings


All tied up -- Sharks fall flat in 4-0 loss to Kings

April 16, 2011

SAN JOSE (AP) The talk before Game 2 centered on how much Los Angeles was missing in the middle of the ice. Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick showed the Kings still had plenty of pieces left even without two of the team's top centers.Doughty had two goals and two assists, Quick made 34 saves and the Kings beat the San Jose Sharks 4-0 in Game 2 on Saturday night to even the first-round series at one game apiece. RATTO: Sharks put up stinker for the ages in Game 2
"We had a lot of adversity before this game with two of our top centers out," Doughty said. "I guess a lot of people didn't think we had a chance tonight. I guess we showed those people wrong. We played a hard, solid team game. That's what wins you playoff games."Jack Johnson and Kyle Clifford also scored for the Kings, who bounced back from an overtime loss in Game 1 despite being without injured Anze Kopitar and suspended Jarret Stoll.The Sharks took too many undisciplined penalties and were unable to generate many good offensive chances against Quick, drawing the ire of their usually supportive fans who booed the home team sporadically throughout the game. Antti Niemi allowed the four goals on 23 shots to lose for the first time in four postseason starts at the Shark Tank."Overall our battle-level just wasn't that high tonight," forward Ryane Clowe said. "They really played a pretty desperate game tonight. We didn't have a lot of hunger around the net."Game 3 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.The Kings came into the game reeling a bit, having lost the opener 3-2 and then having Stoll suspended for a hit from behind on Sharks defenseman Ian White in Game 1.But Joe Thornton and the rest of the Sharks were unable to take advantage and San Jose was shut out in the playoffs for the first time since an overtime loss at Colorado in Game 3 of the first round to Craig Anderson and the Avalanche last season."They were a much more competitive team than we were tonight," coach Todd McLellan said. "When you are along the boards you have to compete as hard as they do. We weren't the better team tonight."Quick did a good job stopping the initial shots by San Jose and gave the Sharks few rebound opportunities. The shutout by Quick was the first in the postseason for the Kings since Felix Potvin beat Colorado 1-0 in Game 5 of the first round in 2002 and the sixth in franchise history."We had a big effort from everyone in the locker room," Quick said. "At the end of the day, it's just one win. We need three more to move on. We're looking forward to Game 3 and looking forward to getting the same result."Coach Terry Murray knew it would take contributions from many players for the absence of Stoll and Kopitar. Murray got that from Quick and a pair of talented, young defensemen who were inconsistent at times this season who came up with the biggest plays.Johnson and Doughty each scored power-play goals in the first period and the Kings took control when Doughty blasted a forehand from just inside the blue line through a screen and past Niemi to make it 3-0 with 4:18 left in the second period.Doughty became the first Los Angeles defenseman to score two goals in a playoff game since Hall of Famer Paul Coffey did it against Edmonton twice in 1992."The key guys that you need to step up played as hard as they could," Murray said. "Whenever you need something big to happen like we did tonight because of the adversity we faced, the key guys have to step up and Doughty has always showed that ability to make the play at the right time, to step up, to try to be assertive and get things turned around if necessary."Clifford added a goal early in the third period, shortly after the Kings killed off a power-play chance for San Jose.After scoring just one power-play goal in the final seven regular season games, the Kings struck twice on the man advantage in the opening period after a pair of offensive zone penalties on the Sharks. Both times, the player who drew the penalty, responded with the goal in the ultimate form of payback.The first undisciplined play came when Ben Eager slashed Johnson in a retaliatory move. Johnson capitalized with a blast from the point through a screen by Ryan Smyth to beat Niemi for his first career postseason goal.Just a few minutes later, Clowe was called for elbowing Doughty, who responded with a blast from the high slot that gave the Kings a 2-0 lead with 4:17 remaining in the period."We had dumb penalties in the first," defenseman Dan Boyle said. "We saw them all and the replay on all of them and they were all pretty stupid. Whether it's being too pumped up or not, you have to control your emotions out there. Two power-play goals, that isn't very good."NOTES: This was the fourth time the Sharks have been shut out at home in the playoffs, with the most recent coming against Anaheim in 2009. ... Dustin Penner, a big midseason acquisition by Los Angeles, has gone 14 games dating to the regular season without a point.

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers completed contract negotiations with their final unsigned draft pick as the team was going through warm-ups for the first practice of training camp.

Former Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 3 overall pick, signed Friday and was expected to join his teammates later in the day.

The sides agreed to the mandatory four-year contract worth more than $28 million, including a signing bonus of approximately $18.6 million. The deal is expected to be fully guaranteed.

The 49ers also have an option for the fifth season (2021) that must be exercised months after the 2019 season.

Thomas was unable to participate in full-squad workouts during the offseason due to Stanford’s late class schedule. NFL rules prohibit a rookie from attending the offseason program until his school’s classes have concluded for the spring session.

The 49ers – and the vast majority of NFL teams – have not had a contract stalemate with a rookie since the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011.

The organization had similar timing with a first-round pick from last year. Guard Joshua Garnett, also from Stanford, signed with the 49ers on the evening before players were scheduled to report to training camp.

Around the NFL, there has been only one notable contract disagreement that prevented a draft pick from reporting to camp in a timely fashion. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, whom the Chargers selected with the No. 3 pick last year, sat out a month of training camp due to a disagreement over how his bonus would be distributed. Bosa and Thomas are both represented by the agent firm of Creative Artists Agency.

Durant sets Guinness world record during trip to India

NBAE/Getty Images

Durant sets Guinness world record during trip to India

NEW DELHI – NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and 3,459 Indian children from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for the world’s largest basketball lesson (multiple venues) ever held.

During his first-ever trip to India, Durant conducted the record-breaking feat at The NBA Academy India, the league’s elite basketball training center in the Delhi National Capital Region for the top male and female prospects from throughout India which opened in May.  

A group of youth were onsite at The NBA Academy India, while the other boys and girls participated via satellite from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.  

“Sharing my love of basketball with thousands of boys and girls across India was an unbelievable experience,” said Durant.  “It was an honor to coach these amazing kids and to be a part of this special day.”

Durant is in India to support the continued growth of basketball in the country. While in Delhi, he coached the country’s top prospects at The NBA Academy India and built two new basketball courts to the Ramjas School as part of the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation’s BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL Courts Renovation Initiative.  

“Sports has the ability to unite people, and this record-setting NBA clinic led by Finals MVP Kevin Durant helped us connect young basketball players throughout the country in a single event,” said NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco.  “We are growing the game of basketball in India, and having Kevin here, one of the world’s greatest players, will no doubt inspire countless young boys and girls to stay healthy and active and believe that they can do anything.”

The NBA Academy India builds on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India.  The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has reached more than 6 million youth and trained more than 5,000 physical education instructors nationwide since its launch in 2013.

NBA media services provided this report