Monta, Curry, Lee lead Warriors' rout in Portland

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Monta, Curry, Lee lead Warriors' rout in Portland

April 5, 2011BOXSCORE WARRIORSVIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) There were no smiles of accomplishment in the Trail Blazers' locker room on Tuesday night.Yes, the Blazers clinched a playoff spot. But they also got thumped 108-87 by the Golden State Warriors - and at home of all places."We didn't play well at all," guard Brandon Roy said succinctly.Portland secured a postseason berth just before the half when the Houston Rockets lost 104-101 to Sacramento.Even with the loss to Golden State, the Blazers still sit in the sixth spot in the Western Conference. But they're only a half-game ahead of New Orleans and only a game in front of Memphis.It will be Portland's third straight trip to the postseason. Last year the Blazers were eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Suns, and the year before they were bumped in the opening round by the Rockets."It's good to clinch, but that's something that probably won't sink in until tomorrow," Roy said.David Lee had 29 points and a season-high 20 rebounds for the Warriors, who led by as many as 26 points in the second half. Monta Ellis had 30 points and Stephen Curry finished with 28."That wasn't our thing to spoil someone else's stuff, but just to continue to get better as a team," Lee said about tempering Portland's celebration. "It doesn't matter that Portland lost, just that we were able to get the victory."The Warriors were previously eliminated from playoff contention. Golden State has not been to the postseason since the 2006-07 season.Echoing Lee's sentiments, Warriors head coach Keith Smart said his team may have been happy to play a spoiler's role in the past, but not anymore."We're looking for something bigger now. We're trying to do something bigger," Smart said. "We're trying to establish a way of how we play, an identity of how we want our team to move forward, and that's what those young men are doing."LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who saw their eight-game winning streak at the Rose Garden end.Ellis hit a fadeaway jumper for the Warriors as time ran out in the first quarter to tie it at 19, before Aldridge hit a 19-foot jumper for the Blazers to tie it at 47 at the break. The first half had 14 ties and 14 lead changes.Ellis gave the Warriors a 72-65 lead with a 3-pointer with 4:48 left in the third quarter. He added another one a short time later that made it 75-66. Golden State scored 37 points in the quarter on 80 percent shooting.The Warriors extended the lead to 92-72 on Lee's 21-foot jumper with 8:03 left. Both teams pulled out their starters down the stretch."You never want to throw away games," Blazers guard Andre Miller said, shaking his head. "They knew that and they're not going to the playoffs."The Blazers had a scary moment late in the first quarter when Marcus Camby stumbled awkwardly over Lee and tumbled with Lou Amundson under the basket.Fans chanted "Mar-cus Cam-by" while the 6-foot-11 forward was seen to by trainers. He was eventually helped off the court and headed for the locker room.The team said Camby sustained a neck strain and was questionable to return, although he did not.Afterward Miller said he didn't think the injury was too serious."He just took a bump to the head. He'll be all right. Probably got a little headache, but he'll be all right."Notes: Andris Biedrins has missed 10 games for the Warriors with a sprained left ankle. ... The Blazers and the Warriors split the first two games of the series this season, with each holding home court. ... Harlem Globetrotters great Meadowlark Lemon was at the game, as was St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, who went to Oregon State. ... Ellis averaged 32.5 points against the Blazers in the first two meetings this season. ... Golden State's 37 third-quarter points tied a season high. The Warriors also had 37 in the third against Houston on Oct. 27. It was the most points the Blazers have given up in the third this season. ... Miller needs two more assists to become the 14th NBA player to reach 7,000.

Stanford tops North Carolina on PKs, advances to NCAA final

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USATSI

Stanford tops North Carolina on PKs, advances to NCAA final

HOUSTON — For the second straight season, Stanford found itself depending on penalty kicks to advance to the College Cup final.

Like last season, the Cardinal came out on top. After each team converted its first nine attempts in the tiebreaker, Amir Bashti made it 10-for-10 for Stanford. Tar Heels defender Alex Comsia then sent his try over the crossbar to end it, giving Stanford a 10-9 win.

"They had just as many good chances as us, and it could have been a 1-0 game either way," Stanford coach Jeremy Gunn said.

Stanford (14-3-5) will face Wake Forest in the College Cup final on Sunday in search of its second straight national championship.

"It's not his fault. We could have done things in the game to have his back," North Carolina defender Colton Storm said of Comsia's miss. "It could have been any of us."

"It's the nature of the game," North Carolina coach Carlos Somoano said. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. Sometimes there's moments you seize the moments, and sometimes it runs away from you."

North Carolina (14-3-4) had the two best chances of the game. Late in the second half, forward Alan Winn was denied by goalkeeper Andrew Epstein, who made a nice save with his legs.

Later, Epstein made the best save of the match in the final seconds of the second overtime on a shot from forward Tucker Hume. After gaining possession in the right side of the 18-yard box, Hume unleashed a shot that Epstein deflected wide with his legs.

"He made the plays to keep the game at 0, and he deserves credit," Somoano said.

After a flurry of corner kicks and a free kick in an attacking area, Stanford had the best opportunity to score in the first overtime on a header from Drew Skundrich, but he put if over goalkeeper James Pyle, who had six saves. Foster Langsdorf, the Stanford goal leader who scored in the team's first three tournament games and has 15 on the season, had three shots and two on goal but was unable to break the deadlock before the game went to penalty kicks.

"Any result like that is going to be tough to swallow," Storm said. "Stanford's a really good team. We each had our chances. National semifinal, it's going to be tough to swallow no matter what."

While Epstein was unable to stop any of North Carolina's penalties in the shootout, his saves late in the game enabled Stanford to continue its quest for a repeat.

"Andy's never really attracted much attention, but when you're his coach you appreciate him," Gunn said. "You can depend on him."

Stanford has won 15 of its last 18 games after starting the season with three ties and a loss. The Cardinal have yet to concede a goal through four tournament games, while North Carolina's season ends after a third consecutive tournament shutout.

After winning the first national championship in program history last season, Gunn praised his team for continuing to push forward this season.

"It's incredible," Gunn said. "You've always got to be optimistic. There's no point in being anything else. We started the year so well in January. I thought, 'These players are so hungry.'"

Rewind: Sharks fall behind early again, lose 3-2 to Ducks

Rewind: Sharks fall behind early again, lose 3-2 to Ducks

ANAHEIM – Spotting a team the first two goals is a difficult recipe for winning hockey games. That’s even truer when you’re the Sharks, and you’re having tremendous difficulty scoring more than two goals on any given night in the first place.

While the Sharks hung with Anaheim in a closely contested game at Honda Center on Friday night, the Ducks got that extra necessary score. Brent Burns and Kevin Labanc answered first period goals by Rickard Rakell and Antoine Vermette, but Hampus Lindholm’s marker with 5:38 to go in the third period was the difference.

For the fifth time in their last six, and ninth in their last 12, San Jose's scuffling offense couldn’t eclipse the two-goal plateau in a 3-2 defeat.

Coach Pete DeBoer said giving up the first two scores, like they also did on Wednesday in a similar loss against Ottawa, “is not optimal, obviously. But we battled back, and I thought the game could have gone either way. 

“I give our guys credit for battling back. … We didn't hang our head, we battled, and we're just finding a way to lose right now instead of win, which, we've been winning games like that."

For the second straight game, Sharks captain Joe Pavelski had numerous prime chances but couldn’t find a way to get one. An early third period opportunity stood out among the rest, though, when Pavelski was staring at a wide open net in a 2-2 game from close range.

Typically that’s an automatic score for Pavelski, who led the league in game-winners last season. But this time, it went five feet wide.

“Kind of rolls up, catches the blade, and it’s not even close,” Pavelski said. “Those are the moments you’ve got to cash in on. I haven’t done that.”

The Sharks’ best stretch came early in the second period, when they outskated the Ducks and peppered Jonathan Bernier while trailing, 2-1. The Ducks goalie turned them all away until Labanc squeezed one through at 8:40 after the rookie was nicely set up by linemate Logan Couture.

“He didn’t give me much room. You just want to get that off as quick as you can,” Labanc said. “Just took a quick shot, and it went in the net.”

In a game of momentum swings, though, the Ducks outplayed San Jose in the third. They took the lead when Joel Ward gave Lindholm a little too much room to pick his spot on a wrist shot from the top of the circle.

After looking like they were in good shape after two periods, Labanc thought the Sharks were “a little too confident” headed into the third.

“We stopped skating, stopped dumping the puck in, and working hard in the corners,” he said.

Pavelski bemoaned the fact that for the second straight game, a regulation loss in the final minutes, that the Sharks didn't even manage to get the point in the standings for forcing overtime despite fighting back.

"The last few games you have a chance to at least push it to the end," he said. "We're not giving up a whole lot."

The Sharks nearly did tie the game with Martin Jones pulled for an extra attacker, though. After Burns made a pair of remarkable shot blocks on Andrew Cogliano bidding for an empty netter, DeMelo and Ward each had whacks at the puck, but somehow it remained out. 
 
“A bunch of chaos, really,” is how DeMelo described it. “It was really tight. I think we were just inches away from getting the equalizer.”

Again, though, they just couldn’t find a way to get that third score.

“We were close,” DeBoer said, “but not close enough."