More magic -- Ross gives Giants fifth walk-off win

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More magic -- Ross gives Giants fifth walk-off win

May 10, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Tim Lincecum pitched scoreless ball. Cody Ross provided the late dramatics. The Giants celebrated a victory in thrilling fashion.Sound familiar?The World Series champions are at it again.Ross hit a game-ending RBI single in the ninth inning, Lincecum pitched another gem and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory."I don't feel that great yet, but it does feel like the playoff formula with the pitching," said Ross, the NL championship series MVP. "Torture again, I guess."At least until the end.
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Ross' line-drive single down the third base line off David Hernandez (2-1) scored pinch-runner Darren Ford from second, sending the Giants pouring out of the dugout in celebration for their third last at-bat win in four games. Ross also drove in all three runs in a 3-0 victory over the Rockies on Sunday that capped San Francisco's first three-game series sweep this season.
Lincecum struck out nine and took a no-hitter into the sixth in another dominating start for the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, giving San Francisco back-to-back shutouts and spoiling a stellar outing by Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy. It was also the first time Arizona has been held scoreless this season.Brian Wilson (3-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win."We kind of have that fire going into those last innings knowing that anything can happen," Lincecum said. "And stuff like this does, and it seems to happen to us quite a bit."Buster Posey led off the ninth with a four-pitch walk. He was lifted for Ford, who stole second so easily that catcher Miguel Montero didn't even contest with a throw.Hernandez rallied by striking out Aubrey Huff before Ross sent a line drive past diving third baseman Melvin Mora for another dramatic late-inning victory that is becoming all too common again. The Giants have five walk-off wins already this year."That's been the story of my season so far is walking guys, especially leadoff guys," Hernandez said. "Eventually it's going to come back and get you, and today was one of those days."
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For most of the game, though, this was a pitcher's duel.The first hard hit ball of the night didn't even count when Chris Young missed a home run by mere inches in the fifth, when he scorched a fastball from Lincecum that barely cleared the left-field wall and somehow missed striking the foul pole. Instead, Young later popped out to center field.Leave it to the most unlikely candidate to finally snap Lincecum's streak.Kennedy sent a groundball up the middle for a clean single with one out in the sixth for his first hit of the season, snapping an 0-for-13 skid at the plate. Melvin Johnson added a line-drive single to left with two outs before Justin Upton flied out to right.At a time when no-hitters are becoming commonplace, the feat has eluded San Francisco's ace.Lincecum has twice taken a no-hitter into the seventh, including earlier this year at Colorado. In that outing April 18, Carlos Gonzalez singled with one out in the seventh before the Giants held on for an 8-1 victory."It's so hard to do. It's going to happen at some point in his career," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
His counterpart wasn't quite as dominate but equally effective.Kennedy struck out eight and allowed four hits in eight innings and managed to wiggle his way out of jams. The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the fourth before Kennedy recovered, striking out Ross and getting Mark DeRosa to ground into a double play.Kennedy didn't allow another baserunner until Freddy Sanchez's one-out single in the eighth, even breaking the strings on Montero's glove on his 115th pitch."It was outstanding," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He matched Lincecum. He threw the ball very well. We've seen (Lincecum) throw games like that and Ian was up to the task. Their lines were almost identical. We just couldn't get the win."
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NOTES: The outing was the 19th time Lincecum has pitched at least seven innings without giving up a run. ... Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval fielded groundballs for the first time since he had surgery to repair a broken bone in his right wrist two weeks ago. He was still wearing a cast and is expected to be out at least another four weeks. ... Gibson, third base coach Matt Williams and bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock spent part of the off day Monday riding San Francisco's famous cable cars. ... Giants reliever Santiago Casilla threw about 35 pitches against hitters before the game. Bochy said Casilla will make at least one rehab start. The club was deciding where that outing will be.

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been voted to start the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, and this time there was a measure of suspense.

Curry will join Rockets guard James Harden in the backcourt for the Western Conference squad, as voters snubbed MVP candidate and triple-double specialist Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

Joining Curry and Harden in the starting lineup for the West will be Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis.

A combination of fan balloting (50 percent), player balloting (25 percent) and media balloting (25 percent) comprises the overall vote.

Curry’s selection is sure to generate considerable debate, as Westbrook leads the league in scoring (30.6 points per game), is second in assists and 11th (10.4) in rebounding (10.6). Westbrook also leads the league in PER at 29.56.

Moreover, he is bidding to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.

Coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, Curry ranks 12th in scoring (24.6 points per game), 15th in assists (6.1), second in 3-pointers made (158) and eighth in steals (1.81). His 92.6-percent shooting from the line ranks second in the NBA.

He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to start four straight All-Star games.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, leads the team in scoring (26.2) and blocks (1.71) and double-doubles (16). He’s second in rebounding (8.6) and third in assists (4.7). His 54.4-percent shooting from the field is 10th in the league and tops among perimeter players.

Durant will be making his eighth appearance, and his fifth as a starter.

The Eastern Conference starters are as follows: guards Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with frontcourt players LeBron James of the Cavs, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.

All-Star reserves, which are chosen by NBA coaches, will be announced on Jan. 26.

NHL Gameday: Sharks host Lightning in second of back-to-back

NHL Gameday: Sharks host Lightning in second of back-to-back

Programming note – Sharks-Lightning coverage starts today at 7:00 on CSN California with Sharks Pregame Live

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 27-16-2, 56 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Lightning: 21-20-5, 47 points, 6th Atlantic Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***After missing Wednesday’s game in Los Angeles due to illness, Logan Couture could return against the Lightning. According to coach Pete DeBoer, Couture is feeling “good. Talked to him this morning at the rink. Went for a little skate. Looks good, but we won’t know until game time.”

Joonas Donskoi, who has missed the last three games with an upper body injury, will also be a game-time decision.

***Aaron Dell will make his second start in a little more than a week, getting back in shortly after a 3-2 loss in Calgary on Jan. 11. The game winner came from Dougie Hamilton from a sharp angle with 2:19 to go, on what was a stoppable shot.

“I think [Dell's] body of work has been real good. That could happen to anybody,” DeBoer said of the Hamilton goal. “I didn’t think he had a poor game that night. It’s going to happen. This isn’t like you need to see a bounce back effort, or anything like that. We’re comfortable with what he brings. I know he’s excited to play, and he’s played well for us.”

***The Lightning are just 2-5-1 in their last eight games, and are in the midst of a six-game road swing. It started with a win over the Kings on Monday, 2-1, and was followed by a 2-1 overtime loss in Anaheim on Tuesday. Tampa Bay has scored two or fewer goals in six of its last seven, but also brings the NHL’s fourth-ranked power play (22.9 percent) into tonight’s contest.

No word yet on the goalie, either, after Martin Jones made 22 saves in the Sharks’ 3-2 win at Staples Center. It could make sense to go back to Jones against the Lightning, while leaving the miserable Colorado Avalanche for backup Aaron Dell on Saturday.

***The Lightning are just 2-5-1 in their last eight games, and are in the midst of a six-game road swing. It started with a win over the Kings on Monday, 2-1, and was followed by a 2-1 overtime loss in Anaheim on Tuesday. Tampa Bay has scored two or fewer goals in six of its last seven, but also brings the NHL’s fourth-ranked power play (22.9 percent) into tonight’s contest.

Top defenseman Victor Hedman reportedly remains out tonight with an illness. It will be his third straight game out of the lineup. He leads the league among blueliners with 31 assists, and his 38 points trails only Brent Burns (46).

***San Jose beat the Lightning in the only other game of the season series on Nov. 12 in Tampa Bay, 3-1. The Sharks are 4-3-0 this season in the second of back-to-back games, and 15-6-0 against the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay is just 3-8-2 against the Western Conference.

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Tommy Wingels. Although he’s found it difficult to stay in the lineup on a nightly basis this season, Wingels has managed to contribute recently, including a goal against the Kings on Wednesday. The 28-year-old fourth liner has one point in three of his last six games, despite being scratched for seven of the last 12 overall. He’s had success against the Lightning, too, with four goals and seven points in eight career games.

Lightning: Jonathan Drouin. The forward saw a five-game point streak come to an end on Jan. 17, but has at least one point in eight of his last 10 games overall. After a misguided decision last season in which he demanded a trade that never happened, Drouin, 21, is third on the Lightning in scoring with 29 points (13g, 16a).

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Melker Karlsson – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Patrick Marleau – Mikkel Boedker
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Ryan Carpenter – Tommy Wingels

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Aaron Dell (starter)
Martin Jones

Lightning
Ondrej Palat – Vlad Namestnikov – Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn – Tyler Johnson – Joel Vermin
Brian Boyle – Valtteri Filppula – Jonathan Drouin
Michael Bournival – Cedric Paquette – Gabriel Dumont

Nikita Nesterov – Anton Stralman
Jason Garrison – Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn – Luke Witkowski

Andrei Vasilevskiy (starter)
Ben Bishop

INJURIES

Sharks: Logan Couture (illness) and Joonas Donskoi (upper body) are questionable. Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are on injured reserve.

Lightning: Steven Stamkos (torn meniscus), Brayden Point (upper body), J.T. Brown (upper body), Ryan Callahan (lower body) and Victor Hedman (illness) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“I think we’ve been saying all year our job is to try and be in their end and get a good forecheck. Luckily of late we’ve been getting some points, so that’s good.” – Micheal Haley, on the recent play of the Sharks’ fourth line.