From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL will open the regular season next week with replacement officials and said it was prepared to use them "as much ... as necessary" afterward.Replacements will be on the field beginning Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants in the season opener, league executive Ray Anderson told the 32 teams in a memo. Negotiations are at a standstill between the NFL and the officials' union.The NFL Referees Association was locked out in early June and talks on a new collective bargaining agreement have gone nowhere. Replacements have been used throughout the preseason, with mixed results.In 2001, the NFL used replacements for the first week of the regular season before a contract was finalized. The speed of the game and the amount of time starters are on the field increase exponentially for real games, making the replacements' task more challenging.Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, told the clubs in a memo Wednesday that the replacements will work "as much of the regular season as necessary," adding that training with each crew will continue.The NFL noted it has expanded the use of instant replay as an officiating tool this year to include all scoring plays and turnovers. Officiating supervisors will be on hand to assist the crews on game administration issues."We are not surprised, based on Ray Anderson's statements ... that the NFL was not going to reach out to us," NFLRA spokesman Michael Arnold said. "However, this is consistent with the NFL's negotiating strategy which has been take it or leave it and lock them out.' It now appears the NFL is willing to forego any attempt to reach a deal in the last seven days before opening night."The NFL Players Association, which went through a 4 - month lockout last year before settling on a new contract, expressed disappointment about the decision to use replacements.Colts safety Antoine Bethea said there is a feeling of solidarity with the officials."They've got to do what they've got to do, and we were in a similar situation a little while ago," Bethea said. "So you can't fault those guys for doing what they have to do."Anderson said the sides remain considerably apart on economic issues, including salary and retirement benefits. He also told the teams there is a substantial difference on operational issues."One of our key goals in this negotiation is to enhance our ability to recruit, train, and replace officials who are not performing adequately," Anderson said. "We believe that officials should be evaluated and performance issues addressed in the same way as players, coaches, club management and league staff. We have proposed several steps to accomplish this, including having a number of full-time officials and expanding the overall number of officials."Giants receiver Victor Cruz said the players have other things as their prime concern as the season approaches."You can't worry about that. You have to go out there and worry about what we do as individuals and players. Take care of our own deal," Cruz said Wednesday might after New York's 6-3 victory over New England. "They've gotten better as the games went on, but we just have to make sure we're doing the right things out there on the field and not give them much to throw flags on."The NFL is offering to add three full officiating crews, increasing the total number of officials to 140. The NFLRA insists the compensation being offered with such an increase would reduce the officials' pay.The league is proposing having seven officials -- one per position of referee, umpire, line judge, side judge, back judge, field judge, head linesman -- who would train, scout, handle communications, safety issues and rules interpretations year-round. Now, all NFL game officials are part-time employees, with outside jobs ranging from lawyers to teachers to business owners.In response, the NFLRA has said it is not opposed to full-time officials "if they are fairly compensated."The union also disputes the value of the league's current salary offer, which it says would not be the 5 percent to 11 percent increase the NFL claims.And the union questions the league's adherence to player safety initiatives by using replacement officials, none of whom has recently worked Division I college games. Many of the officials who were replacements in 2001 came from the Division I level."The league has placed a lot of emphasis on player health and safety in the last few years and we do feel we are an integral part of that," Arnold said. "We think it is unfortunate and we really don't understand why the league is willing to risk playing safety and the integrity of the game by utilizing amateur officials."Anderson told the teams that the replacements have "undergone extensive training and evaluation, and have shown steady improvement during the preseason."Arnold disagreed."The referees want to get back on the field," Arnold said. "Our members have been engaged in extensive preparations and are ready to go."Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the coaches and players have no control over the situation."For me to say there is or isn't concern, you do the very best you can with them," Coughlin said Wednesday night. "You just hope these officials know the rules and can keep the game under control and keep order. Hopefully they'll be able to do that."
OAKLAND – As the Warriors on Monday night celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, All-Star guard Klay Thompson gave 19,596 fans an evening they’ll never forget.
Thompson scored 60 points, a career-high for him and the most any player has scored in the NBA this season, to carry the Warriors to a 142-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Thompson scored 17 points in the opening period, 23 in the second – for 40, representing a career-high for points in a half – and closed out his night with 20 in the third quarter.
So hot was Thompson that only no other teammate exceeded 20 points. Kevin Durant totaled 20, Stephen Curry had 13 and Ian Clark finished with 11.
Curry posted a season-high 11 assists, and Draymond Green recorded 10 as the Warriors were credited with 45 helpers overall.
With a 116-83 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr went to his reserves for the entire fourth quarter.
Thompson, who took possession in the first half and locked it up in third quarter.
Thompson’s line: 60 points (21-of-33 from the field, 8-of-14 from deep, 10-of-11 from the free throw line). He played 29 minutes and finished plus-37 for the night.
When a Monta Ellis layup pulled the Pacers within seven (46-39) with 8:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 24-3 run to go up 70-42 with 2:34 remaining in the half.
They went into intermission with an 80-50 lead, and Indiana got no closer than xx for the rest of the game.
The Warriors trailed for all of 12 seconds (in the first five minutes) in the game.
Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.
Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.
Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.
OAKLAND – Warriors guard Klay Thompson needed only three quarters to fire in 60 points Monday night against, achieving not only a career-high but also the highest-scoring performance in the NBA this season.
Thompson’s effort eclipsed the previous season-high of 51 by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who needed overtime on Oct. 28 to reach that total.
Thompson joined Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry and Joe Fulks as the only Warriors every to reach the 60-point level in a single game.
Thompson managed the feat in only 29 minutes, during which he was 21-of-33 from the field, including 8-of-14 from 3-point distance. He was 10-of-11 from the line.
Scoring 17 points in the first quarter, 23 in the second and 20 in the third, Thompson became the first Warrior to reach 60 since Rick Barry on March 26, 1974 against Portland.
During the past 20 years only former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, with 62, scored more points in three quarters.