Rolling Warriors look to add to Utah's woes


Rolling Warriors look to add to Utah's woes

Feb. 16, 2011

WARRIORS (25-29) vs.
UTAH (31-25)

Coverage begins at 5:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Two games into the post-Jerry Sloan era, the Utah Jazz are winless.

One more defeat, and they'll do something that last happened nearly six years before Sloan became Utah's coach.

REWIND: Video -- Jerry Sloan retires

The scuffling Jazz look to avoid losing five straight home games for the first time in nearly 30 years Wednesday night when they face a surging Golden State Warriors team they've routinely beaten in Salt Lake City.

Sloan, Utah's coach since December 1988, abruptly retired following a loss to Chicago last Wednesday, and the Jazz (31-25) have dropped their first two games under Tyrone Corbin - both to Phoenix. They're just 4-12 since Jan. 17, falling from third in the Western Conference and atop the Northwest Division to eighth in the West and five games back of division-leading Oklahoma City.

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In Tuesday's 102-101 loss in Phoenix, Utah seemed to be in control, leading by eight with less than 7 minutes to play, but was outscored 21-12 the rest of the way. Al Jefferson had a season-best 32 points after scoring four on 2 of 14 shooting in Friday's 95-83 home loss to the Suns.

"We played a lot better a lot longer than we did the other night," Corbin said. "The guys will continue to work on the things we've been working in practice the last couple days and we are going to turn the corner. As long as we continue to fight and bring the effort, we'll make shots and we'll get some wins."

Another loss in their final game before the All-Star break, however, would be hard to swallow.

The Jazz have dropped four straight in Utah since an 83-78 win over Charlotte on Jan. 31, and haven't lost five consecutive home games since a franchise-worst 12-game skid Feb. 15-March 29, 1982.

Utah has lost two of three to the Warriors (25-29) this season, but both of those defeats came at Oracle Arena. The Jazz beat Golden State 108-95 in Salt Lake City on Dec. 13, and have won eight of the last nine meetings there.

REWIND: Jazz deal Warriors seventh-straight loss

In the teams' last meeting on Jan. 30, two-time All-Star Deron Williams sat out with a hyperextended right wrist and the Warriors won 96-91, despite a season-low two points on 1 of 9 shooting from Monta Ellis. Stephen Curry carried the Warriors with 27 points.

That victory over Utah started Golden State's current run.

The Warriors defeated New Orleans 102-89 on Tuesday, and have won six of eight, with five of those victories coming against teams with winning records.

REWIND: Warriors snuff Hornets with bench, defense

Surprisingly, Golden State's defense has keyed this turnaround. The Warriors, fourth-worst in opponents' scoring at 105.6 points, have limited teams to fewer than 100 points in five of their past six wins.

"It's all been about effort," Golden State's David Lee said.

Although the Warriors are playing much better, most of that success has come at home. They've dropped three straight road games and are 6-18 away from Oracle Arena.

At Salt Lake City in December, Ellis had another subpar performance, finishing with 16 points - 9.2 less than his team-leading average.

Williams led all scorers with 30 points in that game, while C.J. Miles added 20 on 9 of 14 shooting. Miles didn't fare nearly as well in the two losses to Golden State, however, totaling 19 points on 6 of 24 from the field.

Reliable on the mound, Melancon seeks thrills off of it


Reliable on the mound, Melancon seeks thrills off of it

SAN FRANCISCO — At his introductory press conference Friday, new Giant Mark Melancon was asked about the fearlessness it takes to be a big league closer. He looked down at the first row of seats, where his wife Mary Catherine was sitting in a brand new No. 41 jersey, smiling. 

“You should probably ask my wife that,” Melancon joked.

When the Melancons got married, Mary Catherine had a calligrapher write up an actual bucket list of things the two could do together and presented it to Mark as a wedding gift. 

“It’s framed and it’s in our bathroom,” Mark said during an interview with CSN Bay Area on Friday. “It’s literally in our bathroom and we look at it all the time and try to plan out what we’re going to get done. Because it is on paper and it’s a goal and all that, we’ve checked off probably 40 or 50 percent of it in six years.”

The check marks include biking down the world’s “most dangerous road” in Bolivia and diving with great white sharks near New Zealand. The Melancons have visited Dubai and gone on a safari and stayed in countless cities off the beaten path. They have gone underwater with manta rays and high in the air in a blimp. Some of the items are simple ones, like attending a Nascar race. 

“There are a few items we’ll have to wait for until after baseball,” Melancon said. “We try to keep it safe of course, but it’s just a lot of fun. It’s a way to kind of bring creativity and allow ourselves to do things you could easily say no to.”

The standard MLB contract prohibits quite a few “dangerous” activities, and with a four-year, $62 million deal that is currently the second-biggest ever for a reliever, Melancon will hold off on certain trips, like skiing the Swiss Alps. “Attend the Kentucky Derby” is on the bucket list, but because the Derby is in May, that one is saved for retirement. In his first year with the Giants, Melancon hopes to put a check mark next to “sit backstage at a concert.”

Melancon said the thrill-seeking has slowed down a bit because the couple now has three young children, two daughters and a son. The Giants are hoping the more relaxed vibe carries over into their ninth innings. Team officials have been told by past Melancon employers that they signed a closer who is “boring” on the mound, in a good way. With a cutter-heavy approach, Melancon tends to get his ninth-inning work done quickly and without drama. That’s a welcome change of pace for an organization that has grown accustomed to “torture” late in games. 

“He was our target and we’ve gotten to know him, and the more we’ve gotten to know him the better we’ve felt about the fact that he was really meant to be a Giant,” team president and CEO Larry Baer said. 

The Giants had Melancon as their top offseason choice — and only big offseason expenditure — all along. Team officials feel even better about that approach after watching Melancon tour the ballpark Friday morning and meet with season-ticket holders and team employees. The fit was an easy one, with one member of the front office saying Melancon is “practically straight out of Giants central casting.”

Melancon’s new teammates feel the same way. He said eight to 10 of them have reached out since the deal was announced Monday. The group includes the types of players who are on any free agent’s bucket list of potential teammates. A ground ball pitcher, Melancon is looking forward to working with a Gold Glove infield. 

“That’s kind of an attractive thing to have a couple of Gold Glovers (up the middle) and then being able to throw to Buster is icing on the cake,” he said. “When you put things together on paper and go ‘who do you want to throw to and back you up,’ this team stands out.”

NBA denies Raptors protest over November loss to Kings


NBA denies Raptors protest over November loss to Kings

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association announced today that it has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20, 2016. 

The Raptors’ protest asserted that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a three-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining in the game.  The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined that the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.  

The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction on the play. 

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