Surkamp, Giants look for another win over Padres

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Surkamp, Giants look for another win over Padres

September 6, 2011

GIANTS (74-67) vs.
SAN DIEGO (61-80)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants aren't giving up on winning the NL West, but the task is daunting.

A lineup without Carlos Beltran would make it even more of a challenge.

With Beltran's status unclear, Sandoval and the Giants try to continue capitalizing on the last-place San Diego Padres on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

San Francisco (74-67) is second in the West, seven games back of first-place Arizona with 21 to play. The Giants failed to capitalize on a visit from the Diamondbacks over the weekend, dropping two of three. They meet again for three games in Phoenix from Sept. 23-25, but that series will be too late for the Giants to make a run unless they make up some ground first.

To do that, San Francisco must take advantage in the meantime of playing its next 16 games against the rest of the division, which is exclusively below .500.

Sandoval, who went 0 for 9 in the series against Arizona, got the seemingly favorable 16-game stretch off to a positive start by belting a pair of solo homers and scoring three runs in Monday's 7-2 win over San Diego (61-80). The victory was the Giants' seventh in nine meetings with the Padres, and came one day after they mustered three hits and wasted an eighth-inning lead en route to a 4-1 loss to Arizona.

REWIND: Sandoval, Bumgarner propel Giants past Padres

"I'm proud of how the guys bounced back," manager Bruce Bochy said. "They played so well. I mean, that's as tough a loss as we've had all year. We played one of our better games. We did a great job of putting that game behind us."

Sandoval is hitting .353 with five homers and 10 RBIs in his last 13 road games, and is batting .385 with two homers and six RBIs in seven visits this season to pitcher-friendly Petco.

San Francisco is hoping Beltran will be able to return after he missed Monday's series opener with an illness. Bochy said he had either serious food poisoning or the flu and was sick all night.

Beltran is batting .395 in 12 games since returning from a strained right hand and wrist.

San Francisco will give the ball to Eric Surkamp (0-0, 1.50 ERA), who is slated to be recalled from Class A San Jose to make his second appearance in the majors.

The 24-year-old left-hander showed promise Aug. 27, allowing one run and six hits in six innings of a 2-1, 10-inning victory over Houston. He overcame some early jitters, throwing one of his first pitches to the backstop and walking his first batter and three in the first three innings.

Surkamp will pitch on regular rest after throwing six scoreless innings to win for San Jose on Thursday.

The Padres, losers in 10 of 11, will turn to Wade LeBlanc (2-4, 5.14). The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA in four career starts against the Giants - all San Diego victories - but has yet to face them in 2011.

LeBlanc has struggled in his last two outings, surrendering nine runs and 13 hits in 10 innings. He gave up four runs in six innings of Wednesday's 4-2 loss at Los Angeles.

"I didn't have a whole lot, so when you get to that point, it's just a matter of how close you can keep the game and give the guys a chance to win it," he said.

LeBlanc has held Sandoval to two hits in 11 at-bats.

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

OAKLAND – The shots kept falling, splashing through the net from all over the court, jumpers from 20 feet, from 25, from 30, layups from one side of the bucket, then the other. Klay Thompson was tap-dancing all over the Indiana Pacers.

It didn’t seem logical that a self-respecting NBA team like the Pacers would allow one man to put on a personal showcase, with them as the victims.

That’s precisely what Thompson did Monday night, before the 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, pouring in 60 points – more than he has ever scored in a game, more than anyone in the NBA his scored this season – in a 142-106 crushing of Indiana.

“Klay did do a good job of moving without the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Tonight, he was moving and they were finding him.

“We needed to get more help, and we didn’t. He lit us up.”

In scoring 60 points in only 29 minutes – he exited with 1:22 left in the third quarter and did not return – Thompson found a zone above even the most ethereal zones. He happened upon a place even the most hallowed most NBA players never get the privilege of experiencing.

“That’s a feat I would put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” said Stephen Curry, the reigning scoring champion as well as back-to-back MVP.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Kevin Durant, the four-time scoring champ who also has an MVP trophy to his name. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

With Thompson raining shots, his teammates standing and clapping and boogieing to the roar of the crowd, the Pacers were helpless witnesses to their own dismantling. As Thompson sizzled, and their defense fizzled, one thing became clear: There would be no double-teaming of the hottest shooter in the NBA this season.

How do you double-team Thompson, who plays mostly without the ball, when he’s sharing the court with Curry and Durant? You don’t. You take your chances and hope. And if Thompson is stroking it, you’re in trouble.

The Pacers tried numerous defenders on Thompson and none was up to the challenge. The Warriors, smelling the Pacers’ futility, went after them with a vengeance.

“You could see that once he got hot, Steph was looking for him and Draymond (Green) and KD and Andre (Iguodala) and Zaza (Pachulia), they were all looking for him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

“I’ve said this before, but I really believe the strength of our team the last few years offensive is the number of guys that can pass and make plays. What’s really gratifying as a coach is when you see that type of unselfishness.”

By the time Indiana’s superstar, Paul George, took the assignment, trying to cool Thompson, it was well into the third quarter, much too late. Thompson had made 21 of his 33 shots, including eight of his 14 launches from beyond the arc. He had become the first player in the shot-clock era (beginning in 1954-55) to score 60 points in fewer than 30 minutes.

He had hung the Pacers on a wall.

“I will celebrate this tonight,” said Thompson, whose previous career-high was 52 points. “It’s a feat I never really thought I would be able to do growing up.”

Asked if could have scored 80 points, Thompson barely skipped a beat.

“Maybe. I think I could have,” he said. “And maybe one day I will have the opportunity. 60 points in 29 minutes is not bad. I’m satisfied with that.”

His teammates were beyond satisfied. They were delighted. Enchanted. Durant scored 20 points and was agape at Thompson’s performance. Curry had 13 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers and was unusually demonstrative in recapping Thompson’s night.

“We just kept feeding him and feeding him, and he was knocking down some unbelievable shots,” Durant said.

“It was just so much fun to watch,” Curry said. “We appreciate that entertainment value as his teammates to see what he was able to do tonight. It was crazy.”

This was Thompson, taking full and extravagant advantage of both his own shooting skill as well as the benefit of teammates too lethal for any defense to ignore.

All of which left the other 29 teams around the NBA watching and wondering where on earth do they turn if any Thompson or Curry or Durant enters a zone.

This is quite the quandary, and it’s precisely what the Warriors had in mind when they hired Durant.

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

BOX SCORE

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.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
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.

TURNING POINT:
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.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

ROSTER NOTE:
Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.