W's continue post-break skid with loss to Wolves


W's continue post-break skid with loss to Wolves


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Maybe the Minnesota Timberwolves should hold more of those brutally honest team meetings.A day after a frank discussion in which players and coaches vented about their frustrating season, the Wolves showed some rare determination and ended a seven-game skid with a 126-123 victory over the struggling Golden State Warriors on Sunday.Kevin Love led Minnesota as usual, this time with 37 points and 23 rebounds to extend his NBA-leading double-double streak to 46 games. But it was two defensive stops by rookie Wes Johnson that ultimately sealed the victory.With a chance for Golden State to win in the final seconds, Monta Ellis drove the lane as the nervous Target Center crowd - which has witnessed many blown fourth-quarter leads this season - held its breath. But Johnson swatted Ellis' shot away, and Michael Beasley was fouled after picking up the loose ball with just more than 3 seconds to play.Anthony Tolliver hit two free throws on the ensuing possession, and Johnson helped force a Warriors turnover on the final inbounds play."This was almost a must-win for us," Love said. "We felt like we haven't been playing well the past five or six games, and we had to come out and win this one. So we're just happy we did."Love had his fourth 30-point, 20-rebound game of the season as the Timberwolves overcame a 14-point deficit. The All-Star forward also went 18 for 23 from the free throw line to tie Minnesota's franchise records for attempts and makes.Love's double-double streak, however, has been a painful consolation as the Wolves have failed to show much improvement from last year's woeful campaign. Everything finally came to a head on Saturday as the players and coaches met to clear the air in the hopes of sparking something."I feel like everybody took it the right way. Nobody took it hard," Beasley said. "There's no hard feelings, you know? It's kind of what we needed. I feel like everybody took it to heart and didn't want to be all talk. We came to play."So did the Warriors, save for a miserable third quarter that proved too difficult to overcome as Golden State lost its third straight since the All-Star break. Stephen Curry led the way with 33 points while Dorell Wright added 26.After scoring 73 points in the first half, the Warriors managed only 16 in the third quarter on a terrible 5-for-27 performance from the floor."Just didn't play well in the third quarter whatsoever," David Lee said. "Couldn't buy a bucket on offense. Couldn't stop anybody on defense. Made a good comeback, we didn't give up, but that's beside the point."The Warriors had won three straight heading into the All-Star break as they tried to make a run at the final playoff spot in the West. After consecutive double-digit losses to Boston and Atlanta, a trip to Minneapolis might have seemed just the antidote for Golden State.Instead, it proved to be a rough start to the road trip."It's a seven-game road trip that's going to more or less make or break the rest of our season and this is not the way to start," Lee said.Minnesota started 7 for 9 from the floor and shared the ball well early before becoming stagnant on offense. Meanwhile, Wright, Ellis, Curry and Lee took turns getting hot for Golden State, as the Warriors built a 14-point lead in the second quarter."Just a painful loss, but you have to move on and get ready for the next game," Warriors coach Keith Smart said.Notes: Love's free throw at the 1:08 mark of the third quarter was the 3,000th point of his career. ... The Warriors arrived in Minnesota on Saturday night and immediately went through a practice. "Get them in the gym, get them breathing, and also get the bad taste of the last game out of our system," Smart said. ... Timberwolves G Martell Webster (back) missed his third straight game. Before the game, coach Kurt Rambis declined to comment on whether he would consider shutting down Webster for the rest of the season, saying he would need more information from the team's medical staff before being able to make a decision like that. ... Minnesota G Jonny Flynn admits he didn't expect a complete recovery from offseason surgery on his left hip would take so long. "I think it's really going to take a full summer of just going after it every day, really focusing completely on my rehab to get where I need to be," he said.

After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


A San Jose Earthquakes season that began with the best start in franchise history ended on Sunday with an all-too-familiar result and feeling.

A Sporting Kansas City first half penalty shot and 89th minute-goal was more than enough offense to finish the Quakes' season on a low note in what was a 2-0 loss at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City.

The Earthquakes finished the 2016 campaign with an 8-14-12 record -- their 12 losses are tied for second most since returning to San Jose after a two-year hiatus in 2008.

The shutout is also the 12th the Quakes suffered this season and San Jose has now missed the playoffs four straight years.

San Jose pressed Sporting Kansas City in the first half and was almost rewarded with a goal on both occasions.

But it was Kansas City who made the most of their opportunities and those don’t come much better than a penalty shot. 

Benny Feilhaber stepped up to the spot in the 27th minute after an awkward bounce hit Cordell Cato in the arm, forcing the referee to call for the penalty. Feilhaber beat David Bingham to the keeper's left for his seventh goal of the season.

The second half was noteworthy for its chippiness more than any real threat by San Jose to try and equalize. Referee Drew Fischer handed out five yellow cards in the half -- three to the Quakes. 

Sporting KC left the game way beyond reach for San Jose when Feilhaber found a streaking Dominic Dwyer on the right side who emphatically finished past Bingham for the 2-0 result. 

Man of the Match: Feilhaber gave San Jose fits the entire match and the Quakes had no answers for the midfielder. Feilhaber and Dwyer almost connected on a couple of other occasions that might have made the result worse for the Quakes. 

Attendance: 20,371 watched Sporting KC advance to the MLS Cup playoffs. 

Up Next: It's back to the drawing board for the Quakes who will reconvene in Tucson next season for preseason camp. 

Draymond: Hate 'comes with the territory'

Draymond: Hate 'comes with the territory'

OAKLAND – As the hours and minutes toward opening night tick down for the Warriors, forward Draymond Green has an idea of what’s coming this season.

Constant surveillance, plenty of opinions and a lot of debate are in store.

And in the wake of signing megastar free agent Kevin Durant, Green and the Warriors can expect plenty of resentment.

“Usually, when you’re doing something the right way, people hate,” Green said after practice Sunday. “And, usually, when you’re doing something someone wants to do, they hate. Usually when there is success, with success comes hate. So that kind of just comes with the territory. It really doesn’t matter.

“KD being here definitely adds to that. But with the success we’ve had, people are going to hate us anyway. That comes with the territory.”

Though Durant is certain to be targeted for boos, Green also will hear his share. NBA fans generally cast a few players as villains, and Green moved snugly into that role last season with his kick to the groin of Oklahoma City center Steven Adams, followed by throwing a jab to the groin area of Cleveland star LeBron James.

The mini-skirmish with James, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, landed Green on the suspended list at a critical time: Game 5.

The incident also affixed Green’s photo to the wall featuring NBA road rascals, right up there with the likes of Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, DeMarcus Cousins, Metta World Peace and, at various times, Kobe Bryant.

Because Green is in that role and Durant, at least for now, is the subject of so much unfavorable scrutiny, there is a sharper edge to the identity of the Warriors.

“Some people say we’re villains,” Green said. “I don’t think we’re really going into this saying, ‘Hey, we’re villains. We need to do this.’ ‘Who . . . cares?’ It really doesn’t matter what role people try to make you play. It’s about getting on the court, getting between these lines and performing.

“What everybody else draws up and tries to make you out to be . . . they can make you out to be whatever they want. If you’re winning games, or not winning games, that’s what matters. I don’t think this team is looking and saying, ‘Hey, we’re villains. Let’s do it.’ Nobody cares.”

Green was the subject of a much-publicized magazine article that depicted him as a source of unrest among this teammates and coaches. He’s acutely aware of the characterization and realizes he must walk a fine line or risk puncturing team chemistry.

He’ll accept being the villain, and perhaps even embrace the booing. Only Steph Curry among the Warriors shares Green’s profound delight in silencing arenas on the road.

“This is about getting between these lines and performing,” Green said. “Everything else outside of that, it really doesn’t matter. Things are going to be said. Some things are not going to be said. But when it’s all said and done, the only thing people are going to talk about at the end is whether you won or lost.