W's dominate 4th quarter in big win over Bulls

381234.jpg

W's dominate 4th quarter in big win over Bulls

Feb. 5, 2011BOX SCORE WARRIORS VIDEONBA PAGE NBA SCOREBOARD

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Stephen Curry sat in on the coaches meeting Friday, studying, planning and preparing to do something few others have done this season: Stop Derrick Rose.The game plan worked to near perfection.Monta Ellis scored 33 points, Curry had 23 and the Golden State Warriors smothered Rose defensively to snap Chicago's six-game wining streak with a 101-90 victory over the Bulls on Saturday night."I thought our guys followed (the plan) to a T and kind of bottled him up a little bit," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "We couldn't let him get his game going early, and that's what he's been able to do against a lot of teams. He sets the tone for their team. We had to make other guys make plays."They didn't.Instead, Ellis and Curry sparked a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter that sealed Golden State's third straight win in one of its more impressive defensive efforts of the season, swarming Rose and forcing the All-Star guard into a season-high nine turnovers.The Warriors mixed up coverages and swapped defenders to give Rose looks he said he's never seen."I couldn't get a feel for the game because they didn't let me," Rose said. "I couldn't get to the hole. It was hard but I'll figure it out. It's just something we have to look at on film and see who's the open guy." WATCH: Bulls' Rose crumples stat sheet after loss to Warriors
Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Rose finished with a quiet 14 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, who were playing only their second game of a critical road stretch. They were never in rhythm and fatigued early, dropping their first game in more than two weeks.This was hardly the kind of effort a Chicago team looking to be considered one of the NBA's elite wanted to show.Even not at their best, the Bulls took a 75-74 lead on Boozer's jumper with 10:54 remaining. Then it all came crashing down with a spotty defensive effort against one of the more prolific scoring teams.The Warriors ran off 15 straight points behind Ellis and Curry, who had 13 points during the run. The undersized guards blew by Rose and Co., pulling away for an easy victory."I thought our turnovers put them into the open court and then in the fourth quarter we just played poorly," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "That's it."Surely this one left the Bulls frustrated.They have quietly stayed in the thick of the race for the Eastern Conference's top spot despite being short-handed for most of the season, with Boozer missing the first 15 games because of a broken bone in his right hand and Joakim Noah out until after the All-Star break recovering from thumb surgery.They just never could stay consistent against Golden State.Rose had his usual eye-popping plays, perhaps the best coming on a twisting layup over - and around - Warriors center Andris Biedrins that even brought Golden State fans to their feet. Kyle Korver followed with a pair of 3-pointers, and Chicago went ahead by 12 points in the second quarter.All that was quickly erased with a technical foul by Boozer and an uncontested dunk that Ronnie Brewer short-armed and missed badly. Ellis rallied the Warriors with some stealth offense, slicing through the paint for layups and dunks to give Golden State a 48-47 halftime lead.The Warriors stayed steady from there and finally showed some fight during their longest homestand of the season.Golden State has only two games left in a stretch of 13 of 14 at home, and they're 7-5 so far. Chicago and Utah are their only victories during the stretch against teams with winning records."Definitely the biggest win," said Warriors forward Dorell Wright, who added 20 points. "Just the level they're playing, the roll they're on, the way Derrick Rose is playing, this is definitely the biggest win by far this year."NOTES: Thibodeau said Noah is making progress in his recovery but is still likely a few weeks away from returning. "He's doing well," Thibodeau said. "He's coming along, right on schedule, doing more and more every day. He's making good, steady progress." ... Warriors backup SG Acie Law missed the game with a sprained right wrist. ... Rose's previous high in turnovers this season was seven, which he'd done twice.

Jackson, Watson headline five 2016 Heisman finalists

2016-heisman-finalists.jpg
USATSI/AP

Jackson, Watson headline five 2016 Heisman finalists

NEW YORK -- Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is a Heisman Trophy finalist for the second consecutive season, joining Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma teammates Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook.

The finalists were announced Monday on ESPN and the award will be presented Saturday in New York.

Watson finished third in last year's voting, won by Alabama running back Derrick Henry. Just like last year, he heads to New York not as the favorite but as the contender coming on strong at the end. Mayfield finished fourth last season, but did not get an invite to Heisman presentation in New York.

Peppers is the first defensive player to be a Heisman finalists since Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo was a distant runner-up to Johnny Manziel in 2012.

Westbrook and Mayfield are the first teammates to be finalists since Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart from Southern California finished first and third, respectively in 2005.

Finalists are determined by the margins between vote-getters. The ballots of more than 900 voters, which included former Heisman winners, were due Monday.

Watson entered as the preseason favorite in what looked like a strong field of contenders, but Jackson quickly swept past them all to be front-runner. He was brilliant for the first two months of the season and Louisville was looking like a College Football Playoff contender.

It seemed as if Jackson would be a runaway Heisman winner, but the 15th-ranked Cardinals lost their final two games of the season. He was sacked 11 times in a lopsided loss at Houston and he committed four turnovers in a last-second loss against Kentucky.

Watson, meanwhile, has surged since Clemson's only loss to Pitt in mid-November. He also had the benefit of playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game last Saturday and took full advantage of the spotlight. Watson threw three touchdown passes and ran for two scores in a 42-35 victory against Virginia Tech to seal a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The raw numbers still favor Jackson, who is second in the nation in total yards per game (410.7) and has accounted for 51 touchdowns (21 rushing TDs and 30 TD passes) with 13 turnovers (nine INTs and four lost fumbles) in 12 games. Watson averages 341.8 yards per game and has 43 touchdowns (six rushing and 37 passing) with 15 turnovers (all interceptions) in 13 games.

When the two met on Oct. 1 at Clemson in what was one of the season's most entertaining games, Watson threw for 306 yards and five touchdowns, ran for 91 and was picked off three times. Jackson had 295 yards passing, 162 rushing and accounted for three touchdowns with one interception. Clemson won 42-36.

Mayfield and Westbrook have been a dynamic combination, and late in the season No. 7 Oklahoma started a dual campaign to promote both for the Heisman. Mayfield is on pace to break the NCAA record for passer efficiency rating in a season (197.75). Westbrook has 74 catches for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns and has more receptions covering at least 20 yards (26) than any receiver in the country.

Peppers played defense, offense and special teams for Michigan, lining up all over the field.

Edwards Jr 'foaming at the mouth' to return to Raiders lineup

Edwards Jr 'foaming at the mouth' to return to Raiders lineup

ALAMEDA – Mario Edwards Jr. hasn’t played football in a long, long time. His last go round came back on Aug. 12, during the Raiders’ preseason opener at Arizona.

He suffered a hip injury and hasn’t been back since. That’s nearly four months now, too long a drought for the young, versatile defensive lineman.

That’s why Monday meant so much. It was just a walk-through practice, nothing too physical, but the act of practicing meant something special after his extended absence.

“It felt good just to get out there with those guys,” Edwards Jr. said Monday evening. “My last time with them was against the Cardinals in the preseason. Even just to get out there in a practice and enjoy the camaraderie definitely was nice.”

Edwards Jr.’s rehab has been slower than originally expected, which has kept him on injured reserve well after he was eligible to practice in Week 7 and play in Week 9. Edwards Jr. wanted to make sure his hip, which he called “a freaky thing,” healed right and was free of setbacks.

While he took a mature approach to his rehab, Sundays proved hard to bear. Watching Raiders games were difficult, even with the team sitting pretty at 10-2 after Sunday’s victory over Buffalo.

That was especially true when the Raiders came back to beat the Carolina Panthers. Defense sealed that victory, with Khalil Mack’s strip sack of Cam Newton and the recovery of his own forced fumble. That proved too much to take. Edwards Jr. started itching to get back on the field.

Now that he’s ever so close to a return, Edwards Jr. has let himself ponder lining up with Mack and Bruce Irvin on third and long, ready to get after the quarterback.

“I’ve been dreaming of that, especially after watching Mack strip Cam and things like that,” Edwards Jr. said. “I just wanted to be out there and be a part of it. I’ve been foaming at the mouth ever since then.”

Edwards Jr. must’ve known he was close to getting back on the field. He was running well on the treadmill prior to that game, and was out on the field shortly after the Panthers win.

The Raiders hope Edwards Jr. can be back in time to play the Chargers in San Diego on Dec. 18. That would give him three regular-season games to ramp up and be fully immersed in the defense should the Raiders make the postseason.

Edwards Jr., however, doesn’t have a set timetable to return.

“I’m a little different, so I don’t really know,” Edwards Jr. said. “We don’t have a date on it. It’s more about how I’m feeling each day and how I’m healing.”

Edwards Jr. called his absence bittersweet – he hasn’t played a regular season game since Dec. 20, when he suffered a neck injury versus Green Bay – but remains forward thinking even missing the season to this point.

“It sucked, but everything happened for a reason,” Edwards Jr. said. “I’m healing up great, and I’m looking forward to coming back and playing.”