W's start long road trip against struggling Wolves

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W's start long road trip against struggling Wolves

Feb. 27, 2011GOLDEN STATE (26-31) vs.MINNESOTA (13-46)Coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
(AP) -- After two ugly losses following All-Star weekend, the Golden State Warriors will try to get back on track against the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves.Looking for a sixth consecutive win in the series, the Warriors hope to begin a season-high seven-game road trip by handing the Timberwolves a season-worst eighth consecutive defeat Sunday.Golden State (26-31), which has won five straight against Minnesota and six of seven at the Target Center, entered the All-Star break on a three-game winning streak and a 7-2 run.In two games since, though, the Warriors have been outscored by an average of 19.0 points while shooting 38.2 percent from the floor.Monta Ellis ranks among the league's top 10 in scoring with 25.0 points per game, but recorded 15 in a 115-93 loss to Boston on Tuesday night and was held to 16 in a 95-79 defeat Friday night at the hands of Atlanta. Ellis is shooting 33.3 percent over that stretch."We didn't have the kind of energy to play against a team that was going to be energetic, lost a couple of games and was desperate," coach Keith Smart said Friday. "We just have to find our rhythm coming back from the break."Despite its lackluster play of late, Golden State remains within striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Stephen Curry knows that the upcoming road trip, which features five stops against teams with losing records, will go a long way in determining the team's fate."We need to just get a win and start feeling good about ourselves," said Curry, who's averaging 9.7 points - 8.5 fewer than his season mark - in his last three games. "We have to dig deep on this road trip. Seven games to stay in this race, we still have a huge hole to get out of after these last two games."Ellis has averaged 25.3 points on 54.2 percent shooting in his last eight meetings with the Timberwolves - including 60 total points in two wins this season - while Curry has averaged 23.5 in his last two in the series.The Timberwolves (13-46) matched their lowest scoring output of the season Friday night and fell for the seventh consecutive time, losing 95-81 to New Orleans."I can't speak for everyone, but I don't get numbed to losing," said point guard Luke Ridnour. "It's something that's irritating and annoying. We play this game to win games, and it's not something that I believe you can get numbed to."Minnesota is averaging 89.6 points on 38.3 percent shooting over its season-high-tying skid, but will likely need to come out with a better effort offensively if it hopes to keep up with Golden State, which is scoring 102.4 points per game. The Timberwolves are 3-39 when allowing at least 100 points.Kevin Love barely recorded his 45th consecutive double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds versus the Hornets, passing Moses Malone for the second-longest streak since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976.Love is averaging 18.7 points and 14.7 rebounds in his last seven meetings with Golden State and could inch closer to Malone's 51-game double-double run from Dec. 29, 1978-Oct. 12, 1979.Ridnour and rookie Wes Johnson each scored 22 points Friday but Michael Beasley, averaging 19.5 points, was held to eight on 4-of-16 shooting.

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

Spring training to be slightly shortened starting in 2018

NEW YORK -- For everyone who thinks spring training is too long, help is on the way - a little, anyway.

Spring training will be shortened by two days starting in 2018, when new restrictions in Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement take effect on game times for regular-season getaway days.

The voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers and injured players will be 43 days before the major league opener instead of 45, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press. For other players, the date will be 38 days ahead instead of 40.

The change was tied to spreading each team's 162 regular-season games over 187 days, up from 183.

Players' association Assistant General Counsel Matt Nussbaum said the union's goal was to create more days off during the season "in a way that doesn't just chew up offseason days."

"We have heard for years and I'm sure we will continue to hear that spring training is too long, that guys are really ready to go well before opening day, but I think what the commissioner's office would tell you is that there are big challenges for the clubs in substantially shortening spring training because they have various commitments to put on a certain number of games," he said Monday.

Late arrival times ahead of regular-season series openers also were addressed.

Starting in 2018, the latest possible start time on getaway days when either team is traveling to a game in another city the next day or a home off day will be calculated by subtracting the time of the flight over 2½ hours from 7 p.m.

There are cutouts for Sunday night games broadcast by ESPN and games after June 1 at Texas' current home ballpark - where the Rangers avoid afternoons for much of the season because of the heat.

Another new rule for 2018 says no game in the original schedule may be set for before 5 p.m. when a team played the previous night in another city starting 7 p.m. or later. There are exceptions involving flights of 90 minutes or less for home openers and holiday weekends. Current cutouts are carried over for up to six exceptions each season at Chicago's Wrigley Field and rescheduled games involving flights of 90 minutes or less.

"We fully recognize that our players play a very demanding schedule, and we're always looking for ways to ease the burden on players while at the same time scheduling games at a convenient time for our fans to watch them," MLB Chief Legal Officer Dan Halem said.

Sunday night games on holiday weekends followed by afternoon games still seem likely to occur.

"We have contracts with various national broadcast partners that limit our ability to schedule day games in certain instances," Halem said.

Nussbaum said if the players had their way, there would be "a flat rule that says all getaway games are day games" but understand why that would cause difficulty for teams.

"There's still going to be some challenges in the schedule," he said, "but we think what we've done with these two prongs is pare back the most egregious of the travel."

As part of the agreement, one game in the major leagues may be scheduled each year on the Thursday after the All-Star Game starting in 2018.

Ownership of Jazz transferred to Legacy Trust to keep team in Utah

Ownership of Jazz transferred to Legacy Trust to keep team in Utah

Since Larry Miller died back in 2009, there have been some around the league that thought the Jazz might eventually be sold out of the family, most likely to an owner looking to move them out of Utah. The Miller family has denied that vehemently, and there has been not even a step that direction, but it’s easier to kill Freddy Krueger than an NBA rumor.

Monday, the Miller family killed that rumor for good, taking an unprecedented step that will keep the Jazz in Utah for a long, long, time.

Gail Miller has transferred ownership of the Utah Jazz and Vivint Smart Home Arena into a Legacy Trust that will keep the Jazz in Utah for what she said would be “generations.”

“As a family, we have always considered the Utah Jazz a community asset and it has been our privilege to serve as stewards of this team for more than 30 years,” Miller said. “There have been many opportunities to sell and move the franchise, but from the day Larry and I purchased the Jazz our goal was to keep the team in Utah. The Legacy Trust will help to ensure this commitment is kept for generations to come.”

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