Captain Jax steers Bobcats to OT win over W's

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Captain Jax steers Bobcats to OT win over W's

Jan. 28, 2011BOX SCORE WARRIORS VIDEONBA PAGE NBA SCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) All it took was one big shot and Stephen Jackson silenced the shower of boos he left behind in Golden State.Jackson punctuated his 31 points with a tying 3-pointer in the final second of regulation, and the Charlotte Bobcats rallied past the Warriors 121-113 in overtime Friday night for their third straight victory."I just think I had the basketball gods with me," Jackson said.And most of the fans against him.The former Warriors standout who had an ugly divorce from the franchise last season was booed throughout, ignoring that with a 28-footer with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter banked off the glass from the top of the arc. He added seven rebounds, four assists and some big baskets in overtime to help the Bobcats to their fifth win in the last six games.
STEINMETZ: Jackson makes love to pressure
"It's not a problem. I love the fans here," said Jackson, who also had his mother among those in attendance. "They supported me, I had a great time here. The organization was great to me. People can have their own opinions, but I love them anyway. I don't have any bad blood."Stephen Curry had 27 points, and Monta Ellis scored 21 for a Warriors team that blew a 16-point lead and is fading fast during its longest homestand of the season. Golden State has lost four straight games during a stretch of 13 of 14 on its home floor."Being young, inexperienced, understanding how important every possession is, you don't take quick shots or bad shots," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "You have to finish plays around the basket."
VIDEO: Keith Smart postgame
Things couldn't be more different for Charlotte.The Bobcats continued their surprising turnaround under new coach Paul Silas. They improved to 11-6 since Silas replaced Larry Brown, and at 20-25 they still would sneak into one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference."Not giving up, knowing that you can rise to the occasion. That's basically what happened," Silas said. "Since I've been here, they have basically not given up. And as long as they do that, it always gives us a chance."D.J. Augustin had 27 points and 12 assists, and Boris Diaw scored 13 points for Charlotte. The Bobcats were lethargic for most of the game but got a big lift from the one-time Warrior, Jackson.The Bobcats took advantage of some missed free throws late by Golden State and perhaps a little luck, too. In a frantic scramble with the clock winding down, Jackson banked in a 3 from the top of the arc that left the home crowd stunned and silenced."He just threw it up there, a crazy shot. Nothing you can do there," said Warriors center Andris Biedrins, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
VIDEO: Andris Biedrins postgame
Jackson soaked up every moment of this one.A season ago, the NBA fined Jackson 25,000 when he went public with a trade demand with Golden State. He then got into a spat with then-coach Don Nelson during an exhibition game, leading to a two-game suspension that cost him about 139,000 in salary. He also relinquished his captain title before being traded to Charlotte, where he led the Bobcats to the playoffs.This time, he strutted his way back to the Bobcats bench, loving every boo Warriors fans showered upon him. He continued by making his first jumper of overtime, and never relented.Jackson's shot capped a big comeback for the Bobcats, who whittled a 16-point deficit down to two late and gave themselves a chance to win. They scored 11 straight to close the third quarter, and were within a basket for most of the fourth - not tying it until Jackson's shot."I think he had a great time tonight," Augustin said of his teammate's second return to Golden State. "We all did."NOTES: Smart and Jackson go back beyond their days together at Golden State. Smart coached Jackson in the Continental Basketball Association when Jackson was 18 years old. Smart's team even had a dress code, and he helped Jackson tie his first tie during one road trip. "So we have that kind of bond, and we are very close," Smart said. ... Smart also called Bobcats assistant Stephen Silas, a former Warriors assistant under Smart, "his right hand" when they were together at Golden State. Silas left to join the staff of his father, Paul, after he took over for Brown in Charlotte.

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

The Warriors are NBA Finals bound for the third straight year.

Following their Game 4 victory over the Spurs on Monday night, Pau Gasol opened up about the Western Conference champions.

“They’re in a groove,” Gasol told Courtney Cronin of the Bay Area News Group. “They know what it takes to win and obviously they’ve been champions, they’ve established records that have never been set before and they’re on a path to get another championship.

"In all my years in the league, they’re playing at the highest level right now.”

Gasol entered the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft.

He won championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

The Warriors are the first team in NBA history to enter the Finals with a record of 12-0.

Their average margin of victory in the playoffs is 16.3 points.

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

CHICAGO — John Lackey's night started with a leadoff homer. Ty Blach's night started with a 13-pitch battle. Neither one is a positive for a pitcher, but Blach didn't view it that way. He actually appreciated Ben Zobrist stretching him out.

"It's good to have a battle like that and get you locked in," Blach said. "It gets you focused and you'll be like, I can execute and get guys out. It's good. It's a good battle."

There, in a nutshell, is so much of what Bruce Bochy loves about his young left-hander. The Giants have found Blach's arm and resolve to be remarkably resilient. He wasn't bothered when they moved him to the bullpen and he didn't get too high when they moved him back to the rotation. He is the same after seven shutout innings or three poor ones. Bochy smiled when asked about the Zobrist at-bat, which ended in a strikeout looking. 

"How 'bout that?" the manager said. "He won that at-bat. It seems like the advantage goes to the hitter, seeing all those pitches. He kept his focus and got a called strikeout and here he is pitching in the eighth inning."

After needing 13 pitches for one out, Blach got the next 23 on 81 pitches. Bochy thought Blach tired a bit in the eighth, but the deep effort allowed Bochy to mix and match in the bullpen, and ultimately he found the right mix. Hunter Strickland and Mark Melancon closed it out and got Blach his second win.

--- From last night, Joe Panik's huge night helped give Blach an early lead. With the help of Ron Wotus and his shift charts, he also put on a show defensively.

--- We're trying something new right after the final pitch: Here are five quick takeaways from the 6-4 win.

--- The options game sent Kelby Tomlinson back to Triple-A on Wednesday when the Giants activated Melancon, but his latest stint in Sacramento comes with a twist. Tomlinson started his third consecutive game in center field on Monday. The Giants are getting a bit more serious about their longtime plan to make Tomlinson a super-utility player. 

“Tommy is a valuable guy in the majors and if we can give him some experience in the outfield, it gives you more flexibility and versatility,” manager Bruce Bochy said. 

This is not Tomlinson’s first foray into the outfield. He did work there in the offseason after the 2015 season and he has played 25 big league innings in left field the last two seasons. This is Tomlinson’s first real experience with center field, and while in the past he has said that the transition isn’t as easy as some might think, Bochy is confident Tomlinson can figure it out. He certainly has the speed to be a semi-regular in the outfield, and the Giants aren’t exactly brimming with quality center field options behind Denard Span, who is dealing with his second injury of the season. 

“It’s a little different now,” Bochy said when asked about Tomlinson’s past experiences in the outfield. “He’s in Sacramento doing it, and knowing there’s a possibility we could need help in the outfield.”

If the switch doesn’t come in handy this season, it could in 2018. Bochy compared Tomlinson’s infield-outfield ability to Eduardo Nuñez, who has found regular playing time in left but is a free agent after the year. 

--- Hunter Pence did some light running in the outfield before Monday’s game. Bochy said Pence is still about a week away from being an option.

--- Bochy has said it a few times now when asked about the standings, so it’s officially a new motto for a team that got off to a brutal start: “We’ve put ourselves in a great situation for a great story.”

--- They're starting to get a little grumpy around here with their team hovering around .500. Perhaps the Cubs thought they could fool a few on the way out of Wrigley.