Cousins, Kings put hurt on Pacers 110-93

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Cousins, Kings put hurt on Pacers 110-93

March 25, 2011BOXSCORE KINGS VIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers are young and talented. With a chance to strengthen their grip on the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, they showed they haven't risen to their full potential yet.DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 14 rebounds to help the Sacramento Kings beat the Pacers 110-93 on Friday night.Indiana entered the game with a three-game lead over Milwaukee and Charlotte for eighth place in the East, but they shot 35 percent from the field and made just 4 of 25 3-point attempts. The Bucks and Bobcats each won on Friday night to trim the gap to two games."We can't relax," said Danny Granger, who led the Pacers with 20 points. "Every night you're playing against a team that can beat you. This should be a lesson for us."The Pacers were coming off road wins against New Jersey and Charlotte and had won five of seven. They felt good about their chances against Sacramento, which had the fourth-worst record in the league."You can't lose to a team that you should beat and at home, at this point in the season," Granger said. "It's a bad loss for us."Samuel Dalembert had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Francisco Garcia scored 16 points and Marcus Thornton added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have won four of their last seven."We're really playing some good defense," Sacramento coach Paul Westphal said. "We've been knocking on the door all year playing close games, not quite being able to break through, and now we're starting to break through. We've got a good young team and we're learning some lessons, and we're learning to win on the road."Sacramento guard Tyreke Evans returned after missing 19 games with left foot plantar fasciitis and finished with six points and eight assists in 17 minutes."I looked at the court like it was my first time in the NBA," Evans said. "I haven't been out there in a long time. It was like 'Space Jam.' I need my powers back."Westphal said Evans played well."It's great to have Tyreke back," Westphal said. "I think he gave us some outstanding minutes."The game was competitive before Sacramento took control in the second quarter. A three-point play by Garcia gave the Kings a 47-30 lead.The Kings outrebounded the Pacers 38-23 in the first half and held Indiana to 25 percent shooting to take 55-37 lead at halftime."We had the slow start, but we were getting what we wanted offensively as far as good looks, we just couldn't really get them to go down," Granger said.The Kings led 65-46 in the third quarter when Garcia was called for a technical foul for arguing with an official. Granger, who had been held in check by Garcia up to that point, immediately became a factor. He hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 16-6 surge that cut Sacramento's lead to 71-62 and forced the Kings to call a timeout.The Kings regrouped and led 85-68 at the end of the quarter.Indiana made a final surge. Paul George's dunk cut Sacramento's lead to 99-86 with 3:47 to play. Westphal wanted to send Evans back into the game, but he couldn't."It was real hard not to put him back into the game when they were pressing us and we were running out of ball-handlers, but doctor's orders are doctor's orders," Westphal said.Back-to-back turnovers by the Pacers led to baskets by the Kings and ended the threat."We just didn't execute well," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We didn't have poise on the offensive end and a lot of those poor offensive possessions - blocked shots and turnovers - led to run-outs for them. So a lot of their buckets were a result of poor offensive execution."Notes: The teams shot a combined 14 for 51 in the first quarter. ... Evans entered the game with 4:40 left in the first quarter. ... Butler's mascot, an English Bulldog named Butler Blue II, made an appearance during a break in the second quarter. Butler beat Wisconsin in the Round of 16 on Thursday in the NCAA tournament. ... Pacers G Darren Collison had made 27 straight free throws before missing one in the third quarter.

Faltering defense continues to be A's unwanted storyline

Faltering defense continues to be A's unwanted storyline

NEW YORK — A weekend that began with promise instead wound up feeling like another lost opportunity for the A’s.

Their defense once again paved the way to their undoing Sunday, and there were plenty of players willing to accept responsibility for a 9-5 loss to the Yankees in the rubber match of a three-game series in the Bronx.

When right fielder Matt Joyce had a catchable fly ball pop out of his glove for a third-inning error that loaded the bases, it seemed inevitable the mistake would come back to haunt the A’s.

On cue, one-time Oakland draft pick Aaron Judge drilled an opposite-field grand slam off Andrew Triggs to a turn a 2-1 A’s lead into a 5-2 deficit. Joyce said he couldn’t stomach to watch the replay of his missed catch afterward.

“It just hit my glove and I dropped it,” Joyce said. “Obviously that’s pretty tough to swallow for me in that situation. For me, I think that’s an easy play. It’s a little embarrassing. It’s obviously really frustrating, especially with what it led to.”

The A’s (22-27) chalked up two more errors, giving them a staggering 49 in 49 games played. When play began Sunday, they had at least 10 more errors than every other big league club. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they also lead the majors with 35 unearned runs, after five of the nine runs they surrendered Sunday were unearned.

That kind of bumbling play in the field is making it difficult for the A’s to maintain leads when they claim one, and tough to mount comebacks when they fall behind. In a factoid that helps explain why the A’s likely find themselves looking at another summer of selling off veterans, they have won just one of the eight road series they’ve played in 2017. Their 7-17 record away from Oakland is second worst in the American League.

The A’s took Friday’s series opener 4-1 but dropped the final two to the AL East leaders.

“I’ve said often, there’s a psychology to it too,” manager Bob Melvin said. “You feel like you have a chance to battle and come back and score some runs, and when your defense is poor, sometimes mentally it’s tough to overcome or get past it. We just have to keep working on it.”

Leading 5-2, New York added to its lead in the fourth with help from a Josh Phegley throwing error on Aaron Hicks’ stolen base. Hicks wound up on third and came home on Chris Carter’s sacrifice fly. The A’s pulled to within 7-5 on Khris Davis’ 15th homer which in the eighth, a two-run shot. But the Yankees answered right back with two more off reliever John Axford, who hurt his cause with two walks.

There were other mishaps that didn’t cost the A’s runs, like Davis making a poor throw to third that allowed a Yankee runner to advance an extra base, and third baseman Ryon Healy losing a foul pop up in the sun.

Regardless of the defensive issues, A’s starter Andrew Triggs wasn’t looking to hand off blame. Just one of the six runs he allowed was earned over his six innings. But Triggs still had a chance to preserve a 2-1 lead in the third if he could have retired Judge with two outs and the bases loaded. Instead he left a 2-1 sinker over the plate and Judge mashed it over the right field wall.

“In my mind it was either sinker away or sinker in, and I thought away was better,” Triggs said. “But you gotta execute the pitch and I didn’t.”

It was the first career grand slam for Judge, who was drafted in the 31st round out of high school by Oakland in 2010 but opted to attend Fresno State. The Yankees took him in the first round in 2013, and in clubbing his 16th homer Sunday (tying him with Mike Trout for the league lead), Judge continued building his strong early case for the Rookie of the Year award.

A's fall short of series win vs Yankees after Judge's grand slam

A's fall short of series win vs Yankees after Judge's grand slam

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam and the New York Yankees took full advantage of Oakland's shoddy defense Sunday in a 9-5 victory over the Athletics.

Michael Pineda (6-2) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to win his third straight start. Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter each had an early sacrifice fly as the AL East leaders scored five unearned runs and took two of three in a well-pitched series.

Judge connected with two outs in the third for his 16th home run, tying Mike Trout of the Angels for the big league lead. The drive landed in the right-field seats, not far in front of The Judge's Chambers cheering section installed by the Yankees for the 6-foot-7 rookie at the start of this 4-2 homestand.

Khris Davis hit his 15th home run for the A's, who committed two more costly errors to raise their season total to 49. They began the day with 10 more than any other team in the majors.

The fielding failures put starter Andrew Triggs (5-4) in tough situations. He went six innings and gave up one earned run - but even that could have been prevented if not for a poor throw by the weak-armed Davis in left.

Gary Sanchez added an RBI double in the seventh that squirmed out of the glove of a diving Davis. Brett Gardner drove in two insurance runs with a pop-fly double in the eighth.

Adam Warren retired all four batters he faced for his first save since July 28, 2015.

The Yankees trailed 2-1 when Ronald Torreyes reached on a soft infield single leading off the third, and Sanchez singled with one out. Matt Joyce then dropped Matt Holliday's fly ball in the right-field corner for an error that loaded the bases.

After Starlin Castro struck out, Judge lined a fastball the other way to put New York ahead. Triggs had given up just three home runs in his first nine starts this year.

Hicks stole second in the fourth and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Josh Phegley. That set up Carter's sacrifice fly, which made it 6-2.

And while Triggs' defense was betraying him, New York's fielders gave Pineda a big boost when he needed it.

With nobody out in the second, Ryon Healy was thrown out by Gardner trying to stretch a two-run single to left field. Torreyes followed with a diving play at third base.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: 1B Yonder Alonso was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sore right wrist. ... CF Rajai Davis was rested in favor of Mark Canha, who batted leadoff for the first time in his major league career. ... One-time closer Sean Doolittle, on the DL since April 30 with a strained left shoulder, threw 20 pitches Saturday and felt good, according to manager Bob Melvin. "So we'll figure out the next step here in the next day or so," Melvin said. ... Oakland plans to put RHP Kendall Graveman (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list Monday and recall RHP Daniel Mengden from Triple-A Nashville to make his first big league start of the season in Cleveland.

Yankees: Slumping 3B Chase Headley was given a second consecutive day off to work on his swing. He'll return to the lineup Monday, manager Joe Girardi said. ... All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman (shoulder) was scheduled to throw for the second straight day before a day off in his program Monday.

UP NEXT

Athletics: The 24-year-old Mengden began the season on the disabled list following surgery on his right foot. He was activated May 20 and optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Including his rehab assignment, Mengden is 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA in four Triple-A starts this year. He reached the majors for the first time last season and went 2-9 with a 6.50 ERA in 14 starts for Oakland. RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 2.93) pitches for the AL champion Indians.

Yankees: Begin a seven-game road trip Monday afternoon in Baltimore, with rookie LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-3, 4.30 ERA) on the mound against Orioles RHP Dylan Bundy (5-3, 2.92).