Crisp's slam leads A's outburst in win over Cubs

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Crisp's slam leads A's outburst in win over Cubs

Feb. 27, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Carlos Zambrano threw free and easy in his spring training debut, working two innings in the Chicago Cubs' 15-7 exhibition loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.It may be a sign for the fiery right-hander of things to come in 2011 after a difficult 2010 when he was pulled from the rotation and suspended from the team in June after a scuffle with former teammate Derek Lee.Despite the difficult start - demoted to the bullpen after four starts - and being placed on the restricted list while going through anger management, Zambrano salvaged the season by finishing on a tear, going 8-0 with a 1.40 ERA over his last 11 starts."Year after year you learn from experience and the things that you do in the past," Zambrano said about the pitching learning curve, but it could be applied to life as well. "That's what I do."That's what the Cubs are hoping for as they lean on the 29-year-old Venezuelan to help anchor the rotation that has too much talent to finish fifth in the NL Central again."After three or four outings and I will be good," Zambrano said. "Today I threw a lot of strikes. I was a little too rushed with (designated hitter Kurt) Suzuki but I was able to get the ground ball for the double play."Cubs manager Mike Quade saw exactly what he wanted from Zambrano."It's fun to watch him," he said. "After such a good first inning, he wavered a little and came back to right the ship. I don't know what his velocities were, but he was throwing well, which is not surprising because when he gets the adrenaline going, look out."It wasn't as smooth of a debut for Chicago's big offseason acquisition as right-hander Matt Garza, who came over in a trade from Tampa Bay, struggled throwing strictly fastballs and change-ups.He allowed five earned runs on five hits in his two innings, including a grand slam to Coco Crisp on a change-up, but Garza was more concerned with his hit."I didn't want to strike out and look foolish," said Garza. "It was a good jumping off point. I never had a hit ever. It was cool. All of the guys were laughing and joked about it, but today my job was to get outs. I got six of them but not the way I want to go about it."Garza gave up another run after a leadoff double by right-fielder Matt Carson. He took the loss in the spring training opener for both teams after allowing six base runners in his two innings.The Cubs' offense started well to get a 4-0 lead off Oakland starter Trevor Cahill as six of the first seven batters reached, including a two-run double by Alfonso Soriano, who had three hits. Starlin Castro and Marlon Byrd each went 2 for 3 to add to the 16-hit attack.The early lead was erased by Crisp's grand slam and then three errors, two by right-fielder Tyler Colvin, and ineffective pitching (Oakland had 18 hits) made it a rough start to the spring schedule."Day one I am not going to be so critical about all of this," Quade said. "We will identify the mistakes, work on them and move on."And the hope is Zambrano has done the same.Notes: Quade said that Colvin, who has been getting time at first base to become more versatile, will get a shot at in the infield at some time during the opening week of spring games, possibly Thursday against Texas. ... RHP Randy Wells gets the start Monday against Milwaukee and Ryan Dempster, the Opening Day starter, gets the ball at San Francisco on Tuesday. ... Several of the Cubs players attended a surprise party Saturday night for former Cubs reliever Bobby Howry, who retired after 13 seasons and pitched for five other teams, including the White Sox. ... The A's agreed to terms with all 21 pre-arbitration players on their 40-man roster on one-year contracts for the 2011 season. The list includes RHP Andrew Bailey, 1B Daric Barton, LHP Jerry Blevins, RHP Trevor Cahill, IF Adrian Cardenas, OF Chris Carter, LHP Bobby Cramer, RHP Fautino De Los Santos, C Josh Donaldson, IF Sean Doolittle, LHP Pedro Figueroa, LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Trystan Magnuson, RHP Guillermo Moscoso, LHP Josh Outman, SS Cliff Pennington, C Landon Powell, IF Adam Rosales, RHP Tyson Ross, IF Eric Sogard and OF Michael Taylor.

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

TURNING POINT:
Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.

 

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.