Warriors

Kings, Nuggets meet again in Sacramento

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Kings, Nuggets meet again in Sacramento

April 1, 2011

DENVER (45-29) vs.KINGS (21-53)

Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- While the Denver Nuggets usually take care of business at home against the Sacramento Kings, it's been a different story playing them in California.

Seeking a fifth consecutive win overall, the Nuggets hope to avoid a 25th loss in 28 road games against the Kings when the teams finish a home-and-home set Friday night.

Denver (45-29), sitting fifth in the Western Conference, improved to 13-4 since shipping Carmelo Anthony to New York prior to the trade deadline with a 104-90 victory over Sacramento on Wednesday night.

The Nuggets are outscoring opponents by 17.5 points during their four-game win streak.

While they've won five straight and 11 of 14 at home in this series, they have lost four in a row at Sacramento while giving up an average of 111.0 points. Denver has dropped 24 of 27 there, including a 122-102 defeat Jan. 6 as Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins and guard Tyreke Evans combined for 47 points.

Sacramento (21-53) led by as many as 13 on Wednesday but was outscored 63-39 in the second half and had a four-game winning streak snapped.

"Beating a team back-to-back in the NBA is a difficult challenge," coach George Karl told the Nuggets' official website. "I don't care what the records say. They beat us in Sacramento and kind of embarrassed us a little bit on national TV, so they are not afraid of us."

With Anthony out of the picture, the Nuggets' willingness to play as a team has largely contributed to their recent success.

Denver is averaging 24.7 assists since the deal - tied for the fourth-most in the league since the All-Star break - and 3.5 more than it averaged before the blockbuster trade.

"I compare it to when I was in college," said guard Raymond Felton, who helped lead North Carolina to the 2005 NCAA championship.

"We had a team full of good players. Everybody can score. We just kind of came together. Everybody didn't care who was scoring or who was getting the shots. We were worrying more about winning. We had a lot of success that way and that's what's happening so far here."

The Kings also have done a good job spreading the ball around since getting Evans back in the lineup. They've averaged 25.8 assists in four games since the reigning Rookie of the Year returned after missing 19 with a foot injury.

Evans had 22 points Wednesday while Marcus Thornton led Sacramento with 27. Thornton is averaging 22.4 points since he was acquired from New Orleans at the trade deadline and is pleased with the Kings' recent progress.

"We are jelling as a team," said Thornton, averaging 27.7 points in the last three games. "It all comes together having a young team we are picking up momentum going into the next season."

Denver, scoring an NBA-best 107.6 points per game, has averaged just 90.0 on 39.7 percent shooting en route to back-to-back road losses. The Nuggets are 1-13 away from home when scoring less than 100 points.

Forward Kenyon Martin left in the first quarter Wednesday with flu-like symptoms and his status for Friday is unknown. Guard Arron Afflalo, though, is expected to return after missing four games with a strained left hamstring.

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

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USATSI

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

Once the NBA season starts, every player is out for the same thing -- a chance to raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the end of the year.

During the 2017-18 season, Warriors fans can watch a game at Oracle Arena with the prize possession right by their side. All you need is $2,000. 

If you can write the check, the trophy will pay you a visit in a premium suite, plus two bottle of champagne and a gift bag that includes a six-inch replica trophy and a replica championship ring. 

Fans are limited to four experiences with the trophy per game. 

Darren Rovell of ESPN was first to share the details. 

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

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AP

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Moore knew there was something different about his final home start at AT&T Park this season, and not just the fact that he received a loud ovation as he walked off the mound in the seventh. Moore noted later that the outing was the first shutout he has been a part of this year. In fact, it was the first time in 30 starts that he walked off the mound without having allowed a run. 

“I guess it’s better late than never,” he said. 

The Giants are hoping it’s actually a preview of things to come. They counted on Moore to be a big part of their 2017 push, but instead, he likely will finish with the worst ERA of any full-time starter in the National League. Still, general manager Bobby Evans has informed Moore that his 2018 option will be picked up, something that Moore appreciated given the time of year. 

“I always pictured myself here,” he said. 

Whether coincidence or some kind of “weight off the shoulders” situation, Moore’s first start since the public revealing of the decision was his most encouraging of the year. Facing a good lineup, and a team that needed a win desperately, he pitched six shutout innings. The Giants beat the Rockies 4-0. 

Moore was already showing signs of life, with a 3.76 ERA over his seven previous appearances. Bruce Bochy viewed this as another step forward. 

“It’s been getting better and better with each start,” he said. “What he did really well today was on the arm side. He had good balance to both sides of the plate.”

Moore peppered the outside corner with fastballs, and he credited catcher Nick Hundley with stealing a few strikes. The plan allowed Moore to put hitters away in big spots, one of three points of emphasis he brought into the second half. The other two: limiting lefties and getting ahead of hitters.

That’s Moore’s roadmap back to being the player the Giants acquired. For the team as a whole, the roadmap back to relevance is similar to Wednesday’s plan. This is not a home-run hitting lineup, but the Giants are 47-21 when scoring four runs, and Wednesday was a reminder of the different paths to that magical number. 

Brandon Crawford had a solo homer, but the first two runs came on sacrifice flies and the fourth on a walk-wild pitch-single combination. Bochy said he liked “the brand of ball” his team played.

“They executed so well today,” he said. “It’s just good baseball, and that’s what I felt good about.”