Kings triumph over Delfino, Bucks 97-90

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Kings triumph over Delfino, Bucks 97-90

March 23, 2011BOXSCORE KINGS VIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD
MILWAUKEE (AP) John Salmons tried and failed to come up with just how the Milwaukee Bucks could come up with such a poor effort against the Sacramento Kings with the playoffs still seemingly within reach."It's a shame," he said. "That's all I'll say, it's a shame."Marcus Thornton scored 27 points, Beno Udrih added 25 and the Kings beat Milwaukee 97-90 Wednesday night to damage the Bucks' fading playoff hopes. Milwaukee (28-42) fell three games behind Indiana for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 left to play after the Pacers won earlier in the night."We just didn't have the type of intensity and focus you'd like to see and understanding the enormity of the game, we were kind of passive," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "It hurts for sure."Sacramento has won two of three on this five-game road trip and rebounded from an ugly 40-point loss to Chicago on Monday night, the Kings' worst in more than two years. Kings coach Paul Westphal said he challenged his young team after the blowout to the Bulls."I think they heard me in the second half. We really did crank up our defense," the coach said. "We got some really good performances from our backcourt, but mostly it was our defense and our rebounding in the second half that won it for us. It was first class."Milwaukee's Carlos Delfino scored 30 points for the second consecutive game to again match his career high, but had 22 of them in the first half.The Kings, who are expected to get Tyreke Evans back for Friday's game at Indiana, got contributions from all over, including 13 points from DeMarcus Cousins and 11 points and 12 rebounds for Samuel Dalembert to snap Milwaukee's two-game winning streak."Mixing Tyreke in there gives us a very strong backcourt rotation," Westphal said. "The way Beno and Marcus are playing, it shows we have a chance to have a really, really good backcourt."Andrew Bogut scored 15 points, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 11 and rookie Larry Sanders added 10 despite back spasms for Milwaukee, but the Bucks' schedule gets much harder from here.They play at New York on Friday and have a home game with Chicago on Saturday.Salmons, who started 1 for 9, hit a 3 that gave Milwaukee a 79-78 lead early in the fourth quarter, but finished 3 of 14 for the game as Milwaukee faded away."That's a shame, too," Salmons said. "I didn't feel in rhythm from the beginning for whatever reason."Jason Thompson answered with a big one-handed slam, Thornton had a dunk of his own and Thompson added a layup as Sacramento went ahead 86-81 with 5:44 to play.The Bucks, the worst-shooting, lowest-scoring team in the NBA, went cold at the wrong time, missing six of their final seven shots and committing three turnovers in the final 3:20.Delfino hit a 3 that cut the Kings' lead to 92-90 with 1:11 left, but after a miss by Udrih, Bogut was called for an offensive foul when Milwaukee had a chance to tie.Thornton missed a jumper, but Thompson grabbed the offensive rebound and Udrih was fouled with 18 seconds left and Sacramento hit five of their last six free throws to end it."We aren't going to just quit on the season," Thompson said. "We want to finish strong."Thornton, acquired from New Orleans with cash in exchange for Carl Landry this year, continued his run of strong performances, scoring in double figures for the 14th time in the last 15 games.Sacramento began the trip with a 32-point win at Minnesota before losing by 40 at Chicago.They rebounded in a big way against Milwaukee and should be even better when they get back Evans, the reigning NBA rookie of the year who has missed the last 19 games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot."It will be great to have him back," Udrih said. "It will be interesting to see how coach is going to divide up the minutes."Notes: Delfino finished 12 of 20 from the field and is 29 of 46 in his last three games, averaging 28.7 points. ... Sanders fell to the court untouched in the final seconds of the first half and had to be helped off by teammates after a back spasm. He returned late in the third quarter. ... Bucks PF Drew Gooden (left foot plantar fasciitis) was active for the first time in six weeks, but did not play. ... Bucks G Michael Redd now expects to play Saturday after initially planning to return on Friday. He has missed 14 months and the better part of two seasons after twice tearing the same ligaments in his left knee.

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

SAN FRANCISCO — Over in Cleveland earlier Friday, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer for the visiting team and five other players chipped in a pair of hits. The Royals had six runs, which meant that when Jim Johnson closed the Giants out a few hours later, what has seemed true all season became officially true. The Giants have the lowest-scoring lineup in the majors.

At 3.32 runs per game, they have dipped below the equally-disappointing Royals (3.38). They are capable at the moment of making any pitching staff look dominant. A 2-0 shutout was the first of the year for the Braves, who previously had just two games this season where they allowed fewer than two runs. 

“Six runs in (the last) four games … I thought we would come home and get some rips in tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Bruce Bochy said. 

The manager’s frustration showed late in this one. After the only rally of the game — a two-run single by opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia — Bochy took his cap off and rubbed his forehead. He dipped his head and briefly stood as if he was going to fall asleep on the rail. The bats were equally still. 

The Giants had just four hits, all of them singles against Garcia, who is a nice pitcher but hardly one of the league’s best. One was an infield single by Eduardo Nuñez, another a single through Garcia’s five-hole, and a third a generous ruling by the official scorekeeper. 

“It comes down to, you’ve got to get some hits and create opportunities, and we’re not doing it very often,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of guys getting somewhat hot. We did, we had some success, and we won some games. The thing you like to see is some good cuts and I didn’t think we got enough of those tonight.”

That run, which spanned the last homestand and small parts of two road trips, has come to a screeching halt. The Giants have lost five of six. It seems silly to scoreboard-watch in May, especially when a team is playing like this, but it’s worth noting that the teams the Giants eventually need to catch keep winning. They fell 12 games back of the Rockies and 11 back of the streaking Diamondbacks. They are 9 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who might be the best team in the whole league. 

Matt Cain did his part to allow the Giants to keep pace. He got beat just once in seven sharp innings. The Giants intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to get to Garcia, who bounced a single into left. Brandon Belt had a play at the plate, but his throw was short and hit the runner. A second run scored. 

“That’s tough,” Cain said. “(Garcia) was throwing the ball really good and that’s what it comes down to, you’re looking for that one hit and he did it. He’s a good hitter. We’ve seen it in St. Louis. But it definitely is tough when the pitcher does that … it just stinks on my part to give up a hit to the opposing pitcher.”

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

Lowrie's big hit sparks A's, gets road trip started right

NEW YORK — Jed Lowrie is the counterpoint to the A’s home run-crazed offensive attack.

Sure, the A’s switch-hitting second baseman can muscle up and clear the fence. But Lowrie’s approach is more about spraying base hits all around and using the whole field. He was at it again in Friday’s 4-1 A’s victory over the Yankees, going 3-for-4 and delivering an RBI single that snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth.

“I always have to carry his glove out to second for him because he’s always on base,” shortstop Adam Rosales said. “He looks really good at the plate right now, and he’s kind of just putting us on his back. It’s contagious to see a guy like that doing so well.”

Lowrie bumped his average up to .310 with Friday’s game. Until he grounded out in the sixth, he’d notched hits in seven consecutive at-bats dating back to Tuesday night. That streak fell one shy of the A’s record for most consecutive hits. Three players share the record at eight — Josh Reddick (in 2016), Dave Magadan (1997) and Brent Gates (1994).

“It’s all about the work,” said Lowrie, whose 15 doubles are tied for third in the AL. “Everything comes together when you’re seeing it well. I’m seeing it well but the approach hasn’t changed.”

With two runners aboard and two out in the eighth, Lowrie punched an RBI single to right off Tyler Clippard for the game’s first run. It was the breakthrough the A’s needed after they’d struck out 13 times in seven innings against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s hit by beating out an infield single to score another run. Then Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in top of the ninth to make it 4-0, and that provided some cushion as closer Santiago Casilla gave up a run and made things tenser than they should have been in the bottom half.

Davis, the most fearsome hitter in Oakland’s lineup, is thrilled to have a productive Lowrie batting in front of him as the No. 3 man.

“Somebody’s gotta hit .300,” Davis said. “All year he’s been our most consistent hitter and best hitter. I hope he keeps going.”

The A’s have won four in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to last year. It’s their longest winning streak in the Bronx since a four-gamer at the old stadium in 2006. And it was a good way to begin a seven-game road trip for the A’s, who came in with the league’s worst road record at 6-15.

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Rosales had puffiness under his right eye and said he was anticipating a shiner after his hard head-first dive into third base didn’t go as planned in the eighth. He scraped up his face pretty good after going first to third on an errant pickoff throw and taking a hard dive into third, only to find the dirt wasn’t giving.

After addressing reporters, Rosales said he was on his way to find an ice pack.