Lincecum leads Giants into key series with L.A.

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Lincecum leads Giants into key series with L.A.

Sept. 9, 2011

LA DODGERS (70-72) vs.
GIANTS (75-68)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Desperation might be setting in for the Giants, and facing Clayton Kershaw may just make matters worse.

Tim Lincecum's recent performances aren't helping, either.

Lincecum looks to avoid a personal three-game slide as the Giants try to defeat Kershaw for the first time in six tries Friday night when this three-game set begins with a marquee pitching matchup.

San Francisco (75-68) has 19 games left to overcome a considerable gap behind first-place Arizona, and the Giants haven't helped their cause by dropping six of 10.

They fell again Wednesday, losing 3-1 at San Diego as their attempt to sweep the three-game set came up short.

"We have to win," said losing pitcher Matt Cain. "That's all we have to do, is win."

URBAN: Who will leave Giants first - Cain or Lincecum?

They haven't beaten Kershaw (17-5, 2.45 ERA) since Cain outpitched him in a 2-0 win at AT&T Park on Aug. 1, 2010.

Since then, Kershaw is 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 35 2-3 innings over five starts against the Giants. He hasn't allowed a run in 23 2-3 innings while winning three in a row at San Francisco.

Kershaw was dazzling in his last visit to AT&T Park on July 20, fanning a season-high 12 while yielding three hits in eight innings of a 1-0 win over Lincecum. He also beat the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner on opening day March 31, when Kershaw worked seven scoreless innings in a 2-1 victory.

The left-hander is making a case to become the first Dodgers starter to win the Cy Young since Orel Hershiser in 1988.

Kershaw ranks among the NL's top three in wins and complete games (five), while his career highs of 222 strikeouts and 205 2-3 innings rank first and second, respectively.

The Dodgers ace has reinforced his status among the NL's elite by going 4-0 with a 0.95 ERA in his last five starts. He didn't get a decision Sunday, but was cruising through six scoreless innings before giving up three runs - two earned - in the seventh during a 4-3 loss at Atlanta.

"I definitely felt like I had good stuff, some of the better stuff I've had all year," Kershaw said. "I had command of all three pitches. In the seventh, I left some (pitches) up."

Despite that defeat, the Dodgers (70-72) have won 13 of 16 after beating Washington 7-4 on Thursday. They were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the nightcap was rained out.

After scoring at least six runs for the 10th time in 15 contests, Los Angeles will try to do the same against Lincecum (12-12, 2.75). He has struggled while losing his last two starts, allowing 10 runs and 15 hits - four homers - with 11 strikeouts and seven walks in 11 innings.

The right-hander gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings of a crucial 7-2 loss Saturday against the Diamondbacks.

"Of course, this is disappointing," Lincecum said.

Carlos Beltran is providing some punch at the plate by going 12 for 19 with six RBIs in five September games. He's 7 for 21 with four doubles and a homer in seven 2011 games against the Dodgers, but is 0 for 7 with three strikeouts versus Kershaw.

San Francisco's Brett Pill has made an impact through his first two games in the majors, going 3 for 7 with two homers since being recalled from Triple-A Fresno.

The Dodgers will be without Andre Ethier for the rest of the season due to a right knee injury that will be examined by Dr. James Andrews.

Draymond to Curry to Durant earns Assist of the Year

Draymond to Curry to Durant earns Assist of the Year

The Draymond Green to Steph Curry to Kevin Durant lob resulted in "Assist of the Year" at the first-ever NBA Awards show on Monday night.

With 9:25 remaining in the third quarter against the Pacers on Dec. 5, Zaza Pachulia won a jump ball (against Paul George) in the backcourt.

Draymond threw a fullcourt football pass to Curry, who tracked the ball like a wide receiver on a go-route.

As he caught the ball inside the free throw line, he flipped it behind his head to a charging Durant, who guided the ball towards the rim with his left hand before flushing it with both hands.

Oracle Arena went nuts as the Warriors took an 88-56 lead.

In that same game, Klay Thompson racked up 60 points in 29 minutes.

Golden State beat Indiana 120-83 to improve to 12-2.

The Warriors recorded 45 assists, the second highest output of the season (47 against the Lakers on Nov. 23).

Nikola Jokic and Chris Paul were also nominated for the award, which was voted on by the fans.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Iguodala does not capture Sixth Man of the Year award

Iguodala does not capture Sixth Man of the Year award

Andre Iguodala spent much of the season doing whatever he could to fight off any momentum that might result in him being named Sixth Man of the Year in the NBA.

The Warriors forward need not have worried, as the award once again went to a scorer.

Rockets guard Eric Gordon won the balloting, beating out Houston teammate Lou Williams and Iguodala.

Iguodala averaged only 7.6 points per game, but shot a career-high 52.8 percent from the field and is widely considered the league’s No. 1 defender off the bench.