Mavericks' late run too much for weary Warriors

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Mavericks' late run too much for weary Warriors

March 16, 2011BOXSCORE WARRIORSVIDEONBAPAGE NBA SCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) The Dallas Mavericks are moving up in the Western Conference, just in time to make another Texas-sized showdown even bigger.Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points and 13 rebounds, and the Mavericks rallied from 18 points down to beat the Golden State Warriors 112-106 on Wednesday night.The victory moved Dallas (48-20) into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for second place in the Western Conference, setting up a home matchup against the NBA-best and rival San Antonio Spurs on Friday night."It's tremendous. Everybody's going to talk about how it's just another game. Not for this team. Not for us," Mavericks forward Jason Terry said of the Spurs. "We've struggled since the break against teams that are right there in contention for championships. It's a measuring stick for us. How far have we come? They're playing great."So it's going to be on us to see what we can do."Terry finished with 19 points and Rodrigue Beaubois had 18 to help the Mavericks score 15 consecutive points in the fourth quarter and pull away for the victory.Monta Ellis had 26 points and 11 assists, and David Lee scored 22 in another disappointing defeat for a Warriors team seemingly headed for the draft lottery. They built a big lead with an incredible shooting start but couldn't keep pace late."It was tough. We should have had that game. I'll take the blame," Ellis said. "Made some mistakes at the end, turned the ball over, I didn't get the shots that I needed to. I waited too late to get everyone involved."
VIDEO: Monta Ellis postgame
Dallas came back from big deficits over and over in this one.It was big turnaround from a night earlier, when the Mavericks lost at Portland despite shooting 59 percent from the floor. They withstood everything Golden State threw at them offensively, including one final stand.Ellis and Dorell Wright hit consecutive 3-pointers to put the Warriors ahead 96-89 about halfway through the fourth quarter. Then it all fell apart.Jason Kidd made a 3-pointer. Beaubois and Terry followed with easy layups. And Nowitzki, just as he's done so many times, scored the final six points in a 15-0 Dallas run - going ahead 104-96 on a crisp and cool jumper to seal it."Well, we're never going to panic but we certainly weren't happy," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "When something like that happens you've got to stick together and get motivated, and that's what our guys did."In what has historically been a high-scoring matchup, the Warriors made 15 of their first 17 shots to take a 32-14 lead late in the first quarter. It was as strong an offensive display as they've shown all season, and it still wasn't enough to guarantee a runaway.The slow-footed Mavericks twice sliced the lead under double digits in the second quarter, despite sloppy defense and erratic shooting that led to a poor transition game. All it took to come back was the smallest amount of defense and a little shooting spark.Dallas did just enough of both.By the time the halftime buzzer sounded, a once-commanding Warriors lead was whittled down to six. The Mavericks took their first lead, 73-72, on Nowitzki's free throws with 3:12 left in the third quarter and never looked back."We probably got a little stagnant," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "I think it was just a combination of not getting what we wanted at the time that we wanted it."
VIDEO: Keith Smart postgame
NOTES: Ellis had seven assists in the first quarter, the most for any Golden State player in any quarter this season. ... Warriors C Andris Biedrins sprained his left ankle in the third quarter and did not return. The team said he will be evaluated Thursday. ... Dallas' Brendan Haywood (lower back stifness) did not play. ... Golden State hosted its first-ever "Bollywood Night." Festivities included traditional Indian dancing, music, food and attire before the game and during timeouts.

Alonso strikes a chord with fascinating account of Cuba defection

Alonso strikes a chord with fascinating account of Cuba defection

ANAHEIM — As Yonder Alonso was preparing for the 2017 season last winter, he was tackling another challenge too.

Over the course of three months, the A’s first baseman gathered his thoughts and pieced together a fascinating first-person account for The Players’ Tribune about his childhood experience defecting from Cuba with his parents and younger sister.

Alonso framed the article as him penning a letter to his 8-year-old self, describing the grueling struggle he and his family would go through while reassuring his younger self that it would all be worth it when he finally made it as a major leaguer. Alonso describes in vivid detail the hardships he went through, caring for his sister, Yainee, at night as they dined on meals of microwaved hot dogs and microwaved eggs, while his parents were away from home working multiple jobs to support their family.

Alonso goes on to describe how he would return from college baseball road trips, while he was attending the University of Miami, and immediately head to a night job to help his father clean warehouses and scrub bathrooms.

The story struck a chord within the A’s clubhouse but also among so many people from the Miami area, where Alonso’s family settled after they defected. Alonso said he’s received text messages from many of them.

“I think everybody in this locker room, or any locker room, they definitely have a story to tell,” Alonso said. “And I think it’s awesome when you see a guy just kind of open up a little bit. I’m (usually) not one to open up.”

Athletes are used to reporters peppering them with questions and trying to draw stories out of them. Seldom do athletes take to penning their own story.

Representatives from The Players’ Tribune, an online publication started by Derek Jeter in 2014, reached out to Alonso in early December about writing something. Alonso had a trip planned to Cuba for later that month, before any request for an article came, and his return visit to his native country helped persuade him to go through with it.

“I saw a lot of people,” he said. “For me it was very touching. For my wife as well.”

Alonso met with an editor from The Players’ Tribune during spring training, and they began hashing out ideas. Alonso said he wrote the story himself with assistance from the editor.

“We had ideas, different ways of going about it,” he said. “I think from day one I knew the way I wanted to write it and how I wanted it to come out, which is a letter to my younger self.”

Even after finishing the project three weeks ago, Alonso said he wasn’t sure he wanted to share it publicly. He showed the article to some friends and teammates, including A’s reliever Sean Doolittle and outfielder Matt Joyce. After reading the piece, Joyce strongly persuaded Alonso to carry through with it.

“I told him it was awesome,” Joyce said. “From my perspective, you don’t really get a good sense of what those guys go through, coming over to the States. You just see them later. So to kind of read it in his own words, it was a really cool perspective and a good story to see what a kid across the water, from a different country, goes through to get to this point. I think it’s a very powerful story and message.”

Alonso said his motivation was simple.

“Just letting my family know, and people in this world know, that if you want to strive for something, it can be tough at times. But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Giants lineup: Belt in left field, Kelby at second base

Giants lineup: Belt in left field, Kelby at second base

Programming note: Dodgers-Giants coverage starts today at 11:30am with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Dave Roberts and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for today's series finale at AT&T Park:

Dodgers (10-12)
1. Enrique Hernandez (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
5. Chris Taylor (R) 2B
6. Austin Barnes (R) C
7. Scott Van Slyke (R) 1B
8. Cody Bellinger (L) LF
9. Julio Urias (L) P

Giants (8-14) 
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Eduardo Nunez (R) SS
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Matt Moore (L) P (1-3, 5.87 ERA)