Nash, Suns top W's for 4-0 season series sweep

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Nash, Suns top W's for 4-0 season series sweep

March 18, 2011BOX SCORE WARRIORS VIDEONBA PAGE NBA SCOREBOARD

PHOENIX (AP) Channing Frye admitted it had been a while since he missed so many open shots.At least he was back on the court to take them.Frye scored 17 points in his return from a dislocated right shoulder and the Phoenix Suns beat the Golden State Warriors 108-97 on Friday night to stop a four-game losing streak.Though 11th in the Western Conference, Phoenix (34-33) pulled within two games of Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot.Frye, wearing a brace under his jersey to stabilize the shoulder he hurt March 6, missed his first four shots but was key to the offense with guard Vince Carter struggling to make shots. Frye hit a 3-pointer and got a follow dunk in the fourth quarter that kept Phoenix comfortably in the lead."My teammates did a great job of just making sure that I kept a level head," said Frye, who missed the previous five games. "Just tried to get my legs into it. The shoulder's fine. When I'm out there playing, I don't really think about that."Suns coach Alvin Gentry wasn't concerned about how Frye would play."He's been dying to get back out there. He shot it feeling like all of them were going to go in," Gentry said. "I'm not worried about it, I think he'll knock down the ones he missed."Carter missed his first nine shots, but Steve Nash and Grant Hill each scored 17 points and the Suns got 41 from their bench, led by Marcin Gortat's 18.Nash was in his second game back from a pelvic injury that forced him out of two games earlier in the week.Dorell Wright led the Warriors with 30 points, all in the second half, which was tied for the second-highest total in a half by an NBA player this season. David Lee added 16 and 10 rebounds, but Golden State was hurt by 21 turnovers that led to 24 Suns points."Guys were just finding me, it wasn't nothing really to it," Wright said. "Same thing I've been doing all year, I just caught a little fire. I've been a little aggressive getting to the basket and going to the free throw line."The Suns led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter and 27-20 at the end of the period. Nash had eight points on 3-of-4 shooting.Golden State (30-39) cut the lead to 33-28 on a jumper by Vladimir Radmanovic with 7:36 left in the second quarter, but Phoenix went on a 10-2 run to go up 13 points, fueled by the reserves. Hakim Warrick dunked, Aaron Brooks hit a 3-pointer and Hill's steal started a fast break that Jared Dudley finished with a finger roll during the run.Officials waved off Wright's follow dunk at the first-half buzzer that would have cut the Suns' lead to 50-40, and the Suns raced out to a 74-54 advantage in the third quarter after Hill's 3-pointer with 4:01 to play.The Warriors tightened up on defense in the fourth quarter and cut the Phoenix lead to seven with 1:06 to play, but never got closer."We will compete all the way through," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "I'm proud of them and how they function in that fashion."Nash added 10 assists and Frye had nine rebounds."A win is what we needed more so than anything, so we got that," Gentry said.Notes: About five rows of red-and-white clad fans from Poland formed a spirited cheering section for Gortat, who acknowledged the group with a wave when going to the bench at one point in the third quarter Former Suns fan favorite Lou Amundson entered the game for the Warriors in the first quarter as a substitute and got a chorus of "Lous" from the crowd. He winked at fans in response as he took the floor The Suns improved to 13-4 in the past 17 games with Frye in the lineup and defeated Golden State for the seventh straight time Former baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. attended Friday night's game. Griffey works as a special consultant for the Seattle Mariners, who are at spring training in the greater Phoenix area.

Over next few days, Steve Kerr's doctors have one goal to achieve

Over next few days, Steve Kerr's doctors have one goal to achieve

PORTLAND -- After a full week of sheer agony, Steve Kerr walked out of Moda Center late Monday night with hardly a bounce in his step but at least a modicum of hope in his heart.

That’s the power of the Warriors coach feeling optimistic about his future health if not his present condition.

The Warriors had swept the Trail Blazers out of the postseason, yes, but Kerr’s immediate concerns are more about life than basketball. This is a man on a desperate mission to end his chronic misery.

In the 19 months since undergoing two back surgeries in the summer of 2015, Kerr has wondered if relief ever would come. It has not. And now, suddenly, he feels it might. Maybe.

Since Kerr announced his decision Sunday to step away from basketball to focus on his health, the calls and e-mails have come flooding in. People want to help. Some have remedies. Some speak of herbs that might alleviate some of his suffering.

Kerr is willing to listen. He has long reached the point where he feels he has nothing to lose by listening to anything reasonable and considering anything that might help.

[POOLE: This is cruel: Steve Kerr imprisoned by misery that has engulfed his body]

He revealed to NBCSportsBayArea.com that in recent days he has spoken to several people who have experienced the debilitating effects of a cerebrospinal fluid leak and been able to overcome it. He says that because his symptoms have intensified over the past week, in an odd twist, that may make it easier for specialists to trace the precise source.

“That’s what the next few days are all about,” Kerr said, standing down the hallway from the visitor’s locker room. “They’re trying to find it. If they can find it, they can fix it.”

He’ll begin in the coming days by consulting with specialists at Stanford Medical Center, which has some of the more respected surgeons in the world.

Though Kerr requested that we not reveal certain elements of what’s ahead, he said he felt somewhat better than had a few days ago. Maybe part of that was hearing the comeback stories of others.

Kerr detailed the story of an NFL executive who experienced much the same painful and lingering after-effects as he did following his second surgery. This executive, who shall not be named, dealt with it for five months before the problem was detected and repaired.

“He’s 100 percent,” Kerr said. “So I’m hopeful. And he’s not the only one.”

Kerr reiterated that his lower back is fine. The surgery actually alleviated that pain, only to bring about something even worse. He conceded there have been moments when he felt there was no hope, that there would be no end to the suffering.

Last week was, in fact, such a period. That’s why he felt it necessary to step away from his coaching duties for an indefinite period, handing things over to assistant coach Mike Brown.

“I had no chance,” he said. “I had been trying everything.”

Kerr felt good enough to address the team after their victory. He was proud of everyone, he said, from coaches to players to staff members, any member of the traveling party.

It’s a start. Hearing Kerr talk of the past few days, as well as the many months before, it all makes sense that he chose to take some time for himself. He had reached a point where walking away from his job was necessary to save his sanity, if not his life.

How could he function and meet the demands of an NBA coach if he barely could function as a human being?

Giants Notes: Marrero hopes to be back; Posey faces Romo

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USATSI

Giants Notes: Marrero hopes to be back; Posey faces Romo

SAN FRANCISCO — About 45 minutes after the Giants announced that Chris Marrero had been designated for assignment, the left fielder walked up to the locker of one of the newcomers. Marrero patted Christian Arroyo on the back and shook his hand, congratulating him for his first call-up to the big leagues. 

“That’s my boy,” he said later. “I was really happy for him.”

The Arroyo promotion and the addition of Drew Stubbs signaled the end of Marrero’s April run in the lineup. He was cut and Aaron Hill was put on the disabled list, clearing two roster spots. Just as Arroyo forced his way up with three huge weeks in Triple-A, Marrero forced his way onto the opening day roster with a monster spring that included eight homers. He had just five hits in 38 at-bats before Monday’s moves.

“The team is struggling and we’ve got to make some moves,” Marrero said. “I believe in myself and I’ll go down and get back to how I felt in spring training. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life. I lost the feel that I had in the spring. Things were a little rushed. I came in and worked hard every day to try and find it. I’m going to keep working. I haven’t lost confidence in myself.”

Marrero was put in a bit of a tough spot. He played just about every day in Scottsdale because he was trying to win a job, and when he finally did make it, some Giants coaches felt he was a bit worn down. The team’s brutal start to the season put a glaring spotlight on left field, and this move became obvious over time.

Marrero said he likes it here, and that if he isn’t claimed, he will go to Triple-A Sacramento and try to find that spring swing and get back up here. Count Bruce Bochy among those hoping it goes down that way. 

“We thought a lot of him and still do,” Bochy said. “He’s a good hitter.”

--- Arroyo had a 4.4 GPA in high school, so the Giants knew he was smart. He’s savvy, too. There’s nothing like picking up the longest-tenured player on the team, literally. After snagging a ricochet in the fourth inning last night, Arroyo kept running and lifted Cain off the grass. They then chest-bumped. 

“That just kind of happened,” Arroyo said. “He hit it, I looked at Cain going down and saw the ball, went running and got it, instincts took over. I made a throw and got the guy. It was a fun play. In that moment, I was just pumped up. It’s one of those plays you get excited over.”

Arroyo said he heard Cain yelling and he thought he was hurt, so that’s why he ran over. Cain did have an X-ray on the foot that got hit but it came back negative. 

“Christian did a great job handling himself,” Cain said. “He picked me up big-time.”

The best part of the play came hours after it was made. As Cain talked to reporters, Brandon Crawford — who was in position to scoop the grounder in the fourth — was standing at his locker, a few feet away.

“Let it go through next time,” he said softly.

--- Denard Span was out on the field Monday afternoon, but he’ll miss another two to four days with that right shoulder injury. This will truly be a day-to-day situation. If at any point the Giants feel they need coverage, Span can be put on the 10-day DL. 

--- Hill apparently felt discomfort after playing long toss on the road trip. He can swing a bat but he was going to be kept from throwing for three to four days, so he was put on the DL.

--- This spring, Posey was asked about facing Sergio Romo. Here was his long tendencies-filled answer. Posey faced Romo in the eighth and flied out. 

"It was a little weird, I'm not going to lie," he said. "I caught him for so long. It's definitely interesting being in the batter's box instead of being the plate."

Was there a nod or "hey what's up" look between the two?

"I've caught him long enough to know you don't look at him," Posey said, smiling. 

--- If you missed it, the standing ovation for Romo was a very, very cool moment. Also, here's my story on Madison Bumgarner, who spoke for the first time since his injury. And here's the first story on Arroyo, with a fun anecdote about his mom. She'll be in the stands Tuesday. And finally, my game story from last night.