Sharks can't close it, Red Wings rally for 4-3 win


Sharks can't close it, Red Wings rally for 4-3 win


SAN JOSE (AP) The Detroit Red Wings are coming home with a chance to take a step toward history.Suddenly, that seems well within reach.Tomas Holmstrombroke a tie with 6:08 remaining, and the Red Wings scored threethird-period goals to avoid elimination with a 4-3 victory over the SanJose Sharks on Sunday night."There's a lot of character on this team. There's not any quit," said Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who made 39 saves. "Our season was on the line there in the third period, and we found a way."
RATTO: Sharks lose focus, composure and Game 5 along the way
Danny Cleary and Jonathan Ericssonalso scored in the final period to send the series back to Detroit forGame 6 on Tuesday night. After winning the first three games, San Joseis clinging to a 3-2 lead.Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Devin Setoguchiscored to help the Sharks take a 3-1 lead early in the third period.Then the Red Wings scored two quick goals before Holmstrom redirectedthe winner past Antti Niemi, leaving a sellout crowd stunned and silent.Niklas Kronwell also scored and Pavel Datsyuk added three assists for Detroit."I think you put yourselves in a verydangerous position if you get back on your heels against that team,"Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I didn't think we did that tonight.They just outplayed us in the third period."The Red Wings moved closer to adding to their already storied history.The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975New York Islanders and 2010 Philadelphia Flyers are the only teams towin a series after losing the first three games. With Chicago winningthree straight to force a Game 7 against Vancouver in the openinground, that's enough precedent to give Detroit hope that it can pushSan Jose to the brink.The Red Wings already have overcomea repeat of last season, when they went down 3-0 to the Sharks -- justlike this year -- before being eliminated in Game 5 at San Jose.No encore this time.
RELATED: Game 5 notes -- bad wrist can't slow Datsyuk
Detroit came back again with astrong push up ice and sent several shots at Niemi after going down twogoals. In a span of 1:46, the Red Wings got a goal from Ericsson andanother from Cleary on a wraparound shot for the equalizer.Then Nicklas Lidstromsent a slap shot from the center that was deflected on net byHolmstrom, redirected top shelf to beat Niemi and shock a towel-wavingcrowd that was ready to toast a berth in the Western Conference finalsfor the second straight season."I didn't know it went in right away," Holmstrom said. "But I saw the ref point at the net and I felt pretty good."Fans had reason to be optimistic: the Sharks had controlled the puck and forced the action from the start.But they failed to convert on twopower plays in the opening period - not even registering a shot on thefirst - and nearly fell behind again if not for a spectacular save fromtheir goalie. Niemi kept the Red Wings from going ahead first, divingto his left to rob a slap shot by Ericsson with a glove save.A few minutes later, Joe Thornton won a faceoff in Detroit's territory and passed it back for a slap shot by Dan Boylefrom just inside the blue line. Boyle's shot was redirected bySetoguchi for his fifth goal of the playoffs to put San Jose up 1-0with 2:42 left in the period.The Red Wings were able to kill offanother power play in the second to give themselves a chance, only tofail to even get a shot off when they had their own man advantage. ThenPavelski made them pay when he took a pass from Ryane Clowe on a 2-on-1 break, flicking the puck past Howard to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.The goal also was Pavelski's fifthof the playoffs, although he didn't have much time to celebrate.Kronwell scored 53 seconds later with a wrist shot that beat Niemi topshelf with 3:35 left in the period.Any momentum the Red Wings had entering the final period seemed to end with a thud.Dany Heatleycame out of a scrum along the side boards and shoved a pass ahead toCouture, who finished on a wide-open breakaway past Howard's left leg54 seconds into the third period to give the Sharks a 3-1 cushion."When we go up 3-1 we usually finishteams off," Thornton said. "They fought back very hard. We made acouple of careless plays and against their skilled players, they putthose in."NOTES: Red Wings F Johan Franzen tweaked his ankle and was limited in the third period. ... The Red Wings inserted left winger Drew Miller into the lineup and scratched Jiri Hudler.... The Sharks are 7-0 when they lead a series 3-1. ... The announcedattendance was a sellout crowd of 17,562. ... The Sharks fell to 5-1when they score first in the playoffs.y

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

It’s lonely at the top, which is where Markelle Fultz sits on almost every 2017 NBA Draft board. The Brooklyn Nets should be set for the next decade with a big time scoring point guard. Instead, it’s the Boston Celtics who have no choice but to take Fultz with the No. 1 overall selection after a savvy trade that sent veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a stack of picks and players back in 2013.

Fultz can do it all. He’s deadly from the outside, he can take you off the bounce and he has elite passing skills to boot. In a draft packed with star potential, specifically at the point guard position, the freshman from Washington stands out well above the rest.  

It would take a major shake up at the top for Fultz not to have his name called first on draft night, but there are plenty of very talented players sitting on the board behind him. Here is a deeper look at the potential top overall selection.

The Positives:
Fultz has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA point guard. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 195-pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and has a frame built to take on muscle. At just 19-years-old, he is already well defined physically and has plenty of room to grow and get stronger.

A crafty, high-end scorer, Fultz changes speed and direction well and has an advanced Euro-step for a young player. He averaged 23.2 points in 35.7 minutes a night for the Huskies while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He can score from all three levels, finish well above the rim and play through contact.

In his lone season in college, Fultz showed that he is not only a legitimate scoring threat, but he is a willing passer and an unselfish teammate. While Lonzo Ball is considered the true pass first point guard of the draft, Fultz had a higher assist rate (35.5 to 31.5) and lower turnover rate (13.4 to 18.2) than the star guard from UCLA.

Fultz rebounds well for his position, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game at Washington. He also has potential as a defender, posting 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, although he is a work in progress on that end of the floor.

Known as a high-character kid and tireless worker off the court, Fultz has the entire package. He can also play the lead or shooting guard spot, which will come in handy if the Celtics decide to pair him with All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.

The Negatives:
9-16 is a concern. Great college players should be able to will their team to victory, even if the talent around them is suspect. Washington was certainly worse off without Fultz down the stretch, losing their last six while he sat with a knee injury.

Shot selection and sloppy ball handling was also an issue this season. In Fultz’ defense, he played with a group that lacked overall talent and those issues might eventually disappear when he’s added to a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

Fultz is a quality chase down defender, but he fell asleep on plenty of plays or didn’t show a consistent fight on the defensive end. Lack of focus allowed for plenty of back cuts. He also showed an inconsistent effort fighting through screens.

He’s a work in progress on the defensive end, like most young players coming into the league. Most of these issues can easily be coached out of him at the next level.

Fultz has an advanced feel and tons of room to expand his game. On the court, he resembles another former Husky in Brandon Roy. Fultz is much further along than Roy was at the same age, but possesses both the ability to score from anywhere on the court, as well as rebound and set up his teammates.  

It’s hard to imagine the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top overall selection, but if they do, teams will scramble trying to move up to select him. He would fit perfectly in the Kings starting backcourt alongside sophomore Buddy Hield, but Sacramento lacks the assets to move from five to one, Fultz’ likely landing spot.


Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale


SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.