Slumping teams meet as Warriors visit Wizards

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Slumping teams meet as Warriors visit Wizards

March 2, 2011

WARRIORS (26-33) vs.
WASHINGTON (15-44)

Coverage begins at 3:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

WASHINGTON DC (AP) -- Golden State is off to a poor start on its longest road trip of the season. Even a matchup with the lowly Washington Wizards might not guarantee things will get better for the struggling Warriors.

The Warriors look to avoid a fifth consecutive loss overall Wednesday night to the Wizards, who have dropped six in a row themselves.

NEWS: Wizards coach Saunders to miss game

After losing to Boston and Atlanta on a brief homestand, Golden State (26-33) has dropped the first two stops on its seven-game trip. The Warriors opened the stretch with a 126-123 loss at struggling Minnesota on Sunday, then followed with a 109-100 defeat at Indiana on Tuesday.

The four-game skid likely drained any momentum the Warriors built up by winning seven of the previous nine contests. Golden State is 12th in the Western Conference, 6 12 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

REWIND: Free throws the difference as Pacers beat Warriors

While Golden State ranks near the bottom of the NBA allowing 105.9 points per game, it has given up 111.3 per contest the last four games.

The Warriors allowed Indiana to shoot 51.2 percent from the field in the second half Tuesday.

"I think we're focused on what we're trying to do," guard Stephen Curry said of the Warriors' defense. "We have a lot of effort. We have to look at film and see what teams are doing. I'm trying to find an answer. I don't really have one."

Though it would seem Golden State has a good chance to get back on track versus a Washington team that has lost 17 of 20, the Warriors have lost three of four overall and two straight on the road against the Wizards.

Washington averaged 115.0 points on 51.1 percent shooting to sweep the two-game season series versus Golden State in 2009-10.

The Wizards (15-44), however, have averaged 92.5 points during their current six-game skid. Washington has lost four of the last eight games by 20 or more points.

It shot 35.6 percent in Monday's 105-77 home loss to Chicago.

"Our fans were trying to fight back for us," said Washington forward Andray Blatche, who has totaled 46 points and 18 rebounds the last two home games versus Golden State. "But it came to the point where we didn't give them no reason to fight back after we were down by 20-something."

Though Washington has struggled, rookie point guard John Wall is playing better. Despite being held to nine points against Chicago, Wall has averaged 19.9 the last seven games.

He'll matchup for the first time against Curry, who has totaled 53 points the last two games. The second-year point guard scored 27 points in each of the two losses to Washington last season.

Curry had 20 points while Reggie Williams scored 25 off the bench Tuesday as the Warriors, who could not hold a nine-point first-half lead.

Among the NBA scoring leaders averaging 24.7 points, Golden State's Monta Ellis was held to 13 at Indiana. He's averaged 16.0 points during the four-game skid.

A day after Washington bought out the contract of veteran Mike Bibby, who played just two games since being traded to the Wizards last week, the club did the same with forward Al Thornton on Tuesday.

The Warriors are reportedly interested in the forward, who averaged 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 49 games for the Wizards.

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

TURNING POINT:
Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.

 

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.