Steph, Monta power Warriors past Baron, Cavs

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Steph, Monta power Warriors past Baron, Cavs

March 8, 2011BOXSCORE WARRIORS VIDEONBAPAGE NBA SCOREBOARD

CLEVELAND (AP) When Monta Ellis gets hot and the shots start falling fast, his Golden State teammates know exactly what to do."Get out of his way," said Warriors forward David Lee, "or set him a screen."Ellis found his shooting stroke in the second half, making a career-high six 3-pointers, to finish with 24 points, and backcourt mate Stephen Curry added 23 points, sending Golden State to a 95-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.Ellis made all 5 of his 3-point attempts and scored 17 in the third quarter as the Warriors won for the second time in eight games. He and Curry combined for 25 of Golden State's 29 points in the third and the duo teamed for 47 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists."I'm fortunate to be coaching a team that has two players in the backcourt that can shoot the ball from deep, put it on the floor, get to the mid-area and also get to the rim," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "That doesn't happen that often."
VIDEO: Keith Smart postgameLee added 14 points and 14 rebounds as Golden State improved to 2-4 on a seven-game road trip.Baron Davis came off the bench and scored 19 in his second home game for the Cavs, who were powerless to stop Ellis once he warmed up from outside.
STEINMETZ: Re-acquiring B.D. would have been boldCleveland's J.J. Hickson dislocated his left little finger in the fourth, but the Cavs were actually relieved it wasn't worse.Hickson got hurt when the ball smashed into his finger as he tried to catch a pass. Hickson grabbed and clutched his left hand in pain, and after play was stopped, he sprinted past Cleveland's trainer and ran directly to the Cavs' locker room."I saw his finger pointing east and west," said Cavs coach Byron Scott, whose first season in Cleveland has been overloaded with injuries. "I didn't want to start crying in front of 17,000 people."The Cavs have already lost leading scorer Antawn Jamison to a broken little finger that required surgery, so Scott was thrilled to see Hickson return to the bench with his fingers taped."It scared me," Scott said. "When he first ran off the court, I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me, another one goes down?' Luckily, he was OK."By the time Hickson returned to the bench, Ellis and Curry had already shot the Warriors to a double-digit lead.Golden State's backcourt was too much for Cleveland's guards to handle. When the Cavs did prevent Ellis from getting off a shot, the Warriors simply swung the ball to Curry, who has scored more than 20 points in five of his past six games.Held to 4 points in the first half, Ellis came out firing in the third.He made his five 3s from a variety of spots - his other bucket in the period was a layup - as the Warriors, who trailed by 12 in the first quarter, opened a 76-65 lead entering the fourth. It didn't matter if the Cavs were up in his face, Ellis was in one of those shooter's zones when the basket seems a mile wide.Ellis dropped four 3s in the final 4:45 and scored Golden State's last 14 points of the third."I was just feeling it," said Ellis, who scored 41 in a tough loss at Boston last week. "I just had the confidence to knock them down."The Warriors are used to seeing Ellis score in bunches."We're not surprised," Curry said. "He takes his show on the road a lot. It's usually acrobatics at the rim, but tonight he was knocking down three's. He took over the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth. He was knocking down a lot of shots. He's tough to guard."Curry started slowly. He missed his only shot in the first quarter, but banged down a pair of 3s and scored 10 in the second, when the Warriors outscored the Cavs 29-16 to take a 47-46 halftime lead.Cleveland's fans have quickly adopted Davis as a favorite.The bearded guard got a rousing ovation when he checked in with 5:32 left in the first quarter and made a quick impact. He scored four points and added two assists, the second coming on a lob pass across the lane to Hickson, whose dunk gave the Cavaliers a 30-18 lead.Notes: Davis hasn't started since joining the Cavs. ... Warriors assistant coach Mark Price, one of the most popular players in Cavs history, received a loud ovation when he was shown on the arena's scoreboard during a timeout in the first quarter. Price's No. 25 is one of six retired jerseys hanging from the rafters at the Q. ... Scott was relieved that Hornets star Chris Paul wasn't more seriously hurt when he sustained a concussion on Sunday night. Scott coached Paul in New Orleans for four seasons. "I was glad to hear he was OK," Scott said. "I'm going to hive him a call again and see how he'd doing." ... Newly acquired Cavs big men F Luke Harangody (hip pointer) and C Semih Erden (groin) didn't play. Scott said he may rest both players the rest of this week.

A's spring training update Day 6: Davis savors winter in Oakland

A's spring training update Day 6: Davis savors winter in Oakland

MESA, Ariz. — Khris Davis enjoyed quite an offseason travel itinerary, checking out Toronto, taking in the beaches of Hawaii and dining on lobster in Belize.

However, it was the time spent in his adopted hometown of Oakland that most struck a chord with the A’s left fielder. After finishing his first season with the A’s, Davis followed through on his plan to make his offseason home in Oakland, and he was glad he did.

“I got to just feel the heart of the city,” he said upon arriving at camp Sunday. “That was basically the purpose of why I was there. … I wanted to feel Oakland. I love it, honestly. I love the city.”

He trained at Dogtown Athletic, a gym in West Oakland. He took part in the A’s holiday party for kids at the Oakland Zoo, joined by A’s Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who grew up in the city.

“Just to feel these kids’ happiness,” Davis said. “They didn’t look at me as a baseball player. They just looked at me as a role model kind of.”

It should be music to the ears of A’s fans that the team’s most dangerous hitter has a love affair with the city he plays in. If the A’s ever entertained the idea of trying to sign Davis to a multi-year extension, and that’s purely hypothetical here, it would help that Davis feels comfortable in his surroundings.

Even when he described Oakland in edgy terms, such as when he said it “has its dark side,” he seemed to find it endearing.

In return, Davis felt the love from the fan base in 2016, hitting a career-high 42 homers with a team-best 102 RBI. That was despite the awful start he got off to, hitting .143 and mustering just one RBI over his first 12 games.

Obviously, any chances the A’s have of improving last year’s American League-worst offense rely on the 29-year-old Davis having another big year. But over-analysis is one thing he tries to avoid.

“I don’t want to get caught up in last year — the slow start and the strong finish, whatever,” he said. “However it was, I’m just ready to do this year.”

Davis decided to back out of his plan to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, saying his main priority was preparing for his A’s season.

“My main focus is to perform for the organization,” he said. “I feel like I want to get off on the right foot this year.”

NOTEWORTHY: Heavy showers continued to pelt Mesa on Sunday, spoiling the A’s first full-squad workout. The hitters were relegated to swinging in the cages and playing catch, while pitchers were scheduled for a day off from throwing on the mound anyway.

“If ever there was a day, at least for the pitchers, that you don’t need to (work out), it’s today,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But when you have everybody there on the first day, you wanna get out on the field and do everything. Hopefully we can incorporate everything tomorrow.”

The A’s have a whopping 70 players in camp, more than in any other spring Melvin can remember as a big league manager. He addressed the full team in a meeting Sunday morning.

His message?

“We’re gonna have to outwork, out-hustle everybody like we have in the past,” he said, “and get back to playing the game with the same tenacity that we did a couple years ago.”

FAMILIAR FACE: Longtime A’s second baseman Mark Ellis is back for the second year in a row as a spring infield instructor. The plan is for Ellis to spend a week with the team now, then another week later in camp.

“I’ll take Mark Ellis as many days as I can have him,” Melvin said.

LIGHTER SIDE: Nursing his broken right foot, starting pitcher Daniel Mengden has been making his way through the clubhouse on a knee scooter in order to keep pressure off his foot.

Apparently, it looks more fun than it really is.

“I contribute to society Friday, when I can start walking again,” Mengden quipped.

Giants spring training Day 7: Rule change should help Bochy

Giants spring training Day 7: Rule change should help Bochy

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On one of the many nights last season when his bullpen imploded, Bruce Bochy nearly put a catcher on the mound. Trevor Brown ended up playing an inning of third base on June 28 as the Giants gave up eight runs over the final two innings in a brutal loss to the A’s, and he said this week that he was told he was the next man up on the mound. 

That night was an odd one, as a tired bullpen was waiting for Sergio Romo to get activated off a rehab assignment and trying to get by without long reliever Chris Stratton, who had thrown 57 pitches out of the ‘pen the night before. The bench was also short because Joe Panik was about to be put on the concussion DL.

Bochy hopes he doesn’t have to deal with such a situation this season, and not just because the bullpen should be much improved. The disabled list lasts 10 days now, not 15, and Bochy is thrilled with the new rule.

“The DL thing, I really like it,” he said. “You get caught in that gray area so often.” 

Bochy met with league officials on Saturday to go over some of the rule changes. DL stints can now be made retroactive just three days, but it’s still a vast improvement overall. 

“With (position) players and pitchers it’s going to make it easier to DL guys,” Bochy said. “If you’re looking at (starting) pitchers, they could miss just one start.”

The Giants have often played a man or more short, trying to get by day-by-day to give a position player or starter time to heal. Around camp, this could be called the Angel Pagan Rule, as the former Giants outfielder often missed a week or so before officially going on the DL. At times, Bochy has been patient with players like Buster Posey and Hunter Pence, knowing that even if they missed a week, keeping them off the DL could still earn the Giants seven or eight games with a big bat back in the lineup. If a future diagnosis is that a player will miss a week, it’ll be much easier to swallow putting him on the 10-day DL than it was for the 15-day. Likewise, the Giants will take advantage of the change if a pitcher will have to miss a start. 

Bochy has said often that he would like every reliever to go on the DL during the season to freshen up. That’ll make more sense now, and it should keep the Giants from having to play as many games where the bullpen is gassed and a backup catcher is preparing to pitch. For guys like Stratton — a versatile pitcher on the 40-man roster — it should also lead to increased trips up to the big leagues to fill gaps. 

INJURY UPDATE: Pence (side muscle) took 25 swings during a live BP session in the cage and Bochy said he’s doing much better. That was about the only significant activity Sunday. Once again, the workout was rained out. Bochy said the Giants have enough time to get guys ready for the Cactus League opener on Feb. 24, but they’ll likely hold some big-name pitchers out of the early games. Brandon Crawford and Posey will get plenty of early starts to prepare for the WBC. 

PROSPECT WATCH: If the early games are turned over to prospects, Dan Slania will be an interesting guy to watch. Slania is listed at 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, so he always had the look of an imposing reliever. But his greatest success last season came after a surprise move to the rotation. 

Slania, a 2013 fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame, got a call on his 24th birthday telling him to prepare to start because of an injury in Richmond’s rotation. He had not started a game since high school, but his four-pitch mix worked. He had a 5.32 ERA out of the bullpen but it dropped to 1.48 in 10 starts for the Flying Squirrels. In two Triple-A starts, he struck out 14 over 13 innings while allowing just eight hits and two runs. The Giants put him on their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. 

“He had a great year last year,” Bochy said. “He’s in camp for a reason. He’s got great stuff and a good makeup.”

RULE CHANGE: One more thing that came out of that rules meeting: Managers who are out of challenges now have to wait until the eighth inning to ask an umpire to look at a play.

QUOTABLE: “We know he’s better off taking some days. We talked about it (with him). He agrees that it’ll help him.” Bochy on Pence’s workload. The right fielder is coming off two injury-marred seasons, and the Giants have no intention of even trying to get him back to his Iron Man days.