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.

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

The Warriors are NBA Finals bound for the third straight year.

Following their Game 4 victory over the Spurs on Monday night, Pau Gasol opened up about the Western Conference champions.

“They’re in a groove,” Gasol told Courtney Cronin of the Bay Area News Group. “They know what it takes to win and obviously they’ve been champions, they’ve established records that have never been set before and they’re on a path to get another championship.

"In all my years in the league, they’re playing at the highest level right now.”

Gasol entered the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft.

He won championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

The Warriors are the first team in NBA history to enter the Finals with a record of 12-0.

Their average margin of victory in the playoffs is 16.3 points.

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

CHICAGO — John Lackey's night started with a leadoff homer. Ty Blach's night started with a 13-pitch battle. Neither one is a positive for a pitcher, but Blach didn't view it that way. He actually appreciated Ben Zobrist stretching him out.

"It's good to have a battle like that and get you locked in," Blach said. "It gets you focused and you'll be like, I can execute and get guys out. It's good. It's a good battle."

There, in a nutshell, is so much of what Bruce Bochy loves about his young left-hander. The Giants have found Blach's arm and resolve to be remarkably resilient. He wasn't bothered when they moved him to the bullpen and he didn't get too high when they moved him back to the rotation. He is the same after seven shutout innings or three poor ones. Bochy smiled when asked about the Zobrist at-bat, which ended in a strikeout looking. 

"How 'bout that?" the manager said. "He won that at-bat. It seems like the advantage goes to the hitter, seeing all those pitches. He kept his focus and got a called strikeout and here he is pitching in the eighth inning."

After needing 13 pitches for one out, Blach got the next 23 on 81 pitches. Bochy thought Blach tired a bit in the eighth, but the deep effort allowed Bochy to mix and match in the bullpen, and ultimately he found the right mix. Hunter Strickland and Mark Melancon closed it out and got Blach his second win.

--- From last night, Joe Panik's huge night helped give Blach an early lead. With the help of Ron Wotus and his shift charts, he also put on a show defensively.

--- We're trying something new right after the final pitch: Here are five quick takeaways from the 6-4 win.

--- The options game sent Kelby Tomlinson back to Triple-A on Wednesday when the Giants activated Melancon, but his latest stint in Sacramento comes with a twist. Tomlinson started his third consecutive game in center field on Monday. The Giants are getting a bit more serious about their longtime plan to make Tomlinson a super-utility player. 

“Tommy is a valuable guy in the majors and if we can give him some experience in the outfield, it gives you more flexibility and versatility,” manager Bruce Bochy said. 

This is not Tomlinson’s first foray into the outfield. He did work there in the offseason after the 2015 season and he has played 25 big league innings in left field the last two seasons. This is Tomlinson’s first real experience with center field, and while in the past he has said that the transition isn’t as easy as some might think, Bochy is confident Tomlinson can figure it out. He certainly has the speed to be a semi-regular in the outfield, and the Giants aren’t exactly brimming with quality center field options behind Denard Span, who is dealing with his second injury of the season. 

“It’s a little different now,” Bochy said when asked about Tomlinson’s past experiences in the outfield. “He’s in Sacramento doing it, and knowing there’s a possibility we could need help in the outfield.”

If the switch doesn’t come in handy this season, it could in 2018. Bochy compared Tomlinson’s infield-outfield ability to Eduardo Nuñez, who has found regular playing time in left but is a free agent after the year. 

--- Hunter Pence did some light running in the outfield before Monday’s game. Bochy said Pence is still about a week away from being an option.

--- Bochy has said it a few times now when asked about the standings, so it’s officially a new motto for a team that got off to a brutal start: “We’ve put ourselves in a great situation for a great story.”

--- They're starting to get a little grumpy around here with their team hovering around .500. Perhaps the Cubs thought they could fool a few on the way out of Wrigley.