Warriors beaten by Rockets, Martin's 34 points

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Warriors beaten by Rockets, Martin's 34 points

March 23, 2011
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HOUSTON (AP) Kevin Martin scored the points. Chuck Hayes got the cheers.Martin scored 34 points, Hayes got his first career triple-double and the Houston Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors 131-112 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory."It was a good win," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "That's a tough game to play because they keep coming up and down the court and coming at you. You start thinking you have to shoot it quick, too."Hayes had 14 rebounds, 13 points and 11 assists for the Rockets, who remained two games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. With the crowd cheering him on, Hayes missed several chances to get the triple before his jumper with 6:26 left clinched it.
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"The fan support was great," Hayes said. "The guys were really cheering me on for this achievement and once it was over, it was like the biggest relief that I've had in a long time."Adelman was excited about Hayes' performance."I can't emphasize enough the improvements he's made offensively to be more than just a screener. He's becoming a great passer. We saw that tonight. He attacks them. It's a pleasure to watch a guy like that with his work ethic and everything he does is just really terrific."Even Warriors coach Keith Smart offered some admiration for Hayes.
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"It was great to see their crowd get behind him when he was going for the triple-double," Smart said. "Everyone was with him and they are very proud of the type of player he is."Courtney Lee, starting for injured Chase Budinger, scored 25 points and Luis Scola added 20 for Houston."That's the one thing that coach emphasized today," Lee said. "He said the team that's going to win is the one that is going to get down and get stops. We were able to do that today."Dorell Wright led the Warriors with a career-high 34 points, David Lee had 19 and Stephen Curry finished with 16."It's OK (career high) but it's a team game and we lost," Wright said. "We didn't do what we wanted to do. There are no lessons learned, it's just basketball."Houston hit 12 of 26 attempts from 3-point range, led by Martin's 4-for-7 effort.The Rockets took a 66-57 halftime lead and stretched it to 92-76 with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.
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Golden State led only once at 16-15 in the first quarter and took advantage of a 3:31 scoreless streak by Houston to tie it at 57 with 2:20 to go in the second. Two free throws by Monta Ellis, a three-point play by Lou Amundson and a basket by Al Thornton rallied the Warriors to the tie.Lee hit a 3-pointer to put Houston back ahead, and Martin followed with a three-point play and a 3-pointer to keep the Rockets in the lead at intermission.Scola ignited the Rockets in the first quarter, scoring eight of Houston's first 11 points. He had 14 in the opening quarter and the Rockets took a 36-33 lead despite the fast-breaking success of Wright, who got six early points on fast breaks and had 10 after one quarter.Hayes got the second triple-double in as many games for the Rockets. Kevin Lowry had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists Monday against Utah."This is a painful time we are in," Smart said. "Houston is fighting for a playoff spot. We're obviously not going to any dance this season. A young team has to learn to step up as a team, not an individual."Notes: Martin averaged 27.7 points in his previous three games against Golden State. ... Houston closed out its longest home stand of the season at 5-1. ... The Warriors have lost six in a row in Houston and 12 of their last 13 against the Rockets. ... Budinger missed the game with a sprained left ankle. ... Curry has made 126 of his last 133 free throws. He did not shoot a free throw Wednesday night.

Giants Notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

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Giants Notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

CHICAGO -- Joe Panik's leadoff homer in the series opener was a jolt, but the Giants are a much more dangerous offense when Denard Span is clicking atop the lineup, a spot ahead of Panik, and they hope to have that duo going Wednesday. Span got treatment all day Tuesday and said he could return to the lineup against Kyle Hendricks. 

"The swelling has gone down," Span said of his sprained left thumb. "The thing to do is to come in tomorrow, test it out, and if it feels good, you strap it on."

Span said an X-ray came back clean, but he didn't grab a bat Tuesday to test the thumb, focusing instead on treatment. He is batting .326 in nine games since coming off the DL. His replacement in center this week, Gorkys Hernandez, was 0-for-3 against Jon Lester, lowering his average to .160. 

--- The main story from the second game of this series: Johnny Cueto is now dealing with a second blister, and you can see the lack of movement on his pitches. The Cubs took advantage. Lester didn't need much help while throwing a 99-pitch complete game in two hours and five minutes. 

"He threw a lot more changeups than we've seen in the past," Buster Posey said. "He's shown it in the past but tonight he had good command of it. It wasn't just a show-me pitch. He used it a lot and threw it to lefties as well.

Posey twice grounded short rollers in front of the plate.

--- Posey's throw to nab Javy Baez on Monday was one of the best of the year, and on Tuesday afternoon, Bruce Bochy said, "If he's given a chance, I don't think there's anyone better in the game." That might be true, but Willson Contreras is threatening to get into the conversation. He threw an 85 mph rocket to second in the fifth to nab Eduardo Nuñez. If you're wondering how Lester -- who flat-out has the yips about throwing to first base and doesn't do it -- has allowed just six stolen bases this season, look no further than his young catcher. Long-term, Contreras is the guy I would expect to compete with Posey for Gold Gloves. 

"Nuney, with his speed, can go," Bochy said. "Their catcher made a great throw. Put it right on the money."

--- From before Tuesday's game, what do the relievers think of the new hidden bullpen at Wrigley? And if you missed the Power Rankings the other day, the records are outdated, but there are updates in here on old friends Matt Duffy, Chris Heston, Tommy Joseph, Adalberto Mejia, Yusmeiro Petit and others. Petit in particular is incredible ... just keeps doing his thing. 

--- This play was made by the shortstop. That's good for the old UZR.

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

The Warriors are reportedly about to lose a member of their front office.

The Hawks picked Golden State assistant GM Travis Schlenk to become the team's new general manager, and the two sides are discussing contract terms, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Last September, after five seasons as assistant GM, Schlenk was promoted to vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager.

In his 13th season with the Warriors, Schlenk assists in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations, including all player-related matters.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, he served as Golden State's director of player personnel. Before joining the front office, Schlenk spent five years as an assistant coach and video scout for the Warriors, having originally joined the organization prior to the 2004-05 season as a video scout.

More to come...

Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this story