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.

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

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USATSI

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

The Kings traded Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the forward to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

I want to thank the Sacramento Kings organization for the opportunity to play basketball in front of the great fans of Sacramento. My wife and I felt in Sacramento like being home and this is something we both will cherish for ever. This definitely isn't easy for me and my family to leave, and you all know how much I love our city, organization and fans but the time has come. I want to wish nothing but success to my Kings. I will definitely will follow and cheer from afar. 
Always a big part of my heart, 
Omri #18

Casspi, 28, averaged 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.