49ers

Warriors close season with big win over Portland

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Warriors close season with big win over Portland

April 13, 2011BOXSCORE WARRIORSVIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge and the Portland Trail Blazers are headed to Dallas for the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Texas native isn't sure whether to celebrate or not.On one hand, Aldridge is going home to where he was born and attended college. On the other, the Trail Blazers will face a Mavericks team that finished with 57 wins, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for second-most in the Western Conference."It means the family, my mom, can come to the game," said Aldridge, who didn't play in Portland's 110-86 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the regular-season finale Wednesday night. "It means a lot sentimental-wise. But it's not like, 'Oh thank you, we've got Dallas.' It's going to be a tough task."The Blazers secured the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference on Tuesday night with a victory over Memphis. That gave coach Nate McMillan a chance to rest Aldridge and fellow starters Marcus Camby, Nicholas Batum and Gerald Wallace before opening the postseason at Dallas.Earl Barron, signed as a free agent Tuesday, started at center in Portland's makeshift lineup that also included reserves Rudy Fernandez and Chris Johnson.The outcome wasn't all that surprising for a Portland team with nothing on the line."We were able to sit some guys out that have injuries or soreness," McMillan said. "Now we can get prepared for who we are going to face this weekend. The important thing tonight was for (the reserves) to go out and play hard and get some time out on the floor."With the bench logging most of the minutes, the Blazers fell behind early and couldn't recover.Afterward, Aldridge joined his teammates in the locker room to watch the final minutes of the Lakers' overtime win against Sacramento. A Los Angeles loss would have sent Portland to Southern California to open the playoffs instead of to Dallas.The Blazers and Mavs split their season series 2-2 this year."It's going to be tough," Aldridge said. "They've been to the Finals before, a few years back, but they have a really, really good team. They were one of the hottest teams in the NBA this year so it's going to be a really tough task to go in there and beat them."Reggie Williams scored 28 points and Stephen Curry had 18 points and nine assists for Golden State in what could be first-year coach Keith Smart's final game.Smart, who replaced Don Nelson before the season, led Golden State to a 36-46 record. That was a 10-game turnaround from 2010 but the team still missed the playoffs for the 16th time in 17 seasons and Smart's future is uncertain under new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber."This is my home, so I'm here no matter what," Smart said. "My family already told me I can go anywhere I want but they're staying. My focus is on the team, moving forward with the idea that I'm directing this team. That's how I'm going to play it out."Dorell Wright had 20 points to cap a breakout season for the veteran forward and David Lee added 13 points for the Warriors.Even without leading scorer Monta Ellis, who sat out his second consecutive game with a Grade 2 concussion, the Warriors had it easy while winning their third straight against Portland this season.Golden State even made a little history along the way.Wright, who signed a three-year deal with the Warriors last July after five years with Miami, finished the season with 1,344 points, 10 more than the total he had in his previous six seasons combined. In doing so, Wright - the league's leading 3-point shooter going into the night - became the first player in NBA history to accomplish that feat according to the Elias Sports Bureau."It's been great," Wright said. "All the records are pretty sweet but you know my teammates, if it wasn't for those guys, I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now."Patty Mills had a career-high 23 points and Wesley Matthews added 18 points for Portland.The Warriors jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter, led by as much as 24 in the second half then held on to snap Portland's three-game winning streak.The Blazers lost for just the third time in their last nine games, a stretch that included victories over playoff-bound San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Dallas and the Lakers.Luke Babbitt had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, which shot just 33.7 percent from the floor and committed 21 turnovers.NOTES: The game was a sellout, Golden State's 13th of the season. ... Curry set a franchise record for free throw percentage (92.6), breaking Hall of Famer Rick Barry's mark of 92.4 percent set in 1977-78. ... Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and former safety Eddie Anderson sat courtside. ... Ellis dressed for the game and sat on the bench in the first half but did not come out after halftime.

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

After a couple of practices and one exhibition game against the Denver Broncos, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan once again came to the realization things are often not as good or bad as they seem.

That was his takeaway a day after the 49ers provided the Broncos with five giveaways to go along with 11 penalties in a 33-14 loss at Levi’s Stadium.

“But when I get in and watch the tape, it wasn’t quite as bad as it felt,” Shanahan said Sunday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “When you look at each situation, especially when you talk about the ones on offense, it takes 11 guys to execute a play, and if you have one guy off a little bit, it breaks down.”

A couple of passes that could have been caught, a ball that slipped out of quarterback Brian Hoyer’s hand and some other correctable errors gives Shanahan reason to be optimistic.

When he spoke to the media on Saturday night after the game, Shanahan was clearly upset with how his 90-man team performed. He was asked a day later if it was a relief to watch the film and come to the conclusion that not everything was a total disaster.

“It’s not really relief,” Shanahan quipped. “It’s kind of my life story.

“We put a lot into it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scrimmage, practice or preseason. I try to compose myself by the time I talk to you guys (the media) after practice. But I’m pretty pissed after practice when it doesn’t go well. We’re competitive guys and we want everything to be perfect. That’s why most of the time I’m not that happy.”

Shanahan said he expects everyone in the organization to hold themselves to the same high standard.

“Whenever you go out to a game like that, you want to win, you want to play well,” he said. “And you turn the ball over like that and you have the penalties that we did, I’m definitely going to be pissed off and I expect everyone in our building to be pissed off. If they’re not, that’s when I would be worried.”

Shanahan said he had the opposite feeling after the practice Wednesday against the Broncos that looked like a decisive win for the 49ers. Upon review, Shanahan said he felt there was still a lot of room for improvement.

“I thought things seemed real good at practice our first day versus them,” he said. “Then, I go in and watch the film and it was good but not quite as good as I felt when I was out there.”

49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon

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USATSI

49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon

The 49ers could get their presumptive starting free safety back on the field this week.

Jimmie Ward, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since sustaining a hamstring injury during a conditioning test on the eve of training camp, will go through strenuous workouts Monday and Tuesday.

Ward could be cleared to return to practice as early as Wednesday, when the club is scheduled to hold its next practice.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday in a conference call with reporters that defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will will pace him through a football-related workout on Monday and Tuesday.

"Hopefully, we'll get him ready to go by Wednesday," Shanahan said.

The 49ers envision Ward, a first-round draft pick in 2014, as a major contributor in the team’s new 4-3 scheme, which is based on Seattle’s defense. With strong safety Eric Reid playing close to the line of scrimmage, Ward will play the deep safety – a role that Earl Thomas has played for the Seahawks.

In Ward’s absence, undrafted rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games and appears to have played his way into solid position for a spot on the 53-man roster.

"Lorenzo has done a good job," Shanahan said. "I think a couple of times he's ran around and been a ballhawk for us and made some tackles. I thought they caught him a few times out of position last night on a few play-action looks because he's been so aggressive. He's going to have to learn from those, but they never made him pay for those by going outside."

QUICK SLANTS
--The 49ers will have days off on Monday and Tuesday as they settle into their regular-season routine.

--Shanahan said he has been formulating ideas for the game plan against Carolina in Week 1 of the regular season. So as the 49ers play the exhibition games, they are mindful of not showing too much.

"I never get too far away from that," Shanahan said. "Everything we put into a preseason game, you always try to take into account what you’re going to be doing in the regular season."

--Shanahan said he thought No. 1 quarterback Brian Hoyer "did a good job." He said the first throw intended for Vance McDonald over the middle was thrown a little late.

"Besides that, I thought he did a good job with his reads and went to the right spots," Shanahan said.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard also was on-point with his reads, Shanahan said.

--Eli Harold got the start Saturday night at outside linebacker position, as he competes with Ahmad Brooks for a job.

"I try to go off what I see in practice," Shanahan said. "You want to know who has more upside, things like that. Who's going to get better throughout the year if given the opportunity? But you also want to know, when it's all said and done, who is going to affect your win-loss record the most. Those are the things I look at personally."

--Former 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin announced his retirement on Sunday. Shanahan never coached him, but he was obviously a big fan.

"I've personally met Anquan or talked to him before, but he has been one of my favorites of all time," Shanahan said. "I love Anquan. I don't know him at all, but I feel like I do because I've always studied how he plays. I remember watching him in college when he came into Florida State as a quarterback and moved quickly to receiver his freshman year.

"And I remember him coming into the league and people thinking he wouldn't be as great because he didn't have a fast 40 time. And watching him play over the years. That's my definition of a football player. He's as violent of a receiver as there is, and I've always truly believed that receivers can really set the mentality of an offense. I feel lineman have no choice, they have to be tough. Running backs, if you're not tough, you're not going to make it in this league because you get hit every play. Quarterbacks got to hang in there. Receivers are the guys who can pick and choose a little bit. And when you have guys who play like Anquan, that just brings a whole different mentality to your offense that I think usually leads to teams that have chances to win Super Bowls."