Warriors continue East Coast swing in Boston

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Warriors continue East Coast swing in Boston

March 4, 2011
WARRIORS (27-33) vs.
BOSTON (44-15)

Coverage begins at 4 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

BOSTON (AP) -- Kevin Garnett's 24-point performance against the Golden State Warriors last week marked his best offensive game in almost three months. He didn't wait nearly that long to top it.

Coming off his highest-scoring effort in nearly three years, Garnett looks to stay hot Friday night against the visiting Warriors as he tries to lead the Boston Celtics to a fourth straight win.

Garnett has helped Boston (44-15) establish a reputation as the league's best defensive team since arriving in the summer of 2007, but his age, an excellent supporting cast and a few nagging injuries have kept him from being the consistent offensive force he was in Minnesota.

Since the All-Star break, he's done an awfully good impression of the player that averaged at least 21.2 points for eight straight seasons. Garnett had 24 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in a 115-93 rout of the Warriors (27-33) on Feb. 22, at the time the most points he'd put up since scoring 26 against Toronto on Nov. 26.

After three more double-doubles that brought his streak to five, Garnett outdid himself Wednesday against Phoenix. He had 28 points and 11 rebounds in Boston's 115-103 victory. The most were the most in a regular-season game for the 14-time All-Star since March 26, 2008, when he scored 30.

"I walked into shootaround before the game and put 20 on the board and said 'that's how many attempts you should have,'" coach Doc Rivers explained. "You shouldn't go through a game where a smaller big is on you and not get 20 attempts."

All of Garnett's points came in the first 33 minutes as he helped put the Celtics up by as many as 29. Boston improved to 10-1 this season - and 32-6 over the past three seasons - when Garnett scores at least 19 points.

Garnett might have to do a little bit more offensively with fellow low-post threat Glen Davis on the shelf for at least a week. Davis hurt his knee going up for a dunk late against the Suns, and was diagnosed Thursday with patellar tendinitis.

That should mean more time for recent acquisitions Nenad Krstic and Troy Murphy, who played 14 minutes and scored one point in his Celtics debut Wednesday - two days after he was bought out by Golden State.

The loss to the Celtics began a four-game skid for the Warriors, but they put an end to it Wednesday in Washington - barely. Golden State was up by 20 points late in the third before watching the lead shrink to one, but held on for a 106-102 victory behind 29 points from Stephen Curry.

"When you've gone through a streak of losing, to get a win - no matter how it ends up - nobody will pay attention to how the fourth quarter went," coach Keith Smart said after the Warriors improved to 1-2 on their seven-game road trip.

If Golden State plans on winning in Boston for the first time since Garnett's arrival, it will likely need more from Monta Ellis than the 15 points he contributed while shooting 6 of 18 last week. Ellis has been held to 17.0 points per game - 7.7 below his average - and 36.2 percent shooting since the All-Star break.

The Warriors also need to slow down Rajon Rondo, who's averaged 22.3 points and 14.0 assists in his last three games in this series.

Al Thornton, released by Washington earlier this week, is expected to be in uniform for Golden State after signing with the Warriors on Thursday.

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

Bullpen implodes after Cain goes five solid, Giants crushed by Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers hit a three-run homer to cap San Diego's eight-run sixth inning and the Padres rallied to beat the San Francisco Giants 12-4 on Saturday night.

Myers also singled off Chris Stratton (1-0) to start the big inning and had three hits for the game. San Diego scored 11 runs against the Giants' bullpen following five effective innings from starter Matt Cain.

Allen Cordoba added a three-run homer off Neil Ramirez in the seventh.

The Padres combined for six hits and two walks off Stratton and Ramirez in the sixth. It took the duo 46 pitches to end the inning.

Jhoulys Chacin (3-3) struck out six and gave up three runs, five hits and two walks in five innings.

Triggs rebounds as A's halt 10-game losing streak to Astros

Triggs rebounds as A's halt 10-game losing streak to Astros

HOUSTON — Andrew Triggs keeps checking off all the right boxes in his first season as a major league starting pitcher.

Coming into the year, manager Bob Melvin said the right-hander’s biggest challenge would be retiring lefty hitters. He’s done that splendidly.

On Saturday, the A’s needed to see if Triggs could bounce back after his first rough outing of 2017. He responded with the best of his 11 career starts, holding a potent Astros lineup off the scoreboard for seven innings as the A’s registered a 2-1 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak.

The effective cutter that eluded Triggs when he lost to the Mariners last Sunday was back. Houston’s hitters waved helplessly at the pitch and began their walk back to the dugout all in the same motion, as Triggs rang up a career-high nine strikeouts. His seven innings also were a career high for the 28-year-old.

“We’re not really swinging the bats right now,” Melvin said. “We score two runs and we’re facing a lineup that you expect to score a bunch of runs. So to pitch as well as he did and go through the lineup three times, give us seven innings of work, is pretty good.

“He had the one off-outing, and every outing (besides that) has been pretty spotless.”

Triggs, whose 1.84 ERA ranks seventh in the American League, doesn’t blow people away with his fastball. He throws from a three-quarters arm slot that suggests it might be easy for left-handed hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand. Last season, the batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage were all roughly 40 to 50 points higher for lefties than for righties off Triggs.

All he’s done coming out of the gate this season is hold lefties to an .087 batting average (4-for-46). Another revealing stat: Opposing cleanup hitters are 0-for-14 off him.

Triggs credited catchers Stephen Vogt, Josh Phegley and, when he’s been up with the big club, Bruce Maxwell for their expertise in calling pitches against lefties.

“They’ve done such a good job keeping the sequences unpredictable,” he said. “You command pitches, you’re gonna get guys out. I know the stereotype is when you throw from the angle that I do, you’re gonna struggle with lefties. I’ve been aware, at least of that profile, for a while. I’ve worked on it quite a bit.”

Triggs had his entire repertoire working Saturday, according to Vogt.

“He was keeping them off-balance. Even when it seemed they were starting to sit on his slider, he starts sneaking some heaters by them. He was outstanding.”

But he had help. First baseman Yonder Alonso made a terrific leaping grab of Josh Reddick’s liner in the fifth that might have gone for extra bases. An inning before that, Jaff Decker made an on-the-money throw to third from deep right field to nail Carlos Beltran tagging up on a fly ball.

“He’s got a good arm so don’t sleep on him at all,” Triggs said.

Given how their month has gone, it’s no surprise the A’s got both their runs on homers. They’ve gone deep 31 times in April, their most homers in the month since they clubbed 34 in 2006. Lowrie, who’s spent two stints with the Astros and owns an offseason home in Houston, went deep to right to give the A’s a 1-0 lead. Khris Davis mashed his 10th homer in the eighth for what wound up being an important insurance run when Jose Altuve followed with a homer off Sean Doolittle.

Davis’ teammates by now are accustomed to seeing the left fielder flaunt his opposite-field power. He’s hit three homers this series, all to straightaway right or right-center.

Said Lowrie: “I think at this point it’s fair to call it special.”