Warriors hope to turn road trip around in Cleveland

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Warriors hope to turn road trip around in Cleveland

March 8, 2011

WARRIORS (27-35) vs.
CLEVELAND (12-50)

Coverage begins at 3:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors continue to come up short on this road trip despite some big efforts from Monta Ellis.

After another tough loss, Ellis and the Warriors hope for a better result Tuesday night when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Golden State (27-35) has lost six of seven overall and is 1-4 on a seven-game road trip that ends Wednesday at New Jersey. It has dropped its last two by a combined 12 points, following a 107-103 loss at Boston on Friday with a 125-117 overtime defeat at Philadelphia on Sunday.

REWIND: Warriors rally behind Ellis, but lose to Sixers

Against the 76ers, Ellis scored 18 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors rally from an 18-point first-half deficit to force overtime. However, Golden State came up short after Philadelphia scored the first three points in the extra period and never trailed.

After suffering another tough defeat, Ellis was frustrated. All four of the losses during this road trip have been by fewer than 10 points.

"We've got to find a way to start winning these kinds of games," Ellis said. "We were right there but they made the big plays and won the game."

Ellis has been a big part of the team's ability to stay close the last two games. Before almost single-handedly leading the Warriors late against the 76ers, he scored 12 of his team's 22 fourth-quarter points in the loss to Boston, finishing with 41.

No late-game heroics were needed by Ellis in a 116-98 win over Cleveland on Jan. 7, when Ellis scored 32 points and added 10 assists and the Warriors led by as many as 21 points. Ellis has averaged 28.3 points his last three games against the Cavaliers.

The Warriors will try to close this trip on a high note against two of the Eastern Conference's worst teams.

Cleveland (12-50) failed to build off Friday's road win over New York, suffering a 96-81 home loss to New Orleans on Sunday. The Cavs shot 36.8 percent and were outscored 45-33 in the second half.

Baron Davis scored 17 points while Ramon Sessions and J.J. Hickson each scored 15. Cleveland led 61-60 with 4:36 remaining in the third quarter, but the Hornets went on a 24-8 run after a scary fall left their star point guard Chris Paul with a concussion.

Davis was making his home debut after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 24. He shot 6 of 11 and had five rebounds and six assists, but scored only three points in the second half, missing four of his five shots.

"I think it was a tale of two halves," coach Byron Scott said. "Obviously in the first half he played great and in the second half he was kind of so-so. A little bit like our whole team it seemed like."

Davis, who played three-plus seasons for the Warriors, scored just seven points in 27 minutes for the Clippers in his last meeting with Golden State on Jan. 22.

GMs have taken all the fun out of Trade Deadline day

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USATSI

GMs have taken all the fun out of Trade Deadline day

The NHL trade deadline came and went Monday night when the Washington Capitals went chips-in on St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

(For the record, the actual details of the trade are so absurdly complicated that all you will be permitted to know here is that the Caps got Shattenkirk).

But the fact is that, yet again, all the air rushed out of Wednesday’s trade deadline balloon for the hockey media, and the poor sods on set to babysit all the deal-lets and non-deals will weep bitterly as their phones spit out hour after hour of non-information.

At least that’s the way it is playing now. Maybe Pittsburgh will finally close that long-rumored (well, by me, anyway) Sidney Crosby-for-Phil Di Giuseppe deal, but that’s not the way to bet.

But the trade deadline has been slowly but surely dying as general managers find far greater advantage in making their deals away from the time crunch and the persistent phone calls from other general manager, agents and worst of all, media weasels.

For example, the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans broke the NBA trade deadline as well as the All-Star Game by doing the DeMarcus Cousins deal four days early and midway through the first half, in that order.

And though this wasn’t actually a trade, the Golden State Warriors broke the market back in July by maneuvering their way for the prize of the summer – Zaza Pachulia.

Oh, and the other guy.

In short, the general managers seem to have figured out the simplest way to foil the pressures of the trade deadline – by ignoring the deadline and acting ahead of time, creating their own spoiler alerts by spoiling everyone’s fun before they were fully alerted.

And that leaves the rest of us faced with an empty day of blather after we’ve all gone to the trouble of doubling down on beer and chips.

Ultimately the idea behind the coverage of a trade is to break the news of the trade whenever it happens. And the idea of the trade from the general manager’s view is to better the team and minimize the chance of being fired.

All laudable goals, by and large.

But a trade deadline without some recognizable trades is just another day when you can’t fake working, and who needs that?

What’s needed here then is a trade deadline with teeth and real tangible punishments for everyone involved. I mean, we have chips and guacamole to think of.

For instance, there is no reason why the leagues couldn’t install rules that say that no trade can be announced even to any of the principals (players, agents, medioids, et. al.) except on the day of the deadline. Any teams involved in a deal that breaks the embargo is fined a massive amount of the owners’ (as in both teams’ owners) money.

To make this work, the teams would have to agree no trade could be made between, say, Thanksgiving and the deadline. Or Christmas, depending on how you feel about tryptophan overdosing. But the point is, nothing could get done until the agreed-upon deadline, and it could only be announced to anyone on the day of the deadline.

This is profoundly unfair to the players, of course, but that little issue has never bothered management before when the alternative was money.

It is also not much fun for the media, which has to twiddle its opposables floating rumors that can’t be proven or disproven except on that one day when everyone works from midnight to midnight, wired to the eyelids on six-buck coffee and enough green tea to turn a gall bladder into a souvenir ash tray.

No, this is about making a worthwhile and ironclad trade deadline for the good of the sport, and the business.

Okay, this is about our amusement.

We all like trade deadlines. It gives order to the market, and it centers everyone’s focus on one hyper-adrenalized day to watch out for double-, triple- and quadruple-crosses from general managers wanting to jump each others’ action in search of their own personal Shattenkirks.

It spikes Verizon stock, it makes lots of business for movers and real estate vultures, it provides cheap and disposable fame for about two-thirds of the players in the league, and it makes everyone involved look like twitchy red-eyed zombies on television.

It beats the Bachelorette every time, because among other things it looks a lot more like parents do when they’ve been up all day and night with the colic farms.

In short, a trade deadline is a precious thing not to be discarded just because it’s inconvenient for a few suits and about-to-be-moved employees.

So yeah, Kevin Shattenkirk could have held another day or so. You know, for the good of the game.

 

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

In the wake of a 119-108 Warriors win over the 76ers Monday night in Philadelphia, Stephen Curry had a ready explanation for his 0-of-11 shooting 3-point distance.

He didn’t properly account for the change in weather.

“The weatherman said it’s like a low-pressure system that was coming in (and) I forgot to adjust to the thickness of the air,” he told reporters at Wells Fargo Center.

Curry’s comment may open to interpretation, but it was clear his sense of humor remained intact even after a career-worst shooting night beyond the arc.

He wasn’t the only Warrior finding it difficult to score from deep. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green combined to go 5-of-20. The Warriors were 6-of-29 from deep, their second-lowest total of the season.

“It’s weird,” he said. “Not to discredit anything they did. The first half we had a lot of open looks that didn’t go in. Klay made a couple down the stretch. KD made one. Draymond made one from the corner.

“Other than that we still took really good shots that didn’t go in. But for us to still have moxie to withstand that and still pretty much have the lead the whole game and allow our defense to get us a win tonight was kind of our M.O.”

Given that Curry owns the single-game record for triples (13) as well as the single-season record (402), it was most alarming that he couldn’t find at least one. And he had opportunities.

“It happens but you have to try and find other ways to impact the game,” he said. “I was trying to get to the paint a little bit more and just try to make plays. One thing is I don’t get down on myself. Obviously, that’s why I got 11 of them up. I still have confidence the next one is going in and that will stay the same tomorrow.”

The Warriors face the Wizards Tuesday in Washington. In Curry’s last appearance at the Verizon Center, last Feb. 3, he went for 51 points. He was 11-of-15 from deep.

“What I love about Steph is he went 0-11 tonight from three but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at his face,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He never loses confidence; he never hangs his head. It is a sign of a guy with ultimate confidence in his ability and the awareness that it is one of those nights.

“He is likely to come out tomorrow and make about seven in a row at some point. So that’s what I love about Steph. He keeps playing.”