Warriors own the glass in win over Thunder


Warriors own the glass in win over Thunder


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Even as Oklahoma City stumbles into the All-Star break, Kevin Durant insists it's far too soon for the Thunder to worry.That, says Durant, would only complicate things."We can't panic at all," said Durant after scoring 29 points in a 100-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night. "If we do that, then that's when we'll really start to go downhill. We have to keep it positive, continue to keep working every day and learn from our mistakes."The Thunder made plenty of mistakes against the Warriors, a growing concern for a team that went into the night as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference behind the Spurs and Lakers. NBA STANDINGS
Five days after an overtime home loss to Memphis and one night after having to hold off lowly Sacramento 99-97, Oklahoma City committed 20 turnovers, had only two offensive rebounds to 20 for Golden State and were outscored in the paint 44-28.
That wound up being the difference as the Warriors led the entire fourth quarter and responded nicely following their 24-point loss to Phoenix on Thursday.RECAP: Flat Warriors run through by Nash, Suns
"We knew we had to rebound ... to have a chance," Golden State coach Keith Smart said. "We couldn't give up second-chance points. Our guys did a great job of going to the glass early."Monta Ellis had 32 points, David Lee added 23 points and a season-high 19 rebounds and Stephen Curry scored 23 points and had a season-high 13 assists to lead the Warriors to their sixth win in seven games.Oklahoma City, the NBA's fifth highest-scoring team going in, failed to reach 100 points for the second consecutive night after hitting triple digits in its previous seven games.The Thunder's 20 turnovers, three shy of their season-high, led to 20 points for the Warriors."I blame it on me," said Russell Westbrook, who had 21 points and five assists. "I've been not taking care of the ball and it's been rubbing off on my teammates. I have to figure out how to take care of the ball and make smart decisions for my teammates and not put them in bad situations."Like Durant, Westbrook shrugged off the Thunder's recent stretch of games as a minor bump in the road. Oklahoma City has one more home game left before the break."I don't know why it would be panic time," Westbrook said. "All three games, we should have won. We just have to close out games and we didn't do that tonight."Ellis made a 3-pointer, then fed Dorrel Wright for a fastbreak layup to give the Warriors (24-29) a 91-85 lead with 2:31 left. Westbrook then scored on back-to-back trips down the court, and following a bucket by Ellis, Green sank a 3-pointer to pull the Thunder within 93-92.With Oklahoma City focusing its defense on Ellis and Curry, Reggie Williams buried a 3-pointer with 47.2 seconds remaining to bring the sold-out crowd at Oracle Arena to its feet. After Durant made two free throws, Curry drove the lane, then dished to Lee under the basket for a game-sealing dunk.Curry's 13 assists were a season high for Golden State. He also didn't turn the ball over, a notable achievement for the second-year guard."Everything felt good out there," Curry said. "I was composed and if I got myself into tough situations, I was able to get out of there. It was a matter of being aggressive, but staying smart about it."The 23 points are Lee's most since he had 31 in a loss to San Antonio on Jan. 24. Since then, the Warriors' prized offseason acquisition had been in a scoring slump and was averaging only 14.1 points in his previous eight games before busting out against the Thunder.Oklahoma City (34-19) struggled offensively and looked out of sync most of the night while playing in the second half of a back-to-back. The Thunder beat Sacramento 99-97 on Saturday, then made the hour-long trip south to Oakland for the nationally televised game against the Warriors where they came up short most of the night.Smart preached to his team before the game about containing Durant, but the Thunder's All-Star selection had nine points in the first quarter while Westbrook sat on the bench saddled in foul trouble.Smart's message to his players kicked in in the second quarter as Durant scored just two points and took only two shots.Westbrook took over, scoring the final nine points of the half for Oklahoma City but Golden State closed out the second quarter with a 10-4 run to take a 47-43 lead into halftime.The Thunder briefly led in the third following a 3-pointer from Westbrook, but Curry and Lee combined for 10 points apiece, 14 of the Warriors' last 17 points, to help Golden State increase its lead to eight points.Notes: The Thunder are 6-4 the second night of back-to-backs. ... Oklahoma City F James Harden left the game with a lower-back injury in the fourth quarter after he fell to the floor after getting the ball stolen by Ellis.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs


Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”