Warriors turn in dud, fall flat to Hawks

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Warriors turn in dud, fall flat to Hawks

Feb. 25, 2011BOXSCORE WARRIORSVIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) Atlanta coach Larry Drew has been harping on his players to play better defense in order to get the transition game going.After nearly four months, the message seems to be sinking in.Josh Smith scored 26 points, Al Horford had 22 points and 12 rebounds and the Hawks smothered the Golden State Warriors with a dominant effort on both ends of the court in a 95-79 win Friday night.It's the second time in seven games that Atlanta has held the opposition to 79 points. Both times, the Hawks won."The minute we get the basketball, we have to race the lanes and get down the floor," Drew said. "We've got enough offense in the half-court but what we've been lacking is stops so that we can run. Tonight we did that."Joe Johnson added 12 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Hawks (35-23), who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the first time since the All-Star break.Atlanta was mired in one of its biggest slumps of the season and had fallen eight games behind Miami in the Southeast Division. Drew criticized his team's shot selection during the slump but it wasn't an issue against Golden State.Neither was the defense.The Hawks shot nearly 48 percent from the floor (40 of 84), outrebounded the Warriors 49-34 and led by as much as 29 while winning for the first time since Feb. 14."It's a little frustrating to me because I wish that we played like this all the time," said Horford, who was 10 of 14 from the floor. "I hope there's no looking back now."David Lee had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Monta Ellis scored 16 for Golden State (26-31).Three days after scoring just 33 points in the second half against Boston, Golden State shot poorly, committed 16 turnovers and looked out of sync all night in its final home game before a seven-game road trip.
REWIND: Warriors falter in 2nd half, lose 115-93 to Celtics
"We were a flat team," coach Keith Smart said. "We didn't have the kind of energy to play against a team that was going to be energetic, lost a couple of games and was desperate. We just have to find our rhythm coming back from the break."Atlanta built a 29-point lead in the third quarter then cruised the rest of the way while handing Golden State its second straight lopsided loss at home. Fans poured out of the arena with more than 8 minutes left and the Warriors trailing 85-62.The Hawks remained 1 12 games back of Orlando for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Magic beat Oklahoma City 111-88 on Friday night.The Warriors still cling to their own postseason hopes but they definitely didn't play like it.The Hawks nearly turned the game into a blowout before halftime, building a 19-point lead early in the second quarter. But Ellis, held to 15 points in a 115-93 loss to Boston on Tuesday, kept Golden State afloat with 10 straight points, including a pair of free throws that helped the Warriors close to 40-31.Not much went right for Golden State after that."The first half we were just about as good as we've been all season," Drew said. "We were relentless defensively. We got out and got some easy transition baskets. We controlled the tempo, we got stops and we limited them in the half-court."Johnson scored on an up-and-under move, then fed Marvin Williams down low for an easy bucket. He also picked the ball from Stephen Curry in the final seconds and raced downcourt for a layup just before the buzzer to give the Hawks a 55-35 halftime lead.Things were going so well for Atlanta that newcomer Kirk Hinrich made a 3-pointer in the second quarter less than five seconds after checking into his first game for the Hawks. Hinrich arrived as part of a five-player trade with Washington on Wednesday.NOTES: The Warriors re-signed F Jeff Adrien to a 10-day contract. Adrien, who appeared in 15 games for Golden State earlier this season, had been in the NBA Development League. The move comes after the Warriors traded F Brandan Wright and C Dan Gadzuric to New Jersey earlier this week for Troy Murphy and a second-round pick. ... The Hawks have won three straight overall against Golden State. ... The Warriors honored members of their 1974-75 NBA championship team during halftime.
RELATED: Warriors bring back Adrien from D-League

As Samardzija ages, it isn't as easy to lose the weight gained in offseason

As Samardzija ages, it isn't as easy to lose the weight gained in offseason

Jeff Samardzija is entering Year 2 of the five-year contract he signed with the Giants following the 2015 season.

With spring training underway, what is the hardest part about getting his body and mind prepared for the upcoming campaign?

"The pitching aspects of things, the older I get, the more they kind of just fall right in line with feeling my mechanics out," Samardzija explained on KNBR 680 on Wednesday morning. "For me, it's probably the cardio (laughter). The older I get, the more I realize that you put more weight on in the offseason, then it's a little harder to get off.

"You hear about it, right? You hear about it all the time when you're younger ... and my offseasons, I like to have offseasons. I don't watch my calories. I don't watch my intake (I don't really watch any of that anyways). But the offseason -- I have fun, I relax ... then you get working out again and usually those first five or six poles, two-mile runs, camelback hikes -- they're always pretty interesting the first couple times."

The former college wide receiver is listed at 225 pounds.

Samardzija turned 32 years old in January and is entering his 10th big-league season.

He went 12-11 with a 3.81 ERA over 32 starts last year.

Over his final 10 starts, he went 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA.

"The splitter came back for me there toward the end of the year," Samardzija said. "I kind of brought the curveball in to not replace, but kind of take up some of the space of the splitter that wasn't there.

"And then come September, the splitter showed up and then we had the curveball and we ran with it from there."

I don't skate like a man, just a darn good woman

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I don't skate like a man, just a darn good woman

In late December, I was invited to play in a pick-up hockey game with some other members of the local sports media community. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was one of only two women there that day. Even now, female ice hockey players aren’t exactly common.

After the game, a reporter I’ve known a while – a guy I like a lot – said to me: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you skate like a man.” I didn’t take it wrong, of course; he meant it as a compliment. The reporter wanted nothing more than to tell me I’d impressed him.

I thought about this exchange a lot in the days that followed. Had someone told me I played hockey like a boy when I was 15, I would have worn that description like a badge. Hell yeah, 15-year-old Sarah would have thought, I do play like a boy. I’m as tough as a boy. I’m as fierce and competitive as any boy on my team. I would have reveled in it, just as I reveled in a similar label I’d received even earlier in my adolescence: tomboy.

Yeah, I was a tomboy. I hung around with the neighborhood boys, riding bikes between each other’s houses or catching salamanders in the creek that ran through town. I loved sports, and my bedroom walls -- papered with newspaper clippings and photos of Flyers players -- were a far cry from the pink-tinged rooms that belonged to the girls at school. 

As much as I could, I dressed like a boy too, even once cutting the sleeves off of an oversized T-shirt before I went out to rollerblade with our next-door neighbors. My grandmother, who was visiting at the time, pulled me aside to tell me I really ought to dress more appropriately. I rolled my eyes.
I was a tomboy, and I loved the word and everything it stood for. I felt pride in my tomboyishness, believing that the things I liked – the things boys liked – were clearly better than the things stereotypically left to the girls.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it was a conversation with a 15-year-old that changed my perspective, just a few days after my reporter friend had compared my hockey skills to those of a man. I sat down with Mo’ne Davis, the female Little League pitching phenom, for this very project. I asked her if she identified as a tomboy, and she shrugged. Not really, she said. Maybe other people wanted to define her that way, she suggested, but that wasn’t how she viewed things.

You know that record scratch sound effect they play on TV or in the movies? The one that denotes a sort of “wait … what?!” moment? That’s what happened in my head. Mo’ne Davis, the girl who played on the boys’ team and excelled, didn’t consider herself a tomboy?

Something clicked in my head after that. I’ve long identified as a feminist, and I’ve been a big supporter of girls in sports for as long as I can remember. I coach girls hockey, I’ve spoken at schools and camps about playing and working in sports as a woman. For some reason, though, it took a 15-year-old shrugging her shoulders at the label “tomboy” to take the power out of the word for me. Why does one have to be a tomboy, when one can simply be a girl who kicks ass? How had I never considered this before?

In many ways (and especially in sports) if something is male, it’s considered superior. It goes beyond just the things kids like to do, and it’s all old news. It’s also something I’m ashamed to admit I’ve bought into for practically all of my life. But no longer. How can I help change the narrative if I’m too busy playing along with it?

And if I could do it over, when that reporter approached me after our hockey game to tell me I skated like a man, I would have smiled, shook my head and said: Nah. But I skate like a darn good woman.