THE BUZZ: Franchise tag Friday; celebrating Wilt's 100

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THE BUZZ: Franchise tag Friday; celebrating Wilt's 100

1. Tag, youre it: Its Franchise Tag Friday. The deadline is Monday, but most teams will exercise their option by today. The Raiders tagged Tyvon Branch; the 49ers are expected to tag Dashon Goldson. The Eagles placed their tag on DeSean Jackson which means the 49ers wont have a play for the speedy, local wide receiver. Vincent Jackson? Dwayne Bowe? The Saints will tag Drew Brees, which means Marques Colston will be on the market. So will Steelers receiver Mike Wallace. But there will be plenty of competition.

2. Fifty years ago today Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Tonight the Golden State Ws the descendent of Wilts team will play in Philadelphia and celebrate the achievement. Has it been half a century since anyone was really afraid of the Warriors? Certainly its the last time the Warriors did anything with such style: the Big Dipper didnt touch to ball in the final 46 seconds because 100 sounds better than 102.

3. Ryan Miller, the Buffalo Sabres goaltender, shut down the Sharks, with 39 saves. Thats 82 saves in two nights in California (he had 43 against Anaheim) for Miller who was pissed off that his good buddy Paul Gaustad was traded to Nashville. Apparently, hes taking it on California teams. The Sharks are still in seventh place in the Western Conference and fourth place St. Louis comes to town on Saturday.
4. Buster Posey wont play in the Giants exhibition tomorrow and might not play until sometime next week. Red flag? Laudatory restraint? Get used to it, Gs fans. The next few months will be all Posey healthy, all the time. But the good news is, Buster isnt the only young Giant who can catch.
5. Reeves Nelson, a Modesto product, is portrayed as evil incarnate in this weeks Sports Illustrated story about the dysfunction in the UCLA basketball program. Nelson gave his side of the story on Thursday. Gloomy times for UCLA, unless youre a soccer or baseball fan. But all is not lost! Tim Tebow is training at UCLA maybe a little of his magic will rub off the Bruins.MORE BUZZ:
NFL
Evaluating whether Carlos Rogers should stay or go
Niners have the cap space to go after Mike Wallace
A look at the Raiders team needs and other teams in the AFC West
A nice, clean list of free-agents, by position
Is the perfect fit for Peyton Manning in Kansas City?
In honor of Wilt's 100-point anniversary, here are 6 NFL records least likely to be broken
Did Kardashian break up with Humphries to get back together with Reggie Bush?
Llist of the top 100 free agents today where do your players rank?

NBA
100 facts about Wilts 100-point game
Report: Dwight Howard asks Magic to get Steve Nash
Kings fans should thank David Stern havent scored 100 points in 19
Details on Sacramentos 391M arena
Anthony Davis is considered the 1 prospect for this summers draft
Why Lamar Odom was assigned to the D-League
The funniest Jeremy Lin video so far?
More people watched Daytona 500 rain delay than the NBA All-Star Game
Michael Beasley is clearly on the market any interest from your team?
David Stern on Costas Tonight (NBC Sports Network) on Lin, the lockout and more

NHL
Old friend Devin Setoguchi ended up on the shootout blooper reel
Gary Bettman on Costas Tonight (NBC Sports Network) on the future of fighting in the NHL
Rejoice, Hockey fans. Don Cherry joined Twitter
Any thoughts on an NHL franchise ending up in Saskatoon? Do you even know where that is?
NHL players poll: Patrick Marleau is the 49th best player in the NHL

MLB
Dodgers try to cut a deal in the Bryan Stow lawsuit
You think Clayton Kershaw can reach 300 wins?
Wanna feel old? Terry Steinbach turns 50 years old today.
What will the AL West look like in 2014?
Stephen Drew could miss the start of the season
Joe Maddon bought this 1956 automobile
Phils front office isnt really big on sabermetrics

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

PORTLAND -- Four games, four quarters to each and the Warriors are on to the next round of the postseason.

Here are four things we learned about these Warriors in the wake of their four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

IT’S A TEAM THING: The Warriors lost All-Star forward Kevin Durant in Game 1, came back and won Game 2. They lost head coach Steve Kerr before Game 3, went out and fashioned one of the biggest comebacks in franchise postseason history. They are constructed in such a way that the collective is strong enough to overcome the loss of one man. They won this series in a walk despite being shorthanded for the last three games and without their head coach for the last two. This team and this staff are bigger than any individual.

JAVALE McGEE MATTERS: By last Sept. 16 the summer was all but gone and every coveted player NBA player had been accounted for. That’s when the Warriors signed McGee with the hope that he could provide some length and athleticism on the block, if only for a few minutes a night -- and, surely, some nights not at all. McGee was the last man to make the team, and here he was dominating a Trail Blazers team that, to be fair, lacked a healthy center. He was special in this series, and what he provides will be needed as the Warriors move forward.

DRAYMOND’S VALUE IS BEYOND MEASURE: There were so many examples during the regular season that illustrated Draymond Green’s significance to the Warriors. He topped them all in this series. He defended, at some point, every member of the Portland team. He rebounded. He made 3-pointers. He blocked 17 shots. The Blazers tried him early but quickly become discouraged at attacking whenever he was on the court. He disrupted their offense in more ways than they could have imagined. As a bonus, he avoided notable run-ins with officials.

SPLASHING NOT NEEDED: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were fabulous in the second half of Game 3 and Curry stood out in Game 4. But by the time the Splash Brothers found their offensive groove, the Warriors were up 2-0 in the series and rallying behind their defense en route to taking Game 3. The battle of the backcourts, logically deemed a critical factor in this series, was a virtual statistical standoff. Curry/Thompson combined for 192 points, while Damian Lillard 111 and CJ McCollum totaled 201. If it’s the numbers are that close, the Warriors will win every series, and probably sweep.

 

Instant Replay: Warriors torch Blazers, complete first-round sweep

Instant Replay: Warriors torch Blazers, complete first-round sweep

BOX SCORE

PORTLAND -- Never allowing the Trail Blazers to find an offensive rhythm, the Warriors rolled to a 128-103 Game 4 triumph Monday night, completing a sweep of the first-round Western Conference playoff series.

The Warriors advance to the conference semifinals and will face the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series currently tied at two games apiece.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry scoring 37 points to lead the way. Draymond Green totaled 21, Klay Thompson 18 and Zaza Pachulia 11. David West scored 12 points off the bench.

Kevin Durant -- making his first appearance since Game 1 -- started and added 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 20 minutes of action.

The Warriors rode white-hot shooting from deep, making 17-of-29 (58.6 percent).

The Warriors silenced the Moda Center crowd early, outshooting Portland 62.5 percent to 29.6 percent in the first quarter before going on to finish with a 53.5-percent to 38.8-percent advantage for the game.

Damian Lillard scored 34 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were ousted from the playoffs by the Warriors for the second consecutive year.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Curry, who struggled with his shot for the majority of the series, continued the hot streak he began in the fourth quarter of Game 1.

Curry’s line: 37 points (12-of-20 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, 6-of-7 from the line), eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-29 for the game.

Curry moved into a tie with Robert Horry for ninth place on the all-time list of 3-pointers in the postseason with 261.

TURNING POINT:
The Warriors took control immediately, going up 14-0 with 8:40 left in the first quarter and pushing it to 35-9 with 4:11 left in the quarter. They led by as much as 28 in the first half.

Portland got no closer than 18 in the second quarter, and no closer than 23 after intermission.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L calf strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Matt Barnes (R foot/ankle bone bruise) and G Shaun Livingston (R index finger sprain, hand contusion) were listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Blazers: G Allen Crabbe (L foot soreness) and G CJ McCollum (R ankle sprain) are listed as probable. C Jusuf Nurkic (L leg fracture) C Ed Davis (L shoulder surgery), C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) and C Jusuf Nurkic (R leg fracture) are listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors now await the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series. Game 1 date TBD, either April 30 or May 2.