Monta misses buzzer beater in Warriors' 88-87 loss to Jazz

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Monta misses buzzer beater in Warriors' 88-87 loss to Jazz

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OAKLAND The Warriors lost their fifth straight game on Saturday night, as twice Monta Ellis couldnt make a big play or big shot with the game on the line. It only gets more difficult with the Miami Heat coming into Oracle on Tuesday.Jazz 88, Warriors 87

Key sequence: With the game tied at 87-87 and 15 seconds remaining, Monta Ellis got caught in the air and turned the ball over. Utahs Gordon Hayward got fouled on the ensuing fastbreak and knocked down one of two foul shots with 11 seconds remaining.On the games final possession, Ellis who had been one of the few bright spots on the night for Golden State wound the clock down, then missed on a little runner on the right side as time expired. He was defended well on the play by Raja Bell, and Ellis didnt shoot it early enough to allow for the Warriors to get an offensive rebound.Any day (Ill take that shot), Ellis said. It was a tough one. We did everything we could. Ill take this one (the blame). I turned the ball over at the end, then come down and didnt make the shot. It was a great shot. Like I said, Ill take it any day. I just didnt knock it down.Said coach Mark Jackson: No need to hold our heads down. Were going to be fine. But we need to make it happen. Nobody is going to hand-deliver us a win. Weve got to go get it.Ellis evolution: Ellis really played a smart third quarter for the Warriors and he did it despite going 0-for-4 from the field. With his jumper not falling, Ellis went down to the low post and went to work on a variety of Jazz defenders.The result was that Ellis got to the line nine times in the period and he made eight. He also handed out three assists in the period and helped the Warriors overcome a 57-50 deficit.The guy is doing everything I ask him to do on both sides of the basketball, Jackson said.Ellis wound up going 16-for-17 from the foul line, a career high for him in free throws made.

Clawing back: After getting down 18-6 and 21-10, the Warriors slowly but surely got back into it and led 46-45 at halftime. They did it by limiting their turnovers and defending better. The Warriors committed six turnovers in the first quarter, which led to nine Jazz points. They had only two turnovers in the second quarter.As for the defense, after giving up 50 percent shooting in the first quarter, they held the Jazz to 5-for-13 from the floor in the second quarter. The only issue in that period was fouls. Utah was in the bonus halfway through the period and took 11 free throws in that quarter.Yet foul trouble might have been a blessing in disguise for Golden State because it prompted Warriors coach Mark Jackson to finish out the half by playing zone defense.The Warriors played plenty of zone in the second half, too, and it was effective. The Jazz shot only 39.5 percent for the game.Still, Warriors forward David Lee wasnt having any of it."Its frustrating, said Lee, who finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds. While were sitting here at 2-6 we could easily be 4-4 or 5-3. Im going to be very frustrated until we get that next win. Youre on a losing streak and nothing seems positive at this point. In my opinion you cant take anything positive away from todays game.

Wright tries to build: After Dorell Wright made a few shots and finished with 10 points against the Lakers on Friday after two scoreless games the hope was that he was on his way.It was encouraging, Jackson said before the game. I thought he did a good job of stepping up to the challenge and defending Kobe (Bryant). Offensively, he made some shots and was aggressive. We need him and it was refreshing to see him play like the Dorell from last year. Hopefully this is the start of a great roll for him.

Not so fast, my friend.Wright wasnt much of a factor, playing only 20 minutes and sitting out most of the second half. He went just 1-for-3 from the floor on the night. Wright entered Saturdays game averaging 6.1 points per game, while shooting 32.7 percent from the floor and 19.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Jackson ended up going with rookie Klay Thompson down the stretch instead of Dorell Wright. When asked why he went with Thompson, Jackson replied: "To get shooting on the floor. He battles on the defensive end. And I thought in spite of the numbers he played well. I thought he made a mistake on transition on a two-on-one with Monta, but other than that I thought he played very well.Those Warriors are history: Utah coach Tyrone Corbin was asked before the game about the danger of playing the Warriors.Said Corbin: Their speed allows them to get into the open court and if you play an uptempo game with them and their making shots and youre not, it can be a tough night for you. Youve got to make sure you control the tempo of the game. Youve got to slow them down and make them play against your halfcourt sets. Run on your opportunities but make sure you play in a tempo that is favorable to you and not to them.Reality is the Warriors arent an uptempo team anymore. Through seven games the Warriors were averaging just 90 points per game and hadnt cracked the 100-point mark.

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn -- Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, and the San Antonio Spurs advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-96 Thursday night to take the series 4-2.

The Spurs now have beaten Memphis four of the five playoff series between these teams, and this was San Antonio's second straight win over the Grizzlies in the first round.

Tony Parker added 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Patty Mills had 10 points off the bench for the Spurs. San Antonio outrebounded Memphis 46-28, with 16 of those offensive boards. That led to 17 second-chance points.

Their semifinal with Houston will start Monday night in San Antonio.

Mike Conley scored 26 points, leading the five Memphis starters in double digits. Marc Gasol added 18, Zach Randolph 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Vince Carter had 12 points.

The Grizzlies fell to 3-10 in elimination games, losing six straight.

This was a taut game with 16 ties and nine lead changes, especially with four ties in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs took control after the Grizzlies went up 88-81 on three free throws from Conley with 6:29 left. Then Leonard scored eight straight for San Antonio, starting a 22-8 run to finish the game.

Even with Conley and Gasol a combined 2 of 10 in the first quarter, the Grizzlies trailed only 24-22 after Conley knocked down a 3 at the end of the quarter for his first bucket of the game. Conley hit another 3 for the final shot in the second quarter, putting Memphis up 50-45. The team that led at halftime won each of the first five games.

Parker hit his first six shots before finally missing his seventh with 29 seconds left in the first half.

The Grizzlies took their biggest lead at 57-47 on a 3-pointer by James Ennis III. That gave Memphis as many made 3s (9 of 17) as the Spurs had attempted (3 of 9) at that point. Randolph's layup with 7:19 left matched that 10-point lead at 63-53.

Then the Spurs went on a 13-3 run over a 4-minute span to erase that lead on Aldridge's three-point play at 67-66. Aldridge finished with nine points in helping the Spurs lead 75-74 at the end of the quarter.

TIP-INS

Spurs: They improved to 36-15 with a chance to clinch a series under coach Gregg Popovich, who took over in the 1996-97 season. ... Manu Ginobili converted a four-point play with 1:31 left in the third, putting the Spurs up 73-69. ... The Spurs wound up tying the Grizzlies' reserves with 16 points thanks to Mills.

Grizzlies: The Grizzlies set a franchise record hitting eight 3-pointers in the first half, topping the previous mark of seven in the second half May 1, 2005, against Phoenix. ... Conley has 20 or more points in five straight playoff games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

FREE THROW WATCH

Memphis coach David Fizdale earned a $30,000 fine from the NBA for his "Take that for data" rant about the free throw discrepancy in Game 2. Well, Leonard was 9 of 10 at the free throw line through three quarters compared to the Grizzlies' 7 of 8. The Spurs were 18 of 20 through three quarters. The Spurs finished 22 of 25 compared to 20 of 24 for Memphis.

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Steve Kerr did not coach in Game 3 or Game 4 against the Blazers and is out indefinitely.

On Thursday, Warriors GM Bob Myers spoke with Jim Rome about Kerr's situation.

“What he’s going through right now is not a product of stress, it’s not a product of coaching, it’s more a physical issue that will be solved," Myers started. "When it will be solved, no one can say. But it is solvable, it’s fixable and like I said, he’s going to coach, but right now he just can’t.

"There’s some things that need to be corrected. But I think he’ll get back. I’m very very confident he will be back coaching, I just can’t say when.”

Kerr was not at practice on Wednesday and is consulting with specialists at Stanford this week.

Kerr is finishing up Year 3 of the five-year deal he signed back in May 2014.

"I think this guy is going to coach for a long time, because he thoroughly enjoys it," Myers said. "He really loves the game, and he is a great teacher. And you’ve had him on, I’m sure you’ve met him and talked to him. It’s one thing to know the game, but he has the ability to communicate it and our players clearly respond.

"So I can see that’s why a question you’d ask I totally get it and other people have asked but no I think he’s going to be in this game for a long time, we just have to get him back healthy now.”

The Warriors' next practice and media availability is on Friday.

The next series against the Jazz or Clippers will start on either Sunday or Tuesday.