W's seek sixth win over T-Wolves in last seven tries


W's seek sixth win over T-Wolves in last seven tries

March 13, 2011

MINNESOTA (41-24) at
WARRIORS (28-36)

Coverage begins at 6 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

OAKLAND (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves aren't going to the playoffs while the Golden State Warriors' postseason hopes remain slim

That hasn't stopped either team from playing hard.

Looking to avoid their sixth loss in seven games to the Warriors, the Timberwolves will try for a season-best third consecutive win overall Sunday night.

Minnesota (17-50), which hasn't won three straight since a four-game run Jan. 29-Feb. 6, 2010, had lost 11 of 14 before recording the second of back-to-back wins, 122-101 over Utah on Friday.

"This means something for us, especially at this time of the year," said Darko Milicic, who had 14 points and six rebounds. "It's almost the end of the season and we're kind of a struggling team that's not going to make the playoffs. We all know that. We know we're going to go home April 13."

The Timberwolves sit in 14th place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Warriors are in 12th place and remain six games behind Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot with 17 games to go.

Golden State (29-36) has not been to the postseason since 2006-07, and entered play Friday having dropped of seven of nine - a stretch that included a 126-123 loss at Minnesota on Feb. 27.

The Warriors found themselves down by 21 against Orlando, but rallied for a 123-120 overtime victory thanks in large part to a franchise-best 21 3-pointers - the third-most in NBA history - on 60.0 percent shooting from long distance.

"(The) team showed a lot of pride and heart going out there playing against one of these elite teams in the NBA," said swingman Dorell Wright, who finished with eight 3-pointers and tied a career high with 32 points.

Monta Ellis, in the top 10 in the league with 25.0 points per game, went a career-best 7 of 9 from 3-point range, and finished with 39 points and 11 assists.

"We'll shock some people and win some big games like this," coach Keith Smart said. "But it's still a process to where we can grow this team to where we have a legitimate, contending team every year."

The Timberwolves know all too well about Wright's ability to shoot from beyond the arc, as he made a career-best nine 3s and scored 30 points in Golden State's 104-94 road win on Nov. 27.

Wright, scoring a career-high 16.2 points per game, is averaging 22.7 against the Timberwolves this season - the second-most against any opponent.

Minnesota had lost five straight to the Warriors by an average of 15.0 points prior last month's win in which Kevin Love registered 37 points and 23 rebounds.

Love, averaging 23.7 points and 19.6 rebounds versus Golden State in 2010-11, extended the longest double-double streak since 1973-74 to 53 consecutive games with 24 points and 12 rebounds Friday.

Minnesota is averaging 105.6 points in its last eight games and has won the last two by an average of 23.5.

"We've been playing good basketball, I'll tell you that much," said Love. "Always defense has to come first and we have to get stops on that end, but if we can move the ball and everybody can contribute and we can play out there and have fun in this system, that's how we can click and thats how it can work."

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates


SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner saw no reason to make a big deal over his first win of the year, even if it came far deeper into the season than anyone expected.

In a season that long ago spun out of control for both San Francisco and its ace, Bumgarner was happier seeing the struggling Giants have one of their best games of the year.

Bumgarner allowed one run over five innings for his first win of the season, and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to be on the board now individually," Bumgarner said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about us winning games, and we played really good tonight."

Eduardo Nunez drove in two runs in his final game with San Francisco as he was traded to Boston for two minor leaguers. The veteran infielder was pulled in the fifth inning and was later seen on television shaking hands with several teammates in the Giants' clubhouse. The deal was announced after a few minutes after the final out.

Bumgarner also singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI and Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple as struggling San Francisco won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Josh Harrison singled twice for the Pirates, who fell behind 9-0 and couldn't recover. Pittsburgh stranded seven runners in the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Making his third start since coming off the disabled list after nearly three months following a dirt bike accident in Colorado on April 20, Bumgarner (1-4) was mostly sharp while quieting a potent Pittsburgh lineup and ending the Pirates' seven-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

Three years after pitching a complete game to beat Pittsburgh in the NL wild card on his way to winning the 2014 World Series MVP, Bumgarner pitched out of a pair of early jams, allowed six hits and had four strikeouts.

"He did a nice job," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm sure he's glad to get that (first win) taken care of. Once he went five that was enough."

It's the first win by a Giants starting pitcher since July 5.

Jameson Taillon (6-4) took the loss, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"I didn't make good pitches once they got runners on," Taillon said. "They didn't waste any time. They had a merry-go-round going."

Posey lined a single that hit second base umpire Ed Hickox in the foot and knocked him down in the fifth inning. Hickox slowly got to his feet and was attended to by a member of the Giants medical staff but remained in the game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto may need to make a rehab start before rejoining the rotation. Cueto has been hindered by blisters on multiple fingers of his pitching hand, an issue that has lingered for much of the past month. The right-hander played catch from 105 feet before the game. Pablo Sandoval moved from Single-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento as he continues to try to work his way back into the big leagues. RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Sacramento and IF Orlando Calixte was optioned down.

RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-11, 5.05 ERA) pitches the finale for the Giants seeking to beat Pittsburgh for the second time this season while RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates looking for his fourth win in the last five road starts.

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the Giants beat the Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Anderson, Boston's third-round pick out of Florida in 2016, has a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season.

Santos, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher, was signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Pitching in the Dominican Summer League this season, Santos has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.