Here's to Tim Hardaway

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Here's to Tim Hardaway

It was Tim Hardaway bobble-head night at Oracle Arena onMonday night. In a lead-up to the Chris Mullin jersey retirement ceremony onMarch 19, the Warriors are doing the bobble-head thing with Hardaway, MitchRichmond and, of course, Mullin: "Run TMC.".When I get to thinking of Tim Hardaway, I think of a playerwho was relentless, tough and fearless. Few guards took the ball to the hole ashard as Hardaway did.His killer crossover is what many people will remember,but on the end of that move was usually a finish in the lane, sometimes intraffic and a lot of the time in head-shaking fashion.
Hardaway had four seasons with the Warriors in which heaveraged over 20 points and nine assists per game. When he got it going asthey say, he was virtually unguardable.He was a player who could get his shot when he needed to.You couldnt defend him tightly on the perimeter because hed just go by you,and so he always had a makeable 20-footer at hand.He was a fierce competitor, and he had a great love for thegame-within-the game. And that meant his head-to-head matchup with the opposingpoint guards.When Hardaway got scored on, chances were he was coming rightback at the guy. Hardaway was a player who didnt just want to win, he wantedto win two things: the game and his matchup.As competitive as Hardaway was, he almost always did his jobwith a smile on his face and in, lets just say, a vocal way. He was atremendous talker on the court but yet always seemed to do it in agood-natured way. Hardaway was the essence of a scoring point guard. He wasnot a consistent outside shooter, but he was good enough and he could bestreaky. Truth be told, Hardaway didnt have to be a great perimeter shooterbecause, in his prime, he got to the basket whenever he wanted.The other thing to remember about Hardaway is this: As goodas he was as a Warrior, he was every bit as good after he got traded to theMiami Heat. Hardaway had a whole nother career after leaving Golden State, andtruth be told, a better one certainly from a team standpoint.And its a big reason why the Heat have retired Hardaways No.10 jersey.

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.

Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.

The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.

Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 with injured star Blake Griffin watching from the bench, his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.

Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.

Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.

Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.

Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.

The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.

TIP-INS:
Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.

Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.

 

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Blazers GM: Former Warriors big man will not play for Portland next year

Festus Ezeli will not be back with the Blazers next season, Portland GM Neil Olshey said on Tuesday.

Last summer -- after the Warriors let Ezeli walk in free agency following the addition of Kevin Durant -- he signed a 2-year contract worth just over $15 million.

But Year 2 was essentially a club option with a $1 million buyout.

A knee injury prevented Ezeli from ever suiting up for the Blazers this season.

He underwent cadaver ligament replacement surgery in early March.

The Warriors drafted Ezeli 30th overall in 2012.

Over 46 games (13 starts) with Golden State in 2015-16, he averaged 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds over 16.7 minutes per contest.