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Cal Coasts Past Northridge 80-63 in Season Opener

Cal Coasts Past Northridge 80-63 in Season Opener

Nov. 16, 2010COLLEGE PAGE CAL PAGE
BOXSCORE

BERKELEY (AP) -- Jorge Gutierrez had a career-high 18 points and eight assists, Markhuri Sanders-Frison added 15 points and 10 rebounds and California won its season opener 80-63 over Cal State Northridge on Tuesday night.

Gutierrez, the lone remaining starter from last year's Pac-10 championship team, took only four shots but made 13 of 15 free throws. Eight came in the final seven minutes for the Golden Bears, who extended their home winning streak against nonconference opponents to 20.

More importantly, Gutierrez provided much-needed stability for a team that is short on experience.

"Your point guard, his job is to keep those young people and get them in a position to be successful," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "I thought Jorge did a really good job of that. That's what he's got to do at that position. That means as a point guard he's doing his job."

Cal overcame a sluggish first half and led by as many as 21 despite missing 11 of 16 3-pointers.

Rashaun McLemore scored a career-best 24 points to lead Northridge (0-2).

The Bears won their first conference championship in 50 years last season but are in rebuilding mode this year after losing Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle and three other starters to graduation.

Gutierrez and Harper Kamp are at the heart of Cal's makeover. Both showed why against the Matadors.

In his first game since replacing Randle at point guard, Gutierrez ran an offense that at times looked rusty and at other times sharp. The eight assists were a career high for Gutierrez, while his 18 points were three better than his previous best.

Kamp, who sat out all of 2009 recovering from knee surgery, had 12 points and seven rebounds. That enabled Cal to keep the game close until Gutierrez got the offense going in the second half.

"I was pretty nervous," said Kamp, who briefly came out of the game after rolling his right ankle. "My stomach was hurting all day. I was just thankful to be back out there."

The Bears have never lost to the Matadors in six games. Cal beat Northridge in 1995 but later forfeited the game due to NCAA violations.

Northridge, only two years removed from appearing in the NCAA tournament, kept it close in the first half but went scoreless for more than six minutes early in the second. The Matadors missed seven straight shots during the drought and never recovered.

"The second half our mentality changed a little bit, and we started to settle for quick shots and 3s," Northridge coach Bobby Braswell said. "This was the perfect example of being a young team where we played a great first half ... and instead of building on that, we just changed our mind-set."

Northridge's Michael Lizarraga, who attended the California School for the Deaf in nearby Hayward, scored a career-best 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

Cal's inexperience showed early. The Bears went more than five minutes without a field goal, missed eight of 12 free throws during one stretch and repeatedly struggled trying to get the ball inside against Northridge's zone defense.

"We've got to allow these young kids to learn," Montgomery said. "We're not going to get any better if we can't get these young guys to learn what it's like. They're going to make mistakes. We just have to hope they learn from their mistakes."

The Matadors, who lost to UCLA 83-59 in their opener Friday, led by five on McLemore's step-back 18-footer with 3:55 to go in the first half. The Bears later tied the game before McLemore's free throw gave Northridge a 37-36 lead at the break.

Northridge, 2-for-12 on 3-pointers in the loss to the Bruins, had six in the first half.

Sanders-Frison scored four straight points for Cal coming out of the break, and Allen Crabbe added five points as part of a 13-0 run that pushed the Bears' lead to 51-39.

Durant responds to Capela's bold claim by taking shot at Rockets center

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USATSI

Durant responds to Capela's bold claim by taking shot at Rockets center

After the Rockets beat the Warriors on Saturday night, Clint Capela made the following statement:

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them ... we are better than them."

On Monday, Kevin Durant was asked if he caught wind of Capela's strong words.

"Yeah," Durant answered while smiling. "It's all a part of the game. They beat us twice this year. They should feel confident. Obviously, we're confident and we feel as though we are the best team in the league and we can beat anybody as well. But we can be beat. We can be beat on any night if we don't come to play.

"We don't want to give those teams that type of confidence but we let it happen. We gotta move on and if we end up seeing this team, I'm sure it would be a fun one.

"You hear that from guys like Capela -- who's usually catching the ball and laying it up from CP (Chris Paul) or James Harden. His job is not as hard. When your job is that hard, you know you can't come out there and just say sh*t like that. 

"I don't expect that from CP and James and Ariza and the rest of the guys because they know how hard it is to come out there and do that every night. Capela -- catch and dunk every night so it's pretty easy for him."

Capela recorded 18 points, five rebounds, four steals and a block in Houston's 116-108 victory.

The Warriors (37-10) lead the Rockets (32-12) by 3.5 games for the No. 1 seed in the West.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Reports: Bucks fire Jason Kidd; Giannis Antetokounmpo 'devastated'

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AP

Reports: Bucks fire Jason Kidd; Giannis Antetokounmpo 'devastated'

The Bucks are reportedly in the market for a new head coach.

Milwaukee fired Jason Kidd on Monday afternoon, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojarnowski.

But here's the thing:

The Bucks (23-22) enter Monday's action in 8th place in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game this season.

In NBA All-Star voting, the "Greek Freak" racked up the second most votes in the entire league -- 2,530,211.

The 23-year old is in the first year of a 4-year, $100 million contract extension he signed in 2016.

He is not a free agent until after the 2020-21 season.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller