Game notes: Sharks vs. Kings, Game 4

Game notes: Sharks vs. Kings, Game 4

April 21, 2011

Kevin Kurz

Sharks lead best-of-seven series, 2-1
Starting Goalies

Todd McLellan wouldnt commit to a starting goaltender for Game 4 on Wednesday, but you have to believe he will go back to Antti Niemi. If he does, it will be a big moment for the man who helped lead the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup last season (note: McLellan confirmed Niemi will start Game 4 after Thursday's morning skate). Niemi hasnt played his best hockey in the series by a long shot, and his .853 save percentage is tied for dead last among playoff goaltenders. If he falters once more, McLellan may have no choice but to insert Antero Niittymaki, who was steady in registering the victory in Game 3.

Of course, Jonathan Quick will be trying to respond himself from allowing six goals in Game 3. Quick has a 2.73 goals against average and .922 save percentage through three games.

Previous Games

The Sharks and Kings played a fairly even Game 1, with Joe Pavelskis overtime goal the difference in a 3-2 San Jose win. The Kings dominated Game 2 en route to a 4-0 victory, and looked to be well on their way to taking the lead in the series in Game 3 before the Sharks remarkable comeback in which they became just the fourth team in NHL history to erase a four-goal deficit in a playoff game.
Roster Watch

There arent expected to be any changes to the roster of either team for Game 3. Ian White responded well from missing Game 2 with two assists in almost 19 minutes of action. Jarret Stoll, who was suspended for Game 2 after hitting White into the boards from behind, had one assist for Los Angeles in Game 3.
Whos hot?

Ryane Clowe was the only Shark to score twice in Game 3, and his five points (2g, 3a) lead all scorers in the series. Drew Doughty (2g, 2a) is the Kings leading scorer, with all of his points coming during a remarkable Game 2 for the defenseman.

The Sharks Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski and the Kings Kyle Clifford are the only other players in the series with more than one goal.


Its hard to predict just how the Kings will react from their epic Game 3 collapse. Despite what they are saying to the media, its impossible to believe that their confidence isnt at least somewhat shaken.

Still, an early goal or two by the Kings would help them twofold. First, it would inject them with some much needed confidence. Secondly, it would further encumber Niemis self-assurance after a poor Game 3.

Conversely, if the Sharks are able to take control early, they could cruise to an easy win against a mentally-scarred club. If that happens, this series is as good as over.

Sound Off

Who would you start in net tonight if you were Todd McLellan?

NBA fines Curry and Iguodala for incident in Memphis


NBA fines Curry and Iguodala for incident in Memphis

Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Steph Curry owes the NBA some money.

The two-time MVP was fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece near the end of Saturday night's game in Memphis, the league announced.

He won't be suspended.

Andre Iguodala was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official.

"I want to play tonight. Don't think a suspension is necessary," Curry said following shootaround on Monday. "I'm pretty sure based on the precedent that was set last time I threw my mouthpiece, there'll be a fine.

"The timing is getting a little tight thinking about preparing for tonight, but just gotta wait and see."

Curry was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece during Game 6 of the 2016 Finals.

He did not need to rewatch the incident from Saturday to know he was in the wrong.

"In the grand scheme of things, it's Game 3, we were playing terrible," Curry explained on Monday. "I was frustrated because I was fouling, I thought I got fouled on the last play and the reaction was definitely a little over the top.

"Stuff happens. Try to continue to be myself, show some fire, but do it in a way that doesn't take away from the team and misrepresent who I am."

Kevin Durant -- who was also ejected from the game -- apparently won't receive any additional punishment.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns


Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns

The Sacramento Kings finish their three game road trip Monday in Phoenix. Waiting for them is a team in complete disarray. After dropping the first three games of the season, Phoenix dumped head coach Earl Watson Sunday afternoon and are reportedly in trade talks to deal starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. Jay Triano will act as the interim head coach, but he’s taking over a runaway train.

Sacramento lost to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday evening to drop to 1-2 on the season. De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere came to play, but the rest of the roster struggled with their shot as the Kings finished with just 79 points on 36.5 percent shooting.

The Suns have been outscored by more than 30 points per game in their three contests this season. They have lost games by 48 and 42 points already and almost every player on the roster has underperformed.


Kings by 2


Kings: 1-2

Suns: 0-3


Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss -- Labissiere has been a breath of fresh air early in the season, posting solid numbers across the board as Zach Randolph’s backup. He posted a career-high 32-point, 11-rebound game against Chriss last season, which left a lasting impression. Chriss is off to a slow start, but he has plenty of potential. The Sacramento-native gets up and down the floor and loves the over the top block.


Kings:  SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) probable, PF Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehab) out.

Suns:  PG Eric Bledsoe (team decision) out, SF Jared Dudley (toe) questionable, PG Brandon Knight (ACL tear) out for the season, G Davon Reed (knee) out, PF Alan Williams (knee) out.


Sacramento dominated the season-series 3-1 last season, including a 129-104 win over the Suns in the finale. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-90 and they hold an 84-51 advantage during the Sacramento-era.


BOGDAN’S DEBUT -- The Kings have used the cautious approach to Bogdan Bogdanovic’s ankle injury. He’s played a ton of basketball between league play and EuroBasket overseas and there is no reason to rush him into action. He’ll likely suit up to play Monday against the team that drafted him in the 2014 NBA Draft. Expect to see lots of the 25-year-old Serbian over the next few months. Word around the team is that he is one of the best players on the squad.

MORE FOX -- Sacramento hit a homerun with the addition of De’Aaron Fox on draft night. The rookie has put on a show in his first three games and is pushing coach Dave Joerger for more playing time. The Kings have plenty of guards and wings, but there hasn’t been a player that can stay in front of Fox.

REBOUND FROM A STINKER -- The Kings couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat against the Nuggets. Playing at elevation is tough, but scoring 79 points is unacceptable. Sacramento has a chance to improve to 2-2 on the season in Phoenix before returning home to face DeMarcus Cousins. A 2-1 road trip would go a long ways towards building the confidence of a young squad.


“Whatever coach wants me to do, that’s what I’m going to do out there. I’m just going to go out there and play hard and help this team get a win.” --Skal Labissiere