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Giants go for two-game sweep in Los Angeles

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Giants go for two-game sweep in Los Angeles

May 19, 2011

GIANTS (23-19) vs.
LA DODGERS (20-24)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- After struggling to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this season, the San Francisco Giants have finally found some success against their NL West rival.

The Giants seek to sweep a two-game set at Chavez Ravine, beat the Dodgers for a fourth straight time overall and end Chad Billingsley's recent success against them Thursday night.

Cody Ross hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday to help San Francisco (23-19) avoid a third straight loss and beat Los Angeles 8-5. Ross' shot came after the Dodgers tied the game with a three-run eighth in which Giants closer Brian Wilson blew his second save.

REWIND: Ross' blast gives Giants win over Dodgers

"We definitely needed this one," Ross said. "We just keep battling and grinding and don't give up."

San Francisco has won three in a row over Los Angeles (20-24) after losing four of the first five meetings this season. The Dodgers (20-24) have dropped four of five overall.

"It's a tough loss, but at the same time, you take pride in coming back and grow from that," Los Angeles infielder Aaron Miles said.

Ross was 2 for 4 and scored three runs as the Giants totaled scored more than four for the first time in 13 games. Ross is batting .346 with three homers and nine RBIs over his last nine games, but is 1 for 6 lifetime versus Billingsley (2-3, 3.36 ERA).

The Dodgers right-hander hopes for some better luck after he allowed one run, one hit and struck out eight in eight innings of a 1-0 loss to Arizona on Saturday.

It was the fourth time in nine starts that Billingsley pitched at least seven innings, but he is 0-2 in those outings while getting two total runs of support. Billingsley's ERA is 1.64 over his last three starts.

"You can only control what you control," he said.

Now, he looks to win his fourth straight home start against the Giants and improve upon his 5-1 record and 2.56 ERA in eight career outings versus San Francisco at Dodger Stadium. Billingsley allowed a three-run homer to Brandon Belt and four other hits in six innings of a 4-3 home victory over the Giants on April 1.

San Francisco counters with Madison Bumgarner (0-6, 4.25), whose luck may be even worse than Billingsley's and who will try a ninth time for his first win of 2011.

Bumgarner has limited opponents to five earned runs over 25 innings while striking out 25 in his last four starts, but has an 0-3 record to show for it.

The left-hander gave up three runs in six innings of an 11-4 loss at Chicago on Friday.

"He's throwing the ball well enough to get a win," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "But we're just having a hard time finding a way to get him one."

Bumgarner is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA as a starter versus Los Angeles. The defeat came April 11 at home, when he yielded five runs and four walks in five innings of a 6-1 loss.

Matt Kemp, 3 for 3 against Bumgarner, has homered in each of the last two games for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles outfielder Andre Ethier, who had a 30-game hitting streak snapped earlier this month, is 0 for 17 in his last five games. He's 1 for 6 in his career versus Bumgarner.

Draymond responds to Embiid: 'Man, I love that dude'

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AP

Draymond responds to Embiid: 'Man, I love that dude'

Draymond Green and Joel Embiid are two of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA. 

After the 76ers blew a 22-point halftime lead to the Warriors on Saturday, Embiid tweeted "we know what it feels like to blow a big lead" to take a jab at the Warriors' blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals two years ago. 

Green finally saw the tweet and it looks like it's all fun and games between the two. The Warriors' defensive star says he's "looking forward to playing against you (Embiid) for years." 

While tweeting the response, Green had even more to say. 

In the Warriors' 124-116 win over the 76ers on November 18, Green scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished eight assists. Embiid scored 21 points to go with eight rebounds.

Gameday: Bring on Lonzo Ball vs De'Aaron Fox in the NBA

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USATSI/AP

Gameday: Bring on Lonzo Ball vs De'Aaron Fox in the NBA

SACRAMENTO -- The Kings were treated rudely by the Denver Nuggets to open their three-game homestand on Monday. They’ll get another shot to pick up a win Wednesday when the upstart Los Angeles Lakers swing into Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento has struggled to find consistency this season on the road, but they’ve been able to ride their home crowd to impressive wins over Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Portland. If they can knock off the Lakers, they improve to .500 at home on the season. 

The Lakers are coming off a come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday and have to play Sacramento on the second night of a back-to-back. They are a young and exciting team, that present plenty of matchup issues for the Kings.

BETTING LINE 

Lakers by 1

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball -- Let the games begin! The drama surrounding these two dates back to college. Fox ran over Ball at the NCAA level, outscoring the former UCLA Bruin in both games last season, including a 39-point outburst during a tournament game. Ball missed the summer league matchup between the two, causing a bit of a stir on social media. Wednesday night is nothing more that a pair of 19-year-olds playing hoops against one another while hundreds of thousands of people watch intently. No pressure, kids.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 4-13, fifth place in Pacific

Lakers: 8-10, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: SG Buddy Hield (sprained ankle) probable, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Lakers: PF Larry Nance Jr. (hand) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

BRIGHT LIGHTS -- The world is watching. Sacramento doesn’t draw the attention of the national media all that often, but plenty of eyes will be on the Kings/Lakers matchup on Wednesday. Will the Kings bring the defensive intensity that helped them knock off the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday or will they fade like they did against Denver last time out?   

REBOUND -- The Kings are one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA and they’ll face a team that knows how to hit the glass. Dave Joerger needs his guards to get involved if they hope to avoid another lopsided rebounding deficit. 

CONTAIN KUZMA -- Ball gets all the pub, but it’s the late first rounder out of Utah that is turning heads. Fresh off a 22-point performance Tuesday against the Bulls, Kyle Kuzma is posting nearly 17 points per game while starting at power forward for the Lakers. He’s a player that plenty of teams are now regretting passing on in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

SERIES HISTORY 

These two teams split the season series 2-2 last season, with each team winning one at home and one on the road. Los Angeles owns a huge 270-153 lead in the all-time series and a 92-44 advantage during the Sacramento-era 88-47. 

QUOTE

“It’s fun. Sometimes there’s too many haters out there. It is what it is. Smile and enjoy it. I think it will be a great opportunity for those two guys to begin their careers.” Dave Joerger on the Fox/Ball matchup