Kings cold from behind arc in loss to Grizzlies


Kings cold from behind arc in loss to Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Zach Randolph had 27 points and 15 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched the Western Conference's final playoff spot Friday night with a 101-96 win over the Sacramento Kings.Randolph's two free throws with 4.8 seconds left sealed the victory for the Grizzlies, who head to the postseason for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The victory eliminated Houston from the playoff chase.Marc Gasol added 18 points for Memphis, Tony Allen scored 13, and Mike Conley finished with 12 points and eight assists as Memphis won for the fifth time in six games.Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 18 points, seven of them coming in the final 2:30 to keep the Grizzlies from celebrating too early. Samuel Dalembert had 17 points and 16 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 16 points, and Jason Thompson had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.Memphis weathered a fourth-quarter rally that pulled the Kings to 97-96 with 39 seconds left. But Sacramento could never overtake the Grizzlies.Memphis came out running as if it wanted to claim the playoff spot early, but it didn't take long for the game to settle into another low-scoring affair, where Memphis let a non-playoff team hang close.The Grizzlies were having trouble scoring, and shooting around 40 percent through much of the half. While the Kings shot slightly better, they committed 10 turnovers.Gasol had 13 points at the break to help Memphis carry a 46-43 lead at halftime, but it was not pretty. The Grizzlies shot 38 percent, while the Kings were at 42 percent, and both teams missed all five of their 3-point attempts.Evans had 10 points to lead the Kings.Francisco Garcia nailed the first 3-pointer of the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter, then followed with another. That helped Sacramento retake the lead.Memphis finally turned up the defense, got out running and started getting the ball into Randolph. Allen got a dunk off a Conley steal, and Randolph stole the ball, leading to his own layup for Memphis' biggest lead at that point, 69-57, with 4:11 left in the third.Memphis carried a 77-67 lead into the fourth, led by Randolph's 10 points in the third.The Grizzlies held a 13-point lead in the third before losing to the Clippers 82-81 on Tuesday. This time, Memphis didn't let its opponent get off to a quick start in the final frame, but the Kings, with an offensive burst from Dalmebert and help from Donte Greene, wouldn't allow Memphis to get comfortable.Greene's drive with just over 5 minutes left cut the Memphis lead to 92-85. Dalembert's free throws 2 minutes later pulled the Kings within five.Thornton connected on a 3-pointer with 2:30 left to cap an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 92-90. He would get the Kings even closer with 39 seconds left on a tip-in to cut it to 97-96.Memphis could have made the ending a lot easier but couldn't hit its free throws in the final 50 seconds, connecting on three of six attempts.With the Memphis crowd sensing the end of five years of frustration, they were on their feet as Memphis held a 99-96 lead with 10.3 seconds left and Sacramento inbounding the ball.Thornton's 3-point attempt missed badly, and Randolph was fouled, sinking the final two free throws with 4.8 seconds left.NOTES: Memphis F Shane Battier is the only player who was with the team when the Grizzlies were last in the playoffs five years ago, and he left before the next season in a trade with Houston. He returned this year in another trade with the Rockets. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was an assistant on the 2005-06 team. ... Kings G Evans, who played one season at the University of Memphis, was given a nice ovation in the pre-game introductions. DeMarcus Cousin, who ended up at Kentucky with former Tiger coach John Calipari, got booed. ... The start of the second quarter was delayed several minutes after the shot clock above one of the baskets was not illuminated. A backup was brought out and put on the floor in the corner.

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls


Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

The Warriors will be without their starting forwards Friday night when they return to Oracle Arena not only to face the struggling Chicago Bulls but also in search of good habits.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Kevin Durant is out with a sprained ankle and Draymond Green will be resting.

The Warriors (13-5) are coming off a 2-2 road trip during which they blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in one of the losses and had to overcome a 24-point third-quarter deficit to earn one of the victories.

The rebuilding Bulls (3-13) are concluding a four-game swing through the Western Conference, having lost the first three games by an average of 15.7 points.


Warriors by 15.5


Omri Casspi & Co. vs. Lauri Markkanen: Markkanen has been one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season. The 7-foot rookie from Arizona shares the team lead in scoring at 14.6 points per game, while leading in rebounds at 8.3 per game. The only Chicago rookies to score more points in their first 16 games are Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose and Elton Brand. With Green and Durant out, the task of defending Markkanen falls to Casspi, who will start at one forward, with rookie Jordan Bell also taking a few turns.


Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) and F Draymond Green (rest) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Bulls: G Zach LaVine (L ACL rehab), F Nikola Mirotic (facial fractures), G David Nwaba (R ankle sprain) and G Cameron Payne (R foot surgery) are listed as out.


Warriors: 8-2. Bulls: 2-8.


Bennie Adams (lead), Mark Ayotte and JT Orr.


The teams split the two-game series last season, each winning on its home court. The Warriors have won five of the last eight overall and 14 of the last 18 in Oakland.


THE INTENSITY METER: The Warriors believe, justifiably, that their biggest worry is about themselves. When they’re properly focused, they are the best team in the NBA. When they are not, they are susceptible to most any quality team. Insofar as Chicago doesn’t appear pose an explicit challenge, the Warriors must not only manufacture intensity but also maintain it.

KEEP ‘EM OFF THE LINE: The Bulls are dead last in the NBA in offensive rating (94.4), field-goal percentage (41.0), field goals made per game (35.7). The one thing they do well is shoot free throws, which they shoot at a league-leading 92.9 percent. The Warriors can be prone to fouls (only eight teams commit more), so they’ll have to play it smart against this opponent.

THE BENCH BUNCH: With Durant and Green out, along with this being the second game of a four-games-in-six-nights stretch, the Warriors will have to lean on their bench, which has been quite good. Its 54-percent shooting leads the league, as is its 4.2 blocks per game. The net rating 10.2 is second in the NBA.

NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season


NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season

The dream is no more. 

San Francisco Deltas' CEO Brian Andres Helmick ended speculation on Friday when he released a statement announcing the end of the team after one season in the North American Soccer League -- a DII professional league in the USSF pyramid. 

The Deltas are fresh off claming the NASL's championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Kezar Stadium, But even that wasn't enough to save a franchise who admittedly was struggling to stay afloat. 

"We are closing down the San Francisco Deltas," Helmick wrote. "As many of you have said, this journey that started in 2015 has the makings of a movie with character-defining struggles, heroic moments, painful defeats, and overcoming seemingly impossible hurdles all culminating in a dream come true on Sunday, November 12th when the SF Deltas were crowned the national champions after defeating the New York Cosmos — arguably the most storied brand in U.S. Soccer history. I’ll never forget the scene of thousands of fans storming the field. Now that the celebration has come to an end, players and coaches have been released from their contracts. We will not leave any loose ends and everybody will be paid what they’re owed for 2017 — including players, coaches, staff, partners and vendors."

In 32 league games, the Deltas amassed a 14-12-6 record and advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament where they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes. 

"In hindsight we have not been perfect," Helmick said. "Far from it. We have learned so much from this adventure and we will begin organizing our thoughts and learnings that led to us to make this decision. Our hope is to share them for the benefit of others who are interested in developing the sport here in San Francisco or in other cities. I firmly believe that via transparency and collaboration we can improve the sport we all love."

In response to the Deltas news, the NASL released the following statement: 'In San Francisco, it’s unfortunate that the Deltas’ business plans did not materialize in the way they had hoped. We remain a big believer in the market, as evidenced by the atmosphere and crowd at The Championship Final earlier this month, and we still believe that the city deserves a professional soccer team. We are in active discussions with potential ownership groups and we aim to keep professional soccer in San Francisco in the future."

The Deltas experiment is the latest to test the viability of professional soccer in San Francisco. Last Fall, another group fronted by Zappos.com founder NIck Swimurn -- San Francisco Football Club -- attempted to start a team using AT&T Park as its home stadium as part of the United Soccer League. The project and application was pulled.