Warriors

Missed FG Keeps Cal from Upset of No. 1 Ducks

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Missed FG Keeps Cal from Upset of No. 1 Ducks

Nov. 13,2010

CALPAGE
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) One small step helped No. 1 Oregon avoid one big upset.Jeff Maehl caught a 29-yard touchdownpass for the Ducks' only offensive touchdown, and Oregon got a stellareffort from its defense and a huge break on a missed field goal to beatCalifornia 15-13 on Saturday night.Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio erasedhis 24-yard own field goal, which would have put the Golden Bears aheadby one early in the fourth quarter, by committing an illegal motionpenalty by taking a stutter step forward before the snap. The juniorthen missed a 29-yard try on the next play.Cliff Harris returned a punt 64 yardsfor the only touchdown in the first half for the Ducks (10-0, 7-0Pac-10), who wobbled on the road to the BCS title game but are stillheading in the right direction."It feels really good to come throughfor the offense this time," linebacker Casey Matthews said. "We didpretty good, but we should do that every week, no matter what theoffense does."Darron Thomas passed for 155 yardsand led a final drive that chewed up the last 9 12 minutes. It was astrange sight to see the high-speed Ducks down shift into super-slowmotion, but it worked to perfection. Kenjon Barner and LaMichael Jamestook turns with the ball while Thomas milked the play clock on an18-play, 65-yard drive.The Bears held the nation's mostpotent offense to a season-low 317 yards, but couldn't get the Ducks'offense off the field when they most needed a stop.Cal defensive tackle Derrick Hillforced a fumble and recovered it in the end zone for the Bears (5-5,3-4), who lost in Strawberry Canyon for the first time all season - butonly after putting a mighty scare into their first top-ranked opponentin five years.James rushed for a season-low 91yards in a tentative performance by the Heisman Trophy hopeful, butOregon's defense shut out Cal's offense for the final 55 minutes.Shane Vereen rushed for 105 yardsand scored a touchdown on Cal's opening drive. Brock Mansion went 10for 27 for 69 yards in his second career start.The Ducks had played just threescoreless quarters all season long until Cal shut them out in the firstand fourth quarters. Oregon kicker Rob Beard also missed two fieldgoals after going 8 for 8.Oregon, which hadn't won by fewerthan 11 points all season, will find out Sunday how its struggles willaffect its position in the ranking and BCS standings, where the Duckslead fellow unbeatens Auburn, TCU and Boise State.But after surviving Berkeley, justtwo hurdles remain between the Ducks and an unbeaten regular season: avisit from Arizona on Nov. 26, followed by the Civil War at OregonState.The Bears began a three-gamehomestand to close the season on a postcard-perfect afternoon atMemorial Stadium, but their future got much chillier by the fourthquarter. If Cal loses the 113th Big Game to No. 7 Stanford nextSaturday, the Bears must beat Washington in their finale to gain bowleligibility and a chance to avoid their first non-winning season incoach Jeff Tedford's nine years in Berkeley.Oregon's offensive strugglescertainly weren't for a lack of nerve: The Ducks went for it twice onfourth down on their opening drive, but turned over the ball atmidfield. After an incomplete pass, Cal handed the ball five straighttimes to Vereen, who barreled in from 1 yard out just 4 12 minutesinto the first quarter.The rest of the first half was afast-paced game of field position until midway through the secondquarter, when Harris broke down the Oregon sideline for his fourth TDpunt return of the season.Defensive end Dion Jordan took the 2-point conversion in for a score on a trick play, putting the Ducks up 8-7.Vereen fumbled at the Cal 29 on theBears' first drive of the second half, and Thomas hit Maehl in stridefor a score on the next play, finally showing off the quick-strikeoffense that has captivated college football.But Hill's tremendous play punishedthe Ducks moments later. He swatted the ball out of Thomas' hand as thequarterback drew back to pass before recovering it in the end zone,with the play upheld by video review.Cal failed on the 2-point conversionpass, but mounted another clock-chewing drive to the Oregon 7 momentslater. That led Tavecchio's crucial misstep.

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

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USATSI

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

Following Toronto's 127-125 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan wasn't happy.

His team had almost erased a 27-point deficit and he felt like the officials were helping the Warriors.

"It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8. Some of those calls were terrible, period," DeRozan told reporters after the game.

As you might imagine, the NBA wasn't thrilled with thoses comments and fined DeRozan $15,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of the officiating.

DeRozan's incident is the latest in a long list of greivances between the players and the officials. The two sides met face-to-face in late December and plan to meet again during All-Star weekend in February to discuss the growing tension.

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

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USATSI

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

Earlier we discussed how the Golden State Warriors have seemingly moved beyond hating on NBA officials (three technical fouls in 18 days is a stunning reversal of their formerly disputatious form), but we may have forgotten one new reason why they have found a more Buddhist approach to the cutthroat world of American competitive sport.

They lack someone new to hate.

Their much-chewed-upon rivalry with the Los Angeles Clippers actually lasted two years, and now the Clippers are busy trying to prevent military incursions into their locker room from the Houston Rockets. Their even more famous archrivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be imploding – with the total connivance of the Cavs themselves – before our eyes. Even cutting off their hot water made them laugh when two years ago not letting the Warriors' wives get to the game on time torqued them mightily.

And since we know that you locals desperately need a bête noire for your heroes (even though their biggest foe is actually their own attention spans), let us consider the new candidates.

HOUSTON

The Rockets have been among the Warriors’ most persistent contender/pretenders, having faced them in both the first round of the 2017 postseason and the conference finals in 2015. Both ended in 4-1 Warrior wins as part of a greater piece – Golden State is 19-4 against the Rockets in the Warriors’ bad-ass era, 10-2 at home and 9-2 on the road, and has finished an aggregate 59.5 games ahead of the Rockets in the past three and a half years.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include James Harden and Chris Paul, while Rockets fans loathe Draymond Green and Kevin Durant and work their way down from there.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 32,353): 19. The Rockets need to win a playoff series before even matching the Clippers, who as we all know came and went in a moment.

SAN ANTONIO

The previous platinum standard in Western Conference basketball, the Spurs have never really gone away, though they have aged. Their pedigree is not in dispute, and Steve Kerr has essentially become the next generation of Gregg Popovich. It is hard to create a rivalry out of such shamelessly mutual admiration.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include . . . uhh, maybe Kawhi Leonard for winning two Defensive Player Of The Year Awards instead of Draymond Green, though that’s not much to go on, frankly. Spurs fans hate Zaza Pachulia for stepping beneath Leonard and ending last year’s series before it started.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 23): 1. If they didn’t have to play against each other, I suspect these two teams would date.

OKLAHOMA CITY

The Thunder’s 3-1 collapse in 2016 is all but ignored now because the Warriors did the same thing one series later, but lifting Kevin Durant was quite the consolation prize for Golden State, and the definitive finger in the eye for the Thunder, who turned their team over completely to Russell Westbrook, for good and ill. Even with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are still trying to relocate their stride.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Westbrook and Anthony for defining the I-need-the-ball-in-my-hands-to-function generation, and owner Clay Bennett for Seattle SuperSonics nostalgics. Thunder frans hate Durant, followed by Durant, Durant, Kim Jong-un, Durant, leprosy, Draymond Green’s foot, and Durant.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 440): 220. Westbrook is a human lightning rod, Anthony is the antithesis of what Warriors now regard basketball (they’d have loved him a quarter-century ago), and Stephen Adams for getting his goolies in the way of Green’s foot. Plus, some savvy Warrior fans can blame OKC for extending their heroes to seven games, thus making the final against Cleveland that much more difficult. This could work, at least in the short term.

PORTLAND

Damian Lillard is a much-beloved local. Plus, the Blazers have never interfered in the Warriors’ universe save their 1-8 postseason record. There are no truly hateable players on either side, though Stephen Curry threw his first mouthpiece in Portland, and Green is a perennial.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 1): 0.

BOSTON

The new pretender to throne, with the Eastern Conference’s version of Kerr in Brad Stevens. Even better since taking advantage of Kyrie Irving’s weariness with LeBron James, and until proven otherwise the team the Warriors should most concern themselves with.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Irving, who made the only shot in the last five minutes of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, while Celtics fans hate Durant for not signing with them.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 67.7): 26, though this will rise if the two teams meet in the Finals. The last time they did, Bill Russell owned basketball.

THE REST OF THE EAST

Still too remote to adequately quantify, though Toronto, Miami and Milwaukee are clearly difficult matches for the Warriors. If you put them together, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Hassan Whiteside with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe coming off the bench, coached by either Eric Spoelstra or Jason Kidd, would make a fun team for the Warriors to play against. Probably not functional, but fun.

And finally:

SACRAMENTO

Some decade the two teams’ geographical proximity will matter, but for now, they remain essentially two full professional leagues away from each other. We just mentioned them so Kings fans wouldn’t feel any more slighted than they already do.