Monta, Warriors seek a way through Phoenix


Monta, Warriors seek a way through Phoenix

March 18, 2011WARRIORS (30-38) vs.
PHOENIX (33-33)
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area(AP) -- After an impressive stretch brought them back into the playoff picture, the Phoenix Suns suddenly find themselves on the verge of their longest losing streak of the season.A matchup against the Golden State Warriors could help them regroup.Hoping to avoid a fifth consecutive loss, the Suns will try for a 12th straight home win over the Warriors, who begin a four-game trip Friday night.Phoenix (33-33), which lost 21 of its first 36 games and sat in 11th place in the Western Conference on Jan. 11, had moved up to ninth last week following an 18-8 run.The Suns, though, have since averaged just 93.3 points on 42.2 percent shooting en route to a season-worst-tying four consecutive defeats.
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After missing his second straight contest with pelvic instability in a 95-93 loss Monday at Houston, Steve Nash returned to the lineup and registered eight points and 10 assists in Wednesday's 100-95 loss at New Orleans.NEWS: Paul leads Hornets over Suns 100-95
"He tried, but he's not the same guy," coach Alvin Gentry said. "I didn't expect him to be. Just to have him out there was good for us. He's not going to be at 100 percent, and with him that's important that he has the zip."The loss dropped Phoenix back into 11th in the conference, and with only 16 games remaining, its playoff hopes seem to be quickly fading."Every loss hurts and definitely every loss is going to make a difference for this run towards the playoffs," said reserve center Marcin Gortat, averaging 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last 12 games.The Suns and Warriors (30-38) are two of the highest-scoring teams in the league, averaging 104.7 and 103.2 points, respectively.Phoenix, though, has held Golden State to an average of 90.0 points on 41.6 percent shooting in the last two meetings to extend its winning streak in the series to five games.The Warriors last won at Phoenix 110-100 on March 18, 2005, and have since been outscored by an average of 12.6 points over 11 consecutive losses at US Airways Center.Golden State, which sits in 12th place in the West - four games behind Phoenix - fell 112-106 to Dallas on Wednesday night despite leading by as many as 18 in the second quarter.
REWIND: Mavericks' late run takes down Warriors
"It was tough. We should have had that game," said Monta Ellis, who had 26 points and 11 assists. "I take the blame. I made some mistakes at the end, turned the ball over and didn't hit the shots I needed to. I also waited too long to get everybody involved at the end of the game."Ellis, among the league's top 10 with 24.8 points per game, was held to eight on 4-of-13 shooting in a 112-88 loss at Phoenix on Feb. 10. He is averaging 15.5 points on 34.2 percent shooting in his last two road contests.
REWIND: Flat Warriors buried by Nash, Suns 112-88
Guard Stephen Curry has also struggled against the Suns of late, averaging 12.0 points - 6.6 below his season mark - in three losses in 2010-11.The Warriors, losers of nine of 13 overall and nine of 12 on the road, haven't been swept by Phoenix since 2001-02.The Suns, however, have been outscored by an average of 21.0 points in their last two home games. They haven't lost three straight at home since Jan. 16-31, 2009.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.