Warriors

Patriots make important move at trade deadline

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Patriots make important move at trade deadline

From Comcast SportsNetFOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- The New England Patriots moved to shore up their shaky secondary on Thursday by obtaining cornerback Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.The Patriots traded their fourth-round pick in next year's draft for the former first-round choice, who is coming off his second NFL suspension, and a seventh-rounder in 2012.Talib, who has 18 interceptions since being taken by Tampa Bay with the 20th pick in 2008 out of Kansas, will be eligible to play in the Patriots' next game on Nov. 11 after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.He said at the time of the suspension that he took an Adderall pill without a prescription "around the beginning of training camp." He also was suspended without pay for the regular-season opener in 2010 and fined one additional game check for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy. That penalty resulted from an altercation with a St. Petersburg cab driver during training camp in August 2009.He also had charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas dropped a week before he was due to be tried for allegedly firing a gun at his sister's boyfriend.New England (5-3) enters its bye week having allowed the fifth most yards passing in the NFL. It has been especially vulnerable to the big play, most recently on a 50-yard touchdown pass by Sam Bradford on the St. Louis Rams opening drive last Sunday in London. The Patriots went on to win 45-7.Cornerback Devin McCourty gave up several long completions, then was moved to safety the past two games where starters Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung were sidelined. Another starting quarterback, Kyle Arrington, left the Rams game with a head injury."The thing we talk about is to stay the course, try to improve," Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer said Thursday. "We need to get better. Things that we've done well, let's keep doing well and just stay the course and try to get better today."In 58 games, 45 of them starts, Talib has returned three interceptions for touchdowns. Two of them came on his only interceptions last year.In another move Thursday, the Patriots signed wide receiver Jarred Fayson to the practice squad. He was released by Indianapolis on Aug. 28 after having been on the practice squad from last Nov. 22 to the end of the season.The practice squad spot opened on Wednesday when the Patriots released tight end Alex Silvestro. In other moves Wednesday, they re-signed linebacker Mike Rivera and Derrick Martin and released defensive back Sterling Moore.

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.