Warriors

Reds clobber Zito, sweep Giants with 9-0 win

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Reds clobber Zito, sweep Giants with 9-0 win

July 31, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto kept his promise to Dusty Baker.Baker asked Cueto to aid his tired bullpen by throwing a complete game. Cueto agreed to do it."Dusty asked me for a complete game this morning. I said, 'I will'", Cueto said.Cueto pitched a three-hitter, Joey Votto added a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 9-0 win on Sunday.Todd Frazier hit his first career home run and Drew Stubbs had a career-high four hits as the Reds rebounded from being swept by the New York Mets in four games to post three consecutive wins for the first time since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers June 13-15.Cueto (7-4) missed the first month of the season with irritation in his upper right arm and needed 7 1-3 innings to qualify for the National League ERA lead. He went into the game with a 1.88 ERA and lowered it to 1.72 with his first shutout since beating Pittsburgh 9-0 with a one-hitter on May 11, 2010.Cueto's complete game was his third of the season, but he lost the other two. Cueto had one walk with six strikeouts while allowing just one baserunner past first base."I have been working on my mechanics," said Cueto, who has added an exaggerated body turn to his delivery. "I wasn't turning as much today. The three-run lead helped too."The New York Mets and extra-innings games took a toll on the Reds' bullpen."We were swept by the Mets and came back to sweep the Giants," Baker said. "Johnny gave us what we needed. He was masterful. He works hard. He competes. You see him out running line to line. He didn't get any hits, but works on his hitting and bunting. He is trying to be a better base runner."San Francisco left-hander Barry Zito lost his third straight after a stretch in which he won three in a row as the Giants were swept for the fifth time this season and first since losing three straight at Oakland June 17-19.For the second consecutive game, the Reds grabbed a first-inning lead. Stubbs, Edgar Renteria and Votto all singled to produce one run. After Zito's wild pitch, Brandon Phillips hit a sacrifice fly, and Jay Bruce singled up the middle for a 3-0 lead.Baker gave Votto a day off Monday and the reigning MVP responded. He is 10 for 25 since with four home runs and nine RBI."Joey's been swinging the bat better, Jay Bruce picked up some RBIs," Baker said. "They are doing the things we've been talking about with runners in scoring position."The Reds led 5-0 after the first inning on Saturday.Frazier, in the ninth game of his career and eighth after being recalled from Triple-A Louisville on July 22 for the second time this season, hit a 1-1 pitch from Zito 368 feet over the left field fence for a 4-0 lead with one out in the fourth inning. The Reds made it 5-0 on Bruce's sacrifice fly in the fifth.Frazier picked up three baseballs this week from his first hit, RBI and home run."I've got them all out of the way. I'm good to go," Frazier said.Zito (3-4) allowed eight hits and five runs with two walks and four strikeouts. He also threw a wild pitch.The Reds broke it open in the seventh on Votto's 414-foot, three-run homer to center field on a full-count pitch from Guillermo Mota.The Reds capped the scoring with Stubbs' double and Votto's RBI single in the eighth.The sweep came after veteran Miguel Cairo challenged his teammates to do the little things after the loss to the Mets on Thursday afternoon.The speech left an impression on the rookie Frazier."I look up to the veterans on this team. Like Miguel was saying the other day, we'll be OK, when we put it all together."NOTES: San Francisco optioned rookie SS Brandon Crawford to Triple-A Fresno before the game to make room on the roster for newly acquired SS Orlando Cabrera. ... After their six-game road trip, the Giants return home for their second 10-game homestand of the season. After the first of their two 10-game homestands, the Reds leave for a six-game trip to Houston and Chicago. ... Phillips extended his hitting streak to 10 games (15 for 42, .357), the team's longest current streak. ... Carlos Beltran's seventh-inning single snapped a stretch of 11 consecutive hitless at-bats. Beltran is 2 for 17 in four games with San Francisco.

Gameday: Curry out for payback against Conley, new-look Grizzlies

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Gameday: Curry out for payback against Conley, new-look Grizzlies

When the Warriors set foot in FedEx Forum on Saturday, they’ll find a very different atmosphere as well as a barely recognizable team of Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grindhouse is not the same. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter have left the building. So, too, has the “Grindfather” himself, Tony Allen.

So in their only trip to Memphis this season, the Warriors will focus mostly on point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol, the remaining core members of the team that reached the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons.

The Warriors (1-1) will be playing for the second night in a row, while the Grizzlies (1-0) have not played since their season opener Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: Curry has a long memory, and he will remember not only that the Warriors last season lost twice to the Grizzlies but also that Conley’s 27 points and clutch play offset Curry’s 40 points and led Memphis to an overtime win in Oakland. It won’t matter to Curry that the Warriors posted double-digit wins over the Grizzlies in the last two meetings last season. He may want to take over.

INJURY LIST:
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (L ankle sprain) is listed as questionable.

Grizzlies: F JaMychal Green (L ankle sprain), G Ben McLemore (R foot surgery) and G/F Wayne Selden Jr. (R quad injury) are listed as out.

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won five of the last seven in Memphis and 10 of the last 13 meetings overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
BREEZE OR WHEEZE: Coach Steve Kerr has expressed some concern about the team’s conditioning level. On the second night of their first back-to-back set -- with the Warriors arriving at the hotel at 2:30 a.m. -- it could provide a glimpse of their progress. Kerr said he would consider resting one or two players. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, both coming off injuries, would seem logical candidates.

GEORGIA VS. SPAIN: The Republic of Georgia’s Zaza Pachulia and Spain’s Marc Gasol know each other well, having spent years battling internationally and in the NBA. There will be no surprises, but Pachulia will have to avoid foul trouble to remain a part of his team’s defensive rotation against one of the league’s best big men.

HOT KLAY: Klay Thompson is off to a torrid start, shooting 11-of-18 from beyond the arc through the first two games. And now he won’t have to worry about Allen, who relished in opportunities to defend the Warriors All-Star. Memphis replaced Allen with Andrew Harrison, who is not in the Grindfather’s class as a defender.

Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

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Gameday: Big underdogs, Kings face Nuggets looking for second straight win

With a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, the Sacramento Kings are feeling good heading into their first back-to-back on Saturday. They’ll face a Denver Nuggets team that lost their season opener to the Utah Jazz and is looking for their first victory of the season.

The combination of George Hill and De’Aaron Fox at the point guard position was too much for Dallas to handle on Friday. Hill poured in 21 points, including two huge shots down the stretch and Fox came away with his first 10-assist game of his career.

Denver added veteran Paul Millsap in the offseason to match with rising star Nikola Jokic. Jokic struggled in the opener, but still managed to post seven points, eight assists and 12 rebounds. The Kings will have their hands full trying to slow the 7-footer.  

OPENING LINE:
Nuggets by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Nikola Jokic -- Cauley-Stein has posted back-to-back double-doubles to start the season and comes in averaging 15.5 points, 10.5 rebound and two blocks in 29 minutes per game. Jokic is one of the more versatile bigs in the game. He picks and chooses his spots to score, but his passing ability makes him a dangerous player.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 1-1

Nuggets: 0-1

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out

Nuggets: No injuries to report

SERIES HISTORY:
These two teams split the season series last year and hold an identical 86-86 record against each other all-time. The Kings lead the Nuggets 65-63 during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
MORE TIME FOR FOX - The Kings speedy young guard is showing that he’s ready to carry more of the load. In his first game, he posted 14 points and five assists. In Game Two, he set up his teammates for a team-high 10 assists while adding nine points and six rebounds. He’s averaged 25 minutes a game in the first two, but his play is already commanding more.

GIVING BUDDY SOME LOVE - Lost in the shuffle of the team’s first win was an nice all-around performance from Buddy Hield. The second-year guard was one of eight Kings to grab five rebounds or more against the Mavs, but Hield’s late board in traffic was probably the play of the night. If he can post more 13 point, six rebound, three assist games early in the season, he’ll find himself on the court more often than not.

MORE FROM SKAL NEEDED - Skal Labissiere has all the potential in the world, but he’s off to a quiet start through two contests. He needs to be more aggressive calling for the ball and continue to hit the glass hard. He’s averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds in 23 minutes per game, but one of those came with Zach Randolph on the shelf. He’ll need to earn minutes like everyone else on this team.

QUOTE:
“My coach has that much confidence in me, a 19-year-old kid to stay on the floor in crunch time, and when he has that confidence in me, my confidence goes up that much more.” -De’Aaron Fox on coach Dave Joerger sticking with him down the stretch in the Kings’ first win.