Kings

Swick rebounds from injuries, readies for Brown

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Swick rebounds from injuries, readies for Brown

Nitesh Dutt
CSNBayArea.com

The road to the top of the UFC’s Welterweight Division for AKA’s Mike “Quick”Swick (15-4-0) has been a tumultuous one paved by countless injuries and setbacks. But, where the most common of man would throw in the towel, Swick battled on.

This Saturday at UFC on FOX 5 Swick returns to the octagon for his second bout in four months, taking on Matt Brown (15-11-0).

Before a KO victory over DaMarques Johnson at UFC on FOX 4, Swick had not fought since February 2010. So, two fights in a span of four months can be seen as a mental victory for the San Jose fighter.

However, he is not satisfied with mental victories. Swick wants to stockpile the wins inside the cage and he’ll do it any way he wants.

“An ideal situation, for my fight, would be a knockout. Going in my favor,” Swick told Inside Fight Sports. “I want to have some scars when this fight’s over…and, get that knockout finish.”

Matt Brown is coming off of three-straight victories. Two of which came by TKO in the second round. Suffice to say that this will be a battle of two fighters who are more than willing to stand and exchange a fury of punches.

Combined these two have 30 wins, 16 of which came by way of KO/TKO (eight apiece).

Although he has been impressive in the UFC (10-3 record), Swick has not been able to get near a title shot due to major injuries that sidelined him for the better part of three years. Plus, dropping down to welterweight served as a rejuvenation in Swick’s early UFC career.

Even through the injuries and setbacks, the welterweight never came close to calling it quits. Others around him might have, but not “Quick”.

“It was definitely a thought of retirement, but from other people.” Swick knew it was too soon in his career to call it quits, regardless of all that he went through. “I’ve always pushed forward my whole life, so I’ve overcame so much and been through so much that unless I see a definite stoppage in my career, where there’s no going around it, I’m going to keep pushing forward.”

Swick made quick work of Johnson in his return to the octagon and he hopes to do the same on Saturday in Seattle. Despite his nickname, he is in no rush to demand a title shot. He’ll let his knockout finishes and victories do the work.

Nitesh Dutt is a production assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter: @NiteshDutt

Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game

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USATSI

Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game

SACRAMENTO -- Faced with demotion, you have two options, sulk or come out swinging. Willie Cauley-Stein chose option two Friday evening at Golden 1 Center.

After starting all 14 games to begin the season, Cauley-Stein found himself relegated to the second unit against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 7-footer looked energized by the move and made one play after another as the Kings came away with the 86-82 victory.

“I felt free - period,” Cauley-Stein said following the win. “Both offensively, defensively. I’m quarterbacking on defense. I’m getting to make plays on offense. I just feel liberated. I feel like it’s unlocking.”

The third-year big began the 2017-18 campaign with back-to-back double-doubles, but hadn’t notched double-figures in rebounds since. Over his previous eight games, the Kings’ starting center was averaging just 4.3 boards per game.

Against Portland, Cauley-Stein played sparkling defense, hit 9-of-17 from the floor for a team-high 22 points and hit the glass for 10 boards. He skied above the Blazers bigs for a rebound with 3.4 seconds remaining and his second free throw attempt sealed the win for a Kings team in desperate need of a win.

“Willie’s a hell of a player, obviously,” veteran big Kosta Koufos said. “He’s really athletic, he’s a special talent.”

Koufos and Cauley-Stein made a devastating defensive duo for Sacramento. Both bigs showed on the high pick-and-roll and avoided fouling the Blazers high-powered guards.

“That’s a crazy defensive lineup right there, me and Kosta play really well together,” Cauley-Stein said. “I’ve been waiting for that lineup since we started.”

Damian Lillard scored 29 points, but he shot just 9-of-25 from the field and 5-for-14 from long range. C.J. McCollum knocked down 8-of-15 from the floor, but he missed all four of his 3-point attempts as Sacramento closed out and pressured the shooter all night long.

Cauley-Stein wasn’t the only starter to find himself on the bench to start the game. Dave Joerger turned to a dual point guard backcourt, using De’Aaron Fox and George Hill side-by-side, while bringing rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic in with the second unit.

Playing off the ball for long stretches, Hill responded to the move with 14 points and five assists in 27 minutes. Fox had a quiet offensive night, but his defense on both Lillard and McCollum was inspired.

“We can both attack and he’s a great shooter so that really helps me,” Fox said of Hill. “He’s a mentor on the court. It’s a lot easier to play with him then to watch him play.”

Sacramento held Portland to just 37 percent shooting overall and 28 percent from behind the arc. They pressured the Blazers in the backcourt and slowed the game to screeching halt.

With the win, the Kings snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 4-11 on the season. They jumped a plane for Portland following the game where they’ll face the same Trail Blazer team Saturday in a rare back-to-back against the same team.

The Kings likely be without the services of shooting guard Buddy Hield, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. Hield limped into the locker room on crutches following the victory and the initial indications point to him missing the rematch.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

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AP

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

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