Warriors falter in second half, lose to Grizzlies


Warriors falter in second half, lose to Grizzlies


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) The Golden State Warriors built a 10-point lead early in the second half before the Memphis Grizzlies and Tony Allen kicked up the energy.With Allen scoring, rebounding and encouraging the Memphis faithful to their feet, the Grizzlies erased the double-digit deficit and left not only with a 110-91 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday night, but a tighter hold on their playoff hopes."(Coach Lionel Hollins) told us we just weren't playing hard at all," Allen said of Hollins' ranting about energy before the second-half rally. "He told us we needed to step it up a notch on the defensive end, and that's what we did."We put on our hard hats in the second half."Allen scored 21 points while helping reverse Memphis' lackadaisical first-half effort. He added eight rebounds and four assists as Memphis not only won its fifth straight at home, but assured the Grizzlies (42-33) of their first winning season since 2005-06, the last time the team made the playoffs.
NEWS: Warriors' Ellis day-to-day with ankle strain"I tell him to concentrate more on defense and less on offense," Hollins said of his conversations with the sometimes aloof Allen. "I think that some nights the opportunities are there. He slashes. There were a lot of transition buckets. There were a lot of times when the lane was open, and he just drove and beat his man to the basket."Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 20 apiece, with Conley also recording seven assists. Randolph had 13 rebounds and six assists. Coupled with Houston's 108-97 loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the Grizzlies now have a three-game buffer on the Rockets.After the game, the Memphis locker room was intently watching the end of New Orleans' 95-91 victory over Portland. That left the Hornets and Trail Blazers tied for the sixth spot, only a game ahead of Memphis.Monta Ellis and Dorell Wright each had 16 points as Golden State lost its eighth straight on the road. David Lee had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Vladimir Radmanovic had 11 points, all in the first half."I think because we are a team that is still growing, you have to understand how to win on the road and how to win in tough buildings and tough environments," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "And how to win when you are tired and banged up at this time of the year."This is all a learning stage for us."Ellis left the floor near the end of the game with a sprained right ankle. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day."Hopefully, he's OK," Smart said. "He's done a fabulous job for us all season long. Hopefully, everything checks out."Stephen Curry was 2 of 14 from the field and 1 of 6 outside the arc for the Warriors, finishing with only six points. He did have nine assists, but a half-dozen turnovers.Golden State, second in the league in 3-point shooting at 39.4 percent, was 6 of 21 from outside the arc (28.6 percent)."Tony Allen's out there anchoring the defense," Curry said. "They all work together and move well. They clog the paint, and when you get in the lane, it's tough to finish. They've got some big guys down there. We weren't making our shots on that outside, and that cost us."Meanwhile, Memphis, which leads the league in points in the paint, held an advantage there 76-50 and helped the Grizzlies shoot a season-best 56.5 percent on 48-of-85 shooting from the field.Radmanovic led a rally by the Warriors bench to overtake an early eight-point Memphis lead. While the rest of the Warriors had misfired on their first six 3-pointers, Radmanovic was perfect on his initial three.The Warriors were coming off an overtime loss at Oklahoma City on Tuesday night, but the Grizzlies were the ones who looked a tad sluggish in the half, getting beat on the boards and not forcing turnovers - two keys to their success.The Grizzlies had a handful of steals in the third quarter - three by Allen, who scored 10 points in the period. Memphis used the energy to reverse Golden State's momentum and ended the quarter up 79-72. The Grizzlies then extended the lead to as many as 19 in the fourth quarter."(Hollins) definitely let us play through it," Randolph said of the early lack of energy. "We got it going. Tony got us going on the defensive end with his energy, and we started playing the game we know how to play."We definitely were a little lethargic when we came out, but we definitely picked it up toward the end."After the Warriors took their 10-point lead early in the second half, Memphis outscored Golden State 62-33 the rest of the way."They were dragging a little bit," Hollins said of the Warriors. "It's late in the season. I always say when you start putting pressure on teams that are near or out of the playoffs, you tend to find out if they'll fight, and most nights they don't."They didn't have enough fight. It's a long season, and they were losing and tired from a game (Tuesday) night. We just did what we had to do."Notes: The Warriors' 91 points marked the first time in the last nine games of the series that both teams didn't reach at least 104 points. ... Lee entered with double-doubles in 20 of last 36 games. He fell one rebound short of another double-double. ... Randolph had 10 points in the fourth quarter. Memphis is 10-0 when he reaches double-digits in the final quarter. ... Memphis' previous high field-goal percentage for a game was 55.7 against Denver on Feb. 13. ... Memphis is 17-1 against teams playing the second night of a back-to-back, including 14-0 at home.

Sharks exorcise MSG demons, take down Rangers


Sharks exorcise MSG demons, take down Rangers


NEW YORK — Logan Couture had a goal and an assist, Martin Jones stopped xx shots and the San Jose Sharks beat the struggling New York Rangers 4-1 on Monday night.

Tim Heed, Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson also scored to help the Sharks win for the third time in four games. Jones got his fourth straight win after losing his first two starts.

Mika Zibanejad scored and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 20 saves for the Rangers, who fell to 2-6-2 on the season. New York finished 0 for 6 on the power play and is 3 for 25 over the last six games.

With the Sharks leading 3-0 after two periods, Couture took the puck away from Lundqvist behind the goal and sent it to Karlsson, who put it in for his second of the season at 2:51 of the third. Couture got his 200th career assist on the play.

San Jose turned the puck over in its defensive zone and Zibanejad snapped a shot into the top right corner to spoil Jones' shutout bid at 4:23 of the final period.

Donskoi increased the Sharks' lead to 3-0 with 38 seconds left in the second as he skated into the right circle and beat Lundqvist glove-side inside the right post.

The Rangers controlled the play for most of the first period while outshooting the Sharks 16-8, but trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes.

Couture, who had his second career hat trick in a loss at the New York Islanders on Saturday night, got San Jose on the scoreboard 1:56 into the game. With Jones pulled for an extra skater on a delayed penalty, Brent Burns sent pass from the right circle up top to Couture, who fired a slap shot from straightaway past Lundqvist.

Jones had two nice saves on back-to-back attempts in close by Pavel Buchnevich with a little more than nine minutes left in the first.

Heed doubled the Sharks' lead with 7:15 left as he brought the puck up the right side and sent a bad-angle shot from near the goal line along the boards. The puck trickled through Lundqvist's pads for the 26-year-old's first career goal in his seventh NHL game.

The Rangers had a two-man advantage for 25 seconds late in the opening period, but Jones stoppedZibanejad's shot from top of the left circle, and Rick Nash missed with an attempt in close.

NOTES: Couture has six goals and three assists in his last four games. ... The Sharks are 30 for 31 on the penalty kill in seven games since giving up three power-play goals in the season- opener against Philadelphia. ... The teams conclude the season series Jan. 25 at San Jose. ... Rangers D Kevin Shattenkirk played in his 500th career regular season game. ... New York F Rick Nash played in his 999th game. ... D Marc Staal played in his 699th game — all with the Rangers — and passed Mark Messier and Steve Vickers for sole possession of 12th place on the franchise list. ... New York has given up 15 goals in the first period this season.


Sharks: At Boston on Thursday night in the fifth of a six-game trip that concludes at Buffalo on Saturday.

Rangers: Host Arizona on Thursday night in the finale of a season-high six-game homestand.

Raiders expect Lynch ruling soon; 'it would be the fairest thing'


Raiders expect Lynch ruling soon; 'it would be the fairest thing'

Running back Marshawn Lynch formally appealed his one-game suspension on Monday afternoon.

The Raiders hope to hear a ruling by Tuesday.

“I think we expect to hear something early in the week, hopefully by tomorrow,” head coach Jack Del Rio said in a Monday press conference. “(It) would be the fairest thing so that the team can prepare.”

That’s the expectation, according to an ESPN report. The Raiders should know by Tuesday whether Lynch’s suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct will stand.

The suspension stems from a Thursday night incident where he left the sidelines to join an on-field fracas involving Raiders offensive linemen and Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters. The third-year pro was penalized for a late hit on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr his linemen didn’t take kindly.

Peters and Lynch are extremely close friends and Oakland natives, and Lynch instinctively went out to protect someone he views as family. He inadvertently grabbed an official by the jersey and let go shortly after. He was flagged and ejected by rule.

He missed most of Thursday’s 31-30 victory over the Chiefs, and the NFL suspended him one game without pay on Friday. That could cost Lynch a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

ESPN reports that Peters by phone spoke at Lynch’s appeal hearing, where the running back’s team also cited precedent of others contacting an official without getting suspended. Leaving the sideline, however, may not help his appeal.

Del Rio said he hadn’t spoken with Lynch since the ejection.

“I said the other night I was disappointed that we had a player leave the bench,” Del Rio said. “It’s something we talk about – don’t leave the bench area.”

The Raiders ran with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington after Lynch’s ejection, and combined for 67 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. The pair with shoulder a rushing load Sunday at Buffalo if Lynch is unavailable.

“They don’t have the size and the power but they have a little more quickness, they catch the ball a little easier, better route-runners, things like so,” Del Rio said. “So, if you’re playing a little more wide open, in some respects they give you a little more juice. Marshawn give you the power back when you want to finish people and in tough situations. Those guys give you more than a change of pace.”