Warriors hope to turn road trip around in Cleveland


Warriors hope to turn road trip around in Cleveland

March 8, 2011

WARRIORS (27-35) vs.

Coverage begins at 3:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors continue to come up short on this road trip despite some big efforts from Monta Ellis.

After another tough loss, Ellis and the Warriors hope for a better result Tuesday night when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Golden State (27-35) has lost six of seven overall and is 1-4 on a seven-game road trip that ends Wednesday at New Jersey. It has dropped its last two by a combined 12 points, following a 107-103 loss at Boston on Friday with a 125-117 overtime defeat at Philadelphia on Sunday.

REWIND: Warriors rally behind Ellis, but lose to Sixers

Against the 76ers, Ellis scored 18 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors rally from an 18-point first-half deficit to force overtime. However, Golden State came up short after Philadelphia scored the first three points in the extra period and never trailed.

After suffering another tough defeat, Ellis was frustrated. All four of the losses during this road trip have been by fewer than 10 points.

"We've got to find a way to start winning these kinds of games," Ellis said. "We were right there but they made the big plays and won the game."

Ellis has been a big part of the team's ability to stay close the last two games. Before almost single-handedly leading the Warriors late against the 76ers, he scored 12 of his team's 22 fourth-quarter points in the loss to Boston, finishing with 41.

No late-game heroics were needed by Ellis in a 116-98 win over Cleveland on Jan. 7, when Ellis scored 32 points and added 10 assists and the Warriors led by as many as 21 points. Ellis has averaged 28.3 points his last three games against the Cavaliers.

The Warriors will try to close this trip on a high note against two of the Eastern Conference's worst teams.

Cleveland (12-50) failed to build off Friday's road win over New York, suffering a 96-81 home loss to New Orleans on Sunday. The Cavs shot 36.8 percent and were outscored 45-33 in the second half.

Baron Davis scored 17 points while Ramon Sessions and J.J. Hickson each scored 15. Cleveland led 61-60 with 4:36 remaining in the third quarter, but the Hornets went on a 24-8 run after a scary fall left their star point guard Chris Paul with a concussion.

Davis was making his home debut after being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 24. He shot 6 of 11 and had five rebounds and six assists, but scored only three points in the second half, missing four of his five shots.

"I think it was a tale of two halves," coach Byron Scott said. "Obviously in the first half he played great and in the second half he was kind of so-so. A little bit like our whole team it seemed like."

Davis, who played three-plus seasons for the Warriors, scored just seven points in 27 minutes for the Clippers in his last meeting with Golden State on Jan. 22.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent


Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys


Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.