Warriors send Nuggets packing on Monta's 37


Warriors send Nuggets packing on Monta's 37


OAKLAND (AP) Carmelo Anthony wandered the floor frantically, screaming and waving for the ball. A wild scramble up court on Denver's final possession ended with Nene hoisting a fallaway shot and Anthony never even touching the ball.Surprised the Nuggets didn't call timeout?"No," Warriors guard Monta Ellis muttered, smiling. "But I'm glad they didn't."Ellis scored 37 points, Dorell Wright nearly had a triple-double and the Golden State Warriors held on to beat the short-handed Nuggets 116-114 on Wednesday night.All Anthony could do after the final possession was flick his head band to the floor in disgust. He walked off the court quickly, heading to the locker room clearly upset after scoring 29 points only to watch the Nuggets botch their last chance."We made a good defensive stop, J.R. (Smith) got the rebound, I was calling for it and then I saw him just take off," Anthony said. "And then I'm thinking he's going to take it across half court, get control of it and call timeout. But it didn't happen like that. And then I'm thinking, 'Why didn't George call timeout either?"Even if we did call timeout, we had a chance to set something up," Anthony continued. "We still had a chance to take a shot that we might have felt good with. To have seven or nine seconds left in the game, I feel pretty confident at that time with the ball in my hands to make something happen."He didn't get the chance.The Warriors were just fine with that.Wright had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and David Lee had 16 points and 12 rebounds to help the Warriors close out their longest home stretch of the season in style. They finished 8-6 during a stretch of 13 of 14 at home.Nene had 17 points for a Nuggets team playing without starting point guard Chauncey Billups. Billups sat out with a strained left knee but expects to play Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks in Denver.Nuggets coach George Karl defended his decision of not calling timeout, insisting that with Billups out they had a better chance to score by not letting the Warriors set up their defense."I thought we'd miss some by trying to score without their defense being set," Karl said. "I thought Ty (Lawson) had a great opportunity to attack the rim and he kind of deferred to Nene. He got a good shot, but not great shot. I always liked pushing that play and it didn't work tonight."
VIDEO: 1-on-1 with George Karl
The Nuggets had to rally late even to get things that close.After they trimmed a 13-point deficit to only one, Ellis answered with a 3-pointer with 47.7 seconds remaining to give Golden State a 116-112 lead. J.R Smith came back with a jumper, and Denver had one final chance to send it to overtime or win.But the final possession ended with the errant, step-back shot from Nene that missed - his only miss of the game after making his first six shots. It was about the worst possible way for Denver to end the night, and perhaps the best way for Golden State to close out a long homestand.While they finished with a winning mark, they had talked about aiming even higher and trying to get into the Western Conference playoff picture. Instead, Golden State (23-28) is still five-games below .500 and heading into a difficult part of its schedule."I thought we did what we could," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "A couple games got away from us, but I think (closing with) four out of five (wins) won't be too bad."The Warriors can at least take some momentum with them on the road.They withstood another strong performance by Anthony and regained their shooting spark after a 2-for-18 performance from 3-point range in a loss against Phoenix on Monday. Golden State overcame a 10-point deficit early and clamped down defensively late to pull away from the Nuggets, going ahead 97-84 in the third quarter.They didn't do much to slow down Anthony.Not that much has these days.Anthony has had trade talk swirling around him from New York to Los Angeles since he declined a three-year, 65 million extension in June. Two deals with the New Jersey Nets have collapsed, others have heated up and cooled off, but many still expect he'll be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline so the Nuggets don't risk losing him to free agency next summer for nothing.Anthony brushed aside all the talk again to almost rally the Nuggets.He only hoped he had one more shot.NOTES: Karl said he thought G Arron Afflalo should have been invited to play in the 3-point contest during All-Star weekend. Afflalo began Wednesday shooting almost 45 percent from beyond the arc. "I guess Arron needs a little more personality," Karl joked. ... The Warriors paid tribute to Hall of Famer Rick Barry, a member of the 1974-75 championship team who was in attendance, at the end of the first quarter.

Former Cal Bear Jaylen Brown holds heavy heart in win over Warriors


Former Cal Bear Jaylen Brown holds heavy heart in win over Warriors

BOSTON – The NBA is an emotional game, but the feelings Jaylen Brown was working through on the eve of Thursday’s game against Golden State, are the kind you don’t wish anyone with the death of his best friend less than 24 hours before Thursday night’s tip-off.

Brown channeled his pain into a performance that was absolutely vital to Boston pulling off the biggest upset for them this season, a 92-88 win over the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

He led the Celtics with a team-high 22 points in the win which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to 14 straight. 

But he was in no mood to celebrate afterwards.

“My best friend (Trevin Steede) passed last night,” Brown said after the game. “It was tough to accept it. Everybody was kind of in shock. I knew coming in today, he would want me to play.

Brown paused, and added, “It’s hard to get my thoughts together. After talking to his mom and family, they inspired me to come out. I wasn’t in any shape to come out. I didn’t want to leave my room. They inspired me to come out and play and I came out and played in his spirit today.”

READ MORE AT NBCSportsBoston.com

Khalil Mack wants to be Raider for life: 'That’s a no-brainer for me'


Khalil Mack wants to be Raider for life: 'That’s a no-brainer for me'

The Raiders gave quarterback Derek Carr a massive contract extension last June. Right guard Gabe Jackson got paid later that month.

Khalil Mack’s big deal is coming, likely this offseason. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie anticipates a deal getting done, and hopes Mack’s agent feels the same way.

Mack’s rep and Raiders contract folks will work out details of a massive contract extension. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t have interest in all that. He has one preference above all.

Mack doesn’t want to go anywhere. He wants to stay with the Raiders long term.

“Of course. That’s not even a question,” Mack said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Fallon Smith, which airs in this week's episode of "Raiders Central." “That’s a no-brainer for me, especially when you think about coming into this organization and try to build something special, that’s something you want to be a part of for a lifetime”

Mack has plenty of money, top-5 overall draft picks often do. The No. 5 selection in 2014 considered that first deal life-changing money, enough to help his family.

“That has been a treat for me so far,” Mack said.

He doesn’t daydream about signing a nine-figure contract. He doesn’t long to be the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player (although that might be in the cards, anyway).

“I’m not really even thinking about that,” Mack said. “I’m thinking about the Patriots, that’s just my focus that’s just my mindset – anybody who talked to me about that matter, whether it be my best friend, my mom, my dad, I tell them the same thing. I’m thinking about the Patriots and sacking Tom Brady.”

That, unlike signing a record contract, was a career a goal. Mack said in a post-draft press conference he wanted to sack legends. Peyton Manning and Brady topped the list.

Manning retired before Mack could check his box.

“Yeah, I didn’t get that mother----er,” Mack said. “Damn. Yeah, dang, I was disappointed.”

Mack will have a second chance at Brady Sunday when the Raiders play New England in Mexico City. He had eight tackles and two quarterback hits against Brady’s Patriots in 2014, but didn’t bring the quarterback down.

Mack considered his third regular season game a welcome-to-the-NFL moment.

The University of Buffalo alum has accomplished a ton since then, with 34.5 sacks and last year’s top defensive honor to his credit. He’ll need a Herculean performance against the Patriots to help the Raiders win a pivotal game. A sack would certainly help, but Mack isn’t calling his shot.

“Yeah, I’m not one to talk,” Mack said. “I’ll express that when I get on the field, but I can’t wait, I can’t wait to play against him.”