Kings

Willingham powers A's to 6-4 win, sweep of O's

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Willingham powers A's to 6-4 win, sweep of O's

May 29, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
OAKLAND (AP) Home runs are such a rare commodity for the Athletics that manager Bob Geren stood up and started celebrating when Josh Willingham's three-run shot sailed into the left-field stands Sunday.Willingham's go-ahead homer capped a four-run fifth inning and propelled the A's to a 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles, completing Oakland's first three-game sweep this season."When he hits them, you don't even have to look," Geren said after Willingham's second homer in his last three games. "The sound of the ball off the bat, you just turn around and start high-fiving everybody."It's only the fourth three-run shot of the season for Oakland, which has the third-fewest home runs (30) in the majors. Twenty-one of them have been solo drives.Kevin Kouzmanoff added two hits for Oakland, which extended its longest winning streak this season to four games. The A's also continued their home dominance of the Orioles with their 12th win in 13 tries at the Coliseum."The clubhouse is completely different when you're winning," said Willingham, who also drove in Oakland's first run with a single. "We're playing more consistent baseball, and as a team that's all you can ask for is to be consistent in all three phases of the game and play up to your capabilities. I feel like we have been lately."Oakland got a boost from two-time All-Star closer Andrew Bailey, who made his season debut after being sidelined with a strained right forearm. He pitched a scoreless seventh.
GUTIERREZ: Geren looks smarter when bullpen does its job
Vladimir Guerrero singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, but the Orioles couldn't score against four relievers after putting up four in the fifth. They wound up dropping their third straight on the road after a five-game winning streak at home."That one inning we pushed four across. That's pretty hard to quarrel with," Baltimore Buck Showalter said. "But we had some other opportunities. We just didn't get it done."Guillermo Moscoso (2-0) gave up five hits with two walks to earn his second straight win after being called up from the minors on May 24 to replace injured starter Tyson Ross.Craig Breslow, Bailey and Grant Balfour each pitched one scoreless inning and Brian Fuentes worked the ninth for his 11th save in 13 tries.Baltimore led 4-1 after loading the bases against Moscoso in the top of the inning - then scoring four runs with only one hit.Felix Pie had an RBI single that A's center fielder Coco Crisp appeared to make a diving catch on before the ball popped out of his glove after hitting the ground. Nolan Reimold, pushed into action when center fielder Adam Jones left with a sore shoulder, then drew a bases-loaded walk and Nick Markakis and Guerrero added run-scoring groundouts.The loss of Jones left the Orioles without their leading run producer.That's significant for a team that has struggled to score on this road trip. After getting four runs against Moscoso, Baltimore managed only two baserunners over the final four innings.The A's got a lift from Bailey, who had been on the DL since March 30. The 2009 AL Rookie of the Year retired all three batters he faced as Oakland tries to ease him back into the mix.
RELATED: A's activate closer Bailey from D.L., option Cramer
"He looked good," Geren said. "I thought his stuff was pretty much normal. From the side it looked like vintage Andrew Bailey, which is a huge plus for us."Oakland gave Bailey a 6-4 lead to work with after chasing Baltimore starter Zach Britton in the sixth. Daric Barton hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Mark Ellis after the O's intentionally walked Crisp to load the bases.Britton (5-3) was tagged for career highs of six runs and 10 hits. The left-hander, who was attempting to tie Jake Arrieta for the team lead in wins, walked three and struck out three.Willingham singled to drive in Barton in the first with the A's first run. In 16 career games against the Orioles, Willingham is batting .400 with four home runs and 12 RBIs.NOTES: Baltimore sent struggling RHP Brad Bergesen to Triple-A Norfolk and called up LHP Pedro Viola from Double-A Bowie. Bergesen (1-6) took the loss in Saturday's game. After the game, the team also optioned RHP Chris Tillman to Norfolk but did not announce a corresponding move. ... To make room for Bailey the A's optioned LHP Bobby Cramer to Triple-A Sacramento. Cramer was called up Friday when Oakland traded David Purcey to Detroit but did not pitch against Baltimore.

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally

BOX SCORE

Opportunity lost. The Sacramento Kings had a game handed to them on a silver platter Monday night in Phoenix and they couldn’t take advantage. Playing for a new head coach and without their star point guard, the Suns manhandled the Kings early and held them off late to come away with the 117-115 win and pick up their first win of the season.

Garrett Temple is known for his defensive prowess, but on Monday night in Phoenix, he was an offensive juggernaut. With the Kings falling behind early, the veteran wing hit 6-of-8 from long range to post 23 and keep the Kings in the ballgame late. He had a look at 3-ball to win it at the buzzer, but came up short.

It took Bogdan Bogdanovic less than a quarter to get comfortable with the NBA game. Phoenix drafted the rookie with the 27th pick back in 2014, but they abandoned their efforts to bring him over from Europe. He lit the Suns up 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but struggled to get it going after the break.

With Bogdanovic manning the two, fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox put on the jets at the point guard spot. Fox attacked Phoenix on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Skal Labissiere scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds off Joerger’s bench. Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points, four assists and four rebounds, while rookie Justin Jackson chipped in a career-best 10 points.

Buddy Hield couldn’t buy a bucket early, but his defense fueled his offensive in the second half. Hield grabbed a career-high five steals and added 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Sacramento’s Marquese Chriss did damage against his hometown team. The second-year forward dropped in 19 points and six rebounds before fouling out late. 

Devin Booker added 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Mike James finished with 18 points and seven assists starting in place of the exiled Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson came off the bench to score 15.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Temple caught fire and the Kings kept feeding him. Not known for his offense, the veteran wing went off in a wild game at the Talking Stick Resort Arena

TURNING POINT

Phoenix put the Kings on blast to start the game, outscoring the Kings starters 36-17 in the first 12 minutes of action. Dave Joerger went to his bench in the second and the combination of Fox, Bogdanovic and Labissiere went to work. The trio helped cut the Suns lead from 21 in the first quarter to eight before the half. They stole the momentum of the game.

INJURY UPDATE

Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic returned from a sprained right ankle to make his NBA debut. Labissiere tweaked his right ankle in the fourth quarter, but was able to walk off under his own power and returned to the game late.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return home to host DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday at Golden 1 Center. They’ll stick around Sacramento to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday before heading back out on the road for three games.

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

With just under three minutes to go and the Warriors leading by 25 points, Steve Kerr put the end of the bench into the game.

Somehow, with the game in control, rookie Jordan Bell found a way to produce the highlight of the night.

After Bell got a piece of Dwight Powell's shot, JaVale McGee batted the ball ahead. With no one in front of him, the rookie tossed the ball off the backboard and threw down a dunk. The sequence left his Warriors teammates flabergasted. But Bell may have broken an unwritten rule about showboating in a blowout game.

After the game, Draymond Green was not having it with possible criticism of Bell.

"Listen man, when you get on the basketball floor, I don't care if you get out there with two minutes to go up 25 or with two minutes to go down 25, somebody is evaluating you. So you gotta play the game just like it's tied up or if you're up four or if you're down four. You gotta play the game the same way. Somebody is evaluating you. So if you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free and dunk the ball. He got an And One. It was a great play. So, I got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That's what he did. I don't get all up into the whole 'Ah man, they're winning by this much, that's bad.' Says who? Dunk the ball. What's the difference between if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it as opposed to grabbing it and dunking it? It's a dunk," Green told reporters in Dallas after the Warriors' 133-130 win.

Green was then asked what he thought of the play, regardless of game situation.

"Great play. Great play. Amazing. Did you see it? It was dope. He got an And One too. He missed the free throw though. We gotta talk about that. That's my message for him. Make the free throw," Green said.

Kerr reportedly apologized to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle after the game. Green commented on that.

"Steve's the coach. I'm not. That's not my problem," Green said.

Draymond wasn't the only member of the Green family defending Bell. His mom, Mary Babers-Green was on Twitter defending the rookie.

https://twitter.com/BabersGreen/status/922660243921874945