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Seth Curry, Steph to test brotherly love in Western Conference finals

Seth Curry, Steph to test brotherly love in Western Conference finals

Arguably the two best backcourts in the game.

Damian Lillard returning to his hometown of Oakland, for what could be the final playoff series ever at Oracle Arena.

The potential returns of both Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.

The Western Conference finals matchup is now set after the Trail Blazers eliminated the Nuggets in Game 7 on Sunday, setting up a matchup with the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors. The series offers plenty of reasons for intrigue, but there's one in particular that stands out for its historical rarity.

And it's bound to stress out every member of the Curry family.

In these Western Conference finals, Portland's Seth and Golden State's Steph Curry will become just the seventh pair of brothers in NBA history to face each other in an NBA playoff series.

This, however, will be the first-ever time two brothers have gone head-to-head in the conference finals.

Apparently, the elder brother was anticipating this outcome:

It's a simultaneous best-and-worst-case scenario for Dell and Sonya Curry. One of their sons is guaranteed to play for the NBA championship. The other won't get the opportunity (this year, at least).

If you think that's tough, just imagine what Sunday would have been like had the Warriors not eliminated the Rockets in six games of their second-round series. Had that series gone seven games, their Game 7 would also have been on Sunday, forcing the Curry parents to divide-and-conquer in support.

Luckily for the parents, the Warriors handled business in Houston, allowing them to be present for Seth's contributions to Portland's thrilling Game 7 road win in Denver.

You can be sure the Curry parents will be in attendance for all games of the Western Conference finals, however many there may be.

How they split up the team allegiances, though, is anyone's guess.

Warriors wanted to sleep, but couldn't resist Blazers-Nuggets marathon

Warriors wanted to sleep, but couldn't resist Blazers-Nuggets marathon

by Monte Poole

HOUSTON – Steve Kerr had a plan late Friday night, but it was foiled by a group of men toiling nearly 2,000 miles away.

“I wanted to go wanted to go to sleep,” Kerr said after shootaround Saturday. “But I couldn’t, just like everybody else.”

Shaun Livingston had the same plan. The veteran guard’s eyes wanted to close, but he couldn’t help himself.

“Yeah, I was ready,” he said. “But that game kept up.”

“That game” was Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal in Portland between the Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets. It went into overtime. Then another OT. Then a third. And, finally, a fourth before the Blazers prevailed, 140-137.

Despite the two-hour time difference – which put the end of the Portland-Denver game well past 1 a.m. in Texas – the Warriors were watching because they have a 2-0 series lead over Houston in the other conference semifinal.

“I was in bed early, getting my sleep,” veteran wing Andre Iguodala joked. “It’s important for our four-OT game, right?”

Then came the truth, as it usually does with Iguodala.

“Nah, it was exciting basketball, two teams fighting it out. No subs. Just gutting it out.”

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic played 65 of a possible 68 minutes. Portland got 60 minutes from CJ McCollum and 58 from Damian Lillard.

Asked if he could imagine playing 65 minutes in a game, Kerr demurred.

“No. That was usually my totals for the postseason, in 20 games,” he said, not bothering to point out that he made three starts in 128 playoff games. “(That was) incredible. Both teams, the resilience. That was a great basketball game.”

Might being riveted to a game late Friday affect the Warriors on Saturday night for Game 3 against the Rockets? They don’t think so.

“The guys are young,” Kerr said. “They’ll get over it quickly. They’ll be all right.”

Kerr pointed to “getting some early stops” as the first indication of how mentally and physically the Warriors will be.

“We’ve got be ready to take their initial punch and be ready to counter,” Iguodala said. “I’m sure they’ll come out throwing blows, being ready. I’m sure that’s the message that was sent through the whole team, no matter who’s in the game. We’ve got a must-win situation.

WARRIORS HEAD COACH STEVE KERR OUT INDEFINITELY WITH CHRONIC PAIN

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WARRIORS HEAD COACH STEVE KERR OUT INDEFINITELY WITH CHRONIC PAIN

Still suffering with chronic pain after multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will step away from his duties for an indefinite period.

Kerr made the announcement Sunday afternoon, one day after he was unable to attend Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center. He conceded the possibility he could miss the rest of the postseason.

“This past week for whatever reason, things got worse,” Kerr said from the team hotel. “My symptoms got worse. And I was not able to coach. The last few days have been difficult.

“With things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn’t coach. As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”

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DURANT, LIVINGSTON, BARNES QUESTIONABLE FOR GAME 2 VS BLAZERS

DURANT, LIVINGSTON, BARNES QUESTIONABLE FOR GAME 2 VS BLAZERS

Kevin Durant hates to acknowledge injury, which is why he said he was OK Sunday despite being examined by a member of the Warriors training staff in the third quarter of Game 1 against Portland.

“I’m cool,” Durant said when asked about it after a 121-109 Warriors victory.

Durant is not so “cool” after all, as the Warriors announced the 6-foot-9 forward missed practice Tuesday because of a left calf strain and is questionable for Game 2 on Wednesday.

Backup guard Shaun Livingston also is listed as questionable, with a hand contusion and sprain of his right index finger. Reserve forward Matt Barnes, who missed Game 1 with a right ankle/foot sprain, also is listed as questionable.

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We're not unicorns- we do exist!

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We're not unicorns- we do exist!

BY: KELLI JOHNSON, CSN Bay Area

When people, and by people I mean both men and women, find out what I do for a living, it’s always the same response and question, “That’s cool! So you’re on TV?! Why sports broadcasting… do you like sports?”  Now, the inner smartass in me wants to say, “No, I hate sports.  I just think pro athletes are hot and rich and famous, and I just want to sleep with them and hang out in locker rooms!”  Because unfortunately that is exactly what many men (and even some women) think.  But instead, I give the standard explanation: I played college basketball.  My parents were both athletes and coaches and PE teachers so I literally grew up on the baseball field and in the gym, playing every sport I could.  But since I can’t play competitively anymore, I decided covering sports was the next best thing… so here I am.

It’s a conversation that seems harmless, and I really don’t mind sharing my story.  In fact, I’m very proud of my athletic career and upbringing, because I truly love sports and it’s a big part of who I am.  But does anyone ever ask a man in sports broadcasting, “Why did you pick that profession… do you like sports?”  I would guess that has possibly never been asked of a man, at least the latter part.  Because for some reason if you were born with a penis, you automatically know how to play sports and can understand sports.  And when a man gets on TV and talks about the Warriors win over the Cavaliers and Stephen Curry’s big night, he is automatically considered qualified and knowledgable.  I mean, does anyone ever think to ask a man who covers the NBA, did you actually play basketball?  We women get that question all the time. I love it when guys say, “what do you know about football, you never played it!”  Which is true - but do you know how many men cover the NFL who never played the game either? 

If we’re comparing resumes, I would venture to say that most of my male counterparts don’t have athletic careers that rival mine.  Did they play Division I sports on a full-ride scholarship?  Were they four-year starters and all-conference selections? Did they set scoring records and get inducted into their University’s Sports Halls of Fame?  I did.  But I don’t hand out my resume when I go to work just so that I can have the same respect as the men around me. Once I actually had an MLB team executive tell me that he Googled my name when I started covering the team and was impressed to read about my basketball career!  It was like he looked at me in a totally different way.  I suddenly had his respect.  And yet strangely, I kinda liked the fact that he looked me up, so at least he knew I had the credentials to be there.  But unfortunately, that is most often the case when you first start covering a team.  The front office, coaches and athletes are quick to judge you based on the very first question you ask… you can almost hear them thinking, “oh boy, let’s see if this woman knows what she’s talking about.”  

When I talk to young women who want to get into this business today, my first piece of advice is to always know what you’re talking about and be prepared to back it up. I tell them to do their homework and be more prepared then the men around them, because every time you open your mouth, you will be judged.  And the one time you mess up, mispronounce a name, get a stat wrong, it will be because you are a woman and just a cute skirt who doesn’t know sports.  That’s our reality in this so called man’s world.  And I gladly accept the challenge… because unlike many of my male counterparts, I am a retired athlete, who still needs to fuel my competitive fire.  So bring it on.  I love proving people wrong and showing I can “hang with the boys.”  I don’t even mind when I get that response from a guy at the bar who looks at me and says shockingly, “Wow, you really know your sports.  You’re like every guy’s dream girl!”  Yet another comment I’m sure my male counterparts don’t hear on a daily basis.  But I laugh.  It’s funny and sort of a back handed compliment.  I get it, it’s not every day you hear a woman talking about a cover two defense over sushi!  But we are not unicorns, we do exist. 

Of course, when I’m not behind the mic, I still really enjoy playing pickup ball and embarrassing dudes on the court, because they immediately assume that I can’t play.  Or playing in a golf charity event and having guys stare in amazement at my long drive right down the fairway, because you know girls aren’t supposed to be able to hit a golf ball… or throw a baseball… or make it rain like the Splash Brothers… or talk a good game!  After all, we’re missing that important piece of anatomy.  Oh and for the record, when we do have to go into the locker room to DO OUR JOBS, we aren’t trying to check anyone out! Only a man would do that.  

Report: 49ers to fire coach Chip Kelly

Report: 49ers to fire coach Chip Kelly

The 49ers are reportedly expected to fire coach Chip Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke after Sunday’s season finale.

The firing of Baalke has been expected for weeks. But Kelly, Oregon's former coach, was believed to have a chance to retain his job for a second season. Both ESPN and the NFL Network, citing league sources, reported both men are likely on the way out.

The 49ers had no comment about the reports.

Read more at CSNBayArea.com 

Seahawks defender: Kap gives 49ers best chance, Gabbert 'no challenge'

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Seahawks defender: Kap gives 49ers best chance, Gabbert 'no challenge'

Veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett was asked what kind of challenge Gabbert provided for the Seahawks defense.

“There is no challenge,” Bennett said. “He threw for 100 yards. The challenge is him reading the defense and staying in the pocket. What’s the point in running when you have to throw the ball? I think Kaepernick gives the team a better chance to win, but that’s just my opinion.”

[READ MORE AT CSNBAYAREA.COM]

49ers have no answers for Seahawks

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49ers have no answers for Seahawks

SEATTLE – Through the first 120 minutes of action this season, the Seattle Seahawks managed just 15 points.

But the sight of the 49ers proved to be the antidote to what ailed Russell Wilson and the Seahawks’ offense in the first two games.

Wilson, who had been hobbled with an ankle sprain, was his usual swash-buckling self, as he tore the 49ers apart with an array of deep throws. And running back Christine Michael had his way against the overmatched 49ers, too.

The 49ers were never in the game on Sunday, as the Seahawks put together a three-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in the first minute of the game and cruised to a 37-18 victory at CenturyLink Field.

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Lynch dramatically demonstrates support for Kap's protest

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Lynch dramatically demonstrates support for Kap's protest

Colin Kaepernick's silent protest during the national anthem has been a topic of much debate, and this week a former player well respected in the NFL community weighed in.

Marshawn Lynch, a Super Bowl winner with the Seattle Seahawks, appeared Tuesday on Conanwith host Conan O'Brien, to share his thoughts on the matter.

"With what's going on, you know, I'd rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered," Lynch told O'Brien and the crowd.

"My take on it is, (inaudible), got to start somewhere," he added. "And if that was the starting point, I just hope people open up their eyes to see that it's really a problem going on. And something needs to be done for it to stop.

"And I mean, if you're really not racist, then you won't see what he's doing as a threat to America, but just addressing a problem that we have."

The Seahawks, Lynch's former organization, embraced the protest, as the entire team linked arms on the sideline during the pregame ceremony. 

Kaepernick started the movement last month has gained more momentum across the country.

The 49ers quarterback revealed Tuesday that he has received death threats.

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DeForest Buckner quickly earning respect at first 49ers camp

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DeForest Buckner quickly earning respect at first 49ers camp

SANTA CLARA — DeForest Buckner is feeling pretty comfortable during his first NFL training camp.

The San Francisco 49ers' first-round pick is learning the NFL game from his former college coach, Chip Kelly. He's playing next to one of his best friends and former Oregon teammates Arik Armstead. Jerry Azzinaro, Buckner's college position coach, joined Kelly with San Francisco.

The familiar faces are helping Buckner's play stand out. The seventh-overall pick performed well enough during practice to earn time with the starters during the first week of training camp. In the early going, he's living up to the billing as one of the most highly-touted prospects in the recent NFL draft.

"(Buckner) worked his way from the third string all the way up to the first string," defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said. "We didn't give him anything. He had to earn it. So, he earned our respect. He earned the players' respect. I think all of our guys know, we don't care where you were drafted. You're going to have to earn it. Nothing is going to be given to you and he's done a nice job."

Buckner will try to improve the defense that ranked 29th in the NFL in 2015, when the team finished 5-11 and fired coach Jim Tomsula after one season. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive end has been difficult to block for offensive linemen during the first six training camp practices.

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