The series has shifted back to The Oracle as the Golden State Warriors look to build on their record-setting performance in a Game 2 win over the Nuggets. The Warriors torched the Nuggets for 131 points in a 131-117 win on Tuesday night, setting the stage for what figures to be a frenzied home crowd in Oakland on Friday night.
WARRIOR STEPH CURRY LED A RECORD SETTING SHOOTING DISPLAY IN A GAME 2 WIN IN DENVER
It wasn't only the 30-point and 13 assist peformance by Curry that grabbed everyone's attention, but it was the sharp-shooting of youngsters Klay Thompson (21 points) and rookie Harrison Barnes (26 points) that basketball fans stunned. It was the highest shooting percentage a team has shot in the playoffs (64%) since the 1991 Utah Jazz.
To build on their performance the Warriors will need to know that Denver will come out way more aggressive in Game 3 than they were in Game 2. The venerable head coach George Karl will make sure of that. Its unconscienable to think that the under-sized Warriors were able to out-rebound the bigger and more physical Nuggets 36-26. The Nuggets will make that adjustment. But, what Denver must figure out is how to defend the variety of options the Warriors throw at you. Fearing the perimeter shooting of Curry, Thompson and Barnes, the Nuggets were cheating on the wings defensively, in turn it opened up the lane allowing point guard Jarret Jack to penetrate to the rim and score or penetrate and dish once the expected collapse and rotation took place. Denver looked lost in defending both the other night. The Warriors can win this series if Denver continues to struggle and close out on shooters.
The health of Kenneth Faried is also pivotoal to the Denver chances in this series. Faried is the energizer for this Nugget team. He gives them juice and energy. He has been nursing a turned ankle and saw his first action the other night and certainly looked rusty. Denver NEEDS to "Manimal" to turn into the beast on the basketball court he has shown to be. His influence and presence not only helps his team, but it serves as spark for the Nuggets that they are able to use.
Game 3 will be a madhouse at Oracle. If the 2007 "We Believe" playoff run by the Warriors showed us anything, its that Warriors fans don't hold back when their team gives them hope.
DIVISION II WEST REGION RANKINGS ANNOUNCED...CHICO SITS AT NUMBER 2
The Chico State Baseball team (32-8) is the second ranked team in the first West Region Baseball Poll by NCAA members. The ranking determines the top six teams in the region that will compete at the NCAA West Regional on the third weekend of May. Many observers thought the Chico State Wildcats would garner the top spot in the region, but that distinction goes to the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters who check in at 30-12, but have a gaudy 18-5 record against teams with records above .500. Chico State is a rather pedestrian 12-8, but can improve on that number this weekend with four games against the 3rd-ranked team in the region Sonoma State.
The NCAA WEST REGION RANKINGS are as follows
1. Monterey Bay
2. Chico State
3. Sonoma State
4. Grand Canyon University
5. Dixie State
6. UC San Diego
8. Cal State Los Angeles
The 2013 West Region NCAA Tournament field will be announced on May 12th
CHICO STATE SOFTBALL CAN CLINCH CCAA TOURNEY BERTH ON FRIDAY AT HOME
The Chico State Softball team was floundering two weeks ago. Now, they are surging after a four-game road sweep of Sonoma State last weekend in Rohnert Park. The Wildcats have a magic number of 2 as they get ready to host UC San Diego this Friday and Saturday at the Chico State Softball Complex. Two-and-a-half weeks ago the Wildcats lost 6-of-7 in the Mizuno mid-season Tournament of Champions in Turlock. It was a disastrous trip against teams they will be competing against for spots in the West Regional. But, the Wildcats have been determined since and now sit in third place, one game behind the Tritons who visit them for double-dips this weekend. The match-ups are at 11am on both Friday and Saturday. With a pair of wins on Friday the Wildcats clinch a berth into the CCAA Softball Tournament.
SACRAMENTO LEARNS MONDAY THE FATE OF THEIR BELOVED KINGS
(AP) — The NBA committee deciding whether the Sacramento Kings should be sold and relocated to Seattle will hold a meeting via conference call Monday.
An NBA spokesman confirmed Thursday that the committee, consisting of 12 league owners, will convene on a call instead of in person. Whenever the committee issues a recommendation, NBA owners will have at least seven business days to review the report before a vote can take place.
The Maloof family has had an agreement since January to sell a 65 percent controlling interest in the Kings to a Seattle group led by hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has helped put together a competing counteroffer complete with a new arena plan and an ownership group headed by software tycoon Vivek Ranadiv
GIANTS FALL IN EXTRAS FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT DAY
(AP) — Pinch hitter Will Nieves delivered a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.
Gerardo Parra and A.J. Pollock also drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who beat the Giants in 11 innings on Tuesday night. Didi Gregorius had two hits.
Arizona led 2-1 before Brandon Crawford hit a tying homer off David Hernandez (1-0) with one out in the ninth.
Crawford also doubled home a run in the seventh and finished with three hits.
Matt Reynolds got three outs for his second save in as many days. Reynolds has yet to allow a run in 11 1-3 innings.
Chad Gaudin (0-1) took the loss.
A'S HEAD HOME AFTER 1-5 ROAD TRIP
(AP) — Stephen Drew hit a two-run triple, David Ortiz had two hits and drove in a run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Wednesday afternoon to take a three-game series.
It was Boston's ninth win in 12 games and came after a 13-0 loss to Oakland a night earlier.
Chris Young had a three-run homer and a solo shot for the Athletics, who finished a six-game road trip 1-5. They were swept at the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend.
Ortiz is 8 for 16 since returning to the lineup on Saturday for the first time since last August. He missed 71 of the final 72 games last season and all of spring training with an Achilles tendon injury.
SHARKS MISS CHANCE FOR HOME ICE IN FIRST ROUND OF PLAYOFFS
(AP) — Mike Smith stopped 33 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes prevented San Jose from moving up in the Western Conference standings with a 2-1 win over the Sharks on Wednesday night.
San Jose had a chance to pass Los Angeles for fourth in the West, but the Coyotes played more like the team still in the playoff hunt.
Phoenix beat Thomas Greiss for two goals in the first period and played the tight-checking style that had been so successful the previous three seasons. That left the Sharks tied with the Kings at 57 points.
Michael Stone and Keith Yandle both scored, and Shane Doan had a pair of assists for Phoenix.
Brent Burns scored and Greiss stopped 30 shots in his first start since March 6 for the Sharks, who will close the season against the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings in Los Angeles on Saturday.