Warriors look to move to 29-1 against Kings tonight at Oracle

By Mike Baca

The Golden State Warriors look to stay perfect tonight as they take on the Sacramento Kings at the Oracle in Oakland. The Warriors (28-1) take on a Kings squad that limped through another home game at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Head Coach George Karl walked out of his post-game presser last night muttering, “i’m frustrated” after his squad repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with turnover and bad possessions down the stretch in a 98-94 loss to Portland on Sunday night.

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The Warriors await the return of Steve Kerr to their bench after his off-season back surgery led to health ailments that stretched into the regular season. The Warriors are perfect at home and look to continue the best start in NBA history as they host their neighbors to the north.

Game time is at 7:30pm on CSN Bay Area

Dave Henderson passes away after massive heart attack

 

Dave Henderson hits this home run against Donnie Moore in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS with the Red Sox down to their final strike.

(AP) — Former major league outfielder Dave Henderson has died at 57 after suffering a massive heart attack.

Henderson was best known for his home run in the 1986 AL Championship Series for Boston. With the Red Sox one strike from elimination in Game 5, Henderson hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth against the California Angels to send the series back to Boston. The Red Sox won Games 6 and 7 to advance to the World Series.

He also hit a tiebreaking, solo home run in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the ’86 World Series, but the Red Sox blew a 5-3 lead and a chance to win their first championship in 68 years, a drought that would continue another 18 years.

Henderson played in 575 regular-season games during that span, hitting .275 with 84 homers, 123 doubles and 322 RBIs. Henderson was an All-Star in 1991.

49ers road woes continue; Rodgers and Pack sacked by BirdGang

(AP) — Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns, including one to Calvin Johnson early in the fourth quarter, and the Detroit Lions beat the San Francisco 49ers 32-17 on Sunday.

The Lions (6-9) have won five of their last seven games, perhaps giving coach Jim Caldwell a chance to keep his job for a third season.

The 49ers (4-11) have lost three straight and five of six under first-year coach Jim Tomsula.

Detroit took advantage of several mistakes for San Francisco’s defense and special teams.

Stafford’s 1-yard TD pass to Johnson gave Detroit a 12-point lead one play after Tramaine Brock was called for pass interference in the end zone. During the drive, the 49ers were flagged for being offside or in the neutral zone for the seventh time to set a single-game high by an NFL team this year, according to STATS.

(AP) — Arizona sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times and returned two of his fumbles for touchdowns on Sunday in a dominant 38-8 victory that clinched a first-round playoff bye for the streaking Cardinals.

Carson Palmer threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for Arizona (13-2).

In all, the Packers were sacked nine times in by far their most one-sided loss of the season. Dwight Freeney had three and Calais Campbell 2 1/2. Cory Redding rambled 36 yards with one of the fumbles for a score, Jerraud Powers took another five yards for a touchdown.

The Packers (10-5) have a half-game lead over Minnesota in the NFC North with the Vikings facing the New York Giants Sunday night.

Green Bay is home against Minnesota in its regular-season finale next Sunday.

Redskins clinch NFC East; Manning denies doping allegations

 

(AP) — The Washington Redskins owned a 5-7 mark just three weeks ago, but they are NFC East champions today.

Kirk Cousins threw for a season-high 365 yards and four touchdowns as Washington rolled to its third consecutive win, a division title-clinching 38-24 triumph at Philadelphia. Cousins tossed his first two scoring strikes to Jordan Reed, who had nine receptions for 129 yards. DeAngelo Hall put the Skins in control by returning DeMarco Murray’s fumble 17 yards for a TD late in the third quarter about 1 1/2 minutes after Murray’s four-yard touchdown got the Eagles within 23-17.

The outcome eliminates the Eagles and New York Giants from NFC playoff race.

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Detroit to take on the Lions. The Niners come into the game with a 4-10 record.

(AP) — Peyton Manning is vehemently refuting a report set to air on Al Jazeera that contends the Denver Broncos quarterback received human growth hormone through his wife during his recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011 in Indianapolis.

Manning called the allegation “complete garbage and is totally made up. It never happened. Never.”

The allegations surfaced in an Al Jazeera undercover probe into doping in global sports that is set to air Sunday and was shared in advance with the Huffington Post.

British hurdler Liam Collins went undercover and spoke with Charlie Sly, an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who worked at an Indiana-based anti-aging clinic in 2011. Sly allegedly names Manning and other high profile athletes as having received HGH from the clinic. However, Sly backtracks in a subsequent statement to Al Jazeera, saying Collins secretly recorded his conversations without his knowledge or consent.

(AP) — Frank Beamer has won his final game as Virginia Tech’s head coach.

Michael Brewer threw for 344 yards and a touchdown in a 55-52 triumph over Tulsa in the Independence Bowl. Isaiah Ford had 12 receptions for 227 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown grab while the Hokies were building a 45-21 lead in the first half.

The 7-6 Hokies reeled off 38 straight points, capped by Greg Stroman’s 67-yard punt return.

The 69-year-old Beamer announced in November he would retire following the season. He finished with a 238-121-2 record at Virginia Tech over 29 seasons.

In other bowl game finals:

— Myles Gaskin broke a third-quarter tie with an 86-yard run and finished with a season-high 181 yards and four touchdowns to help Washington beat Southern Mississippi 44-31 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Gaskin was named the game’s MVP after gaining 170 yards on 17 carries in the second half.

— Luke Falk threw two touchdown passes to lead Washington State to a 20-14 victory over Miami in the snowy Sun Bowl at El Paso. Erik Powell added two field goals to help the 9-4 Cougars win a bowl games for the first time since the 2003 Holiday Bowl.

— Ross Martin kicked a 36-yard field goal in overtime before Griffin Oakes missed a 38-yard attempt to send Duke to his first bowl victory in 54 years, 44-41 against Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Shaun Wilson had 282 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns for the Blue Devils, including a 98-yard kickoff return.

— Chase Litton went 23 for 34 for 218 yards and one touchdown as Marshall earned its 10th win this season by beating Connecticut 16-10 in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Nick Smith had three field goals for the Thundering Herd, including a 32-yarder with 1:44 to play.

Warriors grind out win over Cavaliers in Finals rematch

(AP) — Draymond Green had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors got defensive in their NBA Finals rematch against Cleveland, beating the Cavaliers 89-83 on Friday.

Stephen Curry added 19 points and Klay Thompson had 18 for the Warriors, who improved to 28-1 by winning their 32nd straight regular-season home game. Instead of doing it with 3-pointers, defending champion Golden State maintained its edge over Cleveland by limiting the Cavaliers to 32 percent shooting.

LeBron James scored 25 points to lead the Cavaliers. They had their six-game winning streak snapped.

NBA Finals rematch as Warriors and Cavaliers tangle at Oracle

By Mike Baca

A Christmas day clash is capturing the imaginations of basketball fans as the 26-1 Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena on Christmas Day. The Warriors disposed of the short-handed Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals in June. Cleveland was missing power-forward Kevin Love (separated shoulder) and point guard Kyrie Irving (fractured knee cap) in the Finals and eventually the Warriors depth wore down LeBron and his mates.

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NBA fans have been pointed toward this match-up for weeks as they Warriors steam-rolled through the league winning 24 straight games. Cleveland has had an up and down start to their season but is now hitting its stride as Irving has just returned to the line-up after six months of rehabilitating his knee.

A Finals preview ? We shall see. One thing is for sure. The Warriors have the hardware and the Cavaliers want to show the Warriors what might have happened if they were healthy.

Game time is 2 pm buckle up

A’s target five possible relocation sites

(AP) — Oakland is pitching five sites as potential homes for a new stadium for the A’s.

The Oakland Tribune reported Thursday  that it had obtained a city report submitted to team officials in November that identified the five sites. They include two on a college campus and one at a U.S. Postal Service facility.

The newspaper said A’s co-owner Lew Wolff declined to discuss the sites. But he said the team was continuing to take a second look at possible stadium locations in its territory.

The A’s attempts to move to San Jose were blocked because the San Francisco Giants have rights to that territory.

Raiders need overtime to beat Chargers in possible Oakland finale

(AP) — Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime and the Raiders got a defensive stop to seal what might have been the final game ever in Oakland with a 23-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night.

Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass and led the winning overtime drive for the Raiders (7-8), who could be moving to the Los Angeles area after the season. It also made Charles Woodson a winner in his final home game with the Raiders as he will retire after his 18th NFL season.

Philip Rivers threw for 277 yards and a touchdown for the Chargers (4-11). They lost their seventh straight division game.

Warriors win 13th straight at home; Welcome Cavs on Christmas

(AP) — Klay Thompson scored 20 points, Stephen Curry added 16 with nine assists and the Golden State Warriors remained unbeaten at home this season with a 103-85 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

Andrew Bogut added 10 points and 13 rebounds while Draymond Green had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Warriors (27-1) in their final tuneup before an NBA Finals rematch against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas.

Golden State led by 10 with less than 6 minutes remaining before Curry’s second 3-pointer of the game sparked a 14-5 run to help the Warriors seal the victory. It was their 13th in a row at home this season and the 31st consecutive win at Oracle Arena dating to last season — an ongoing franchise record.

Derrick Favors had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who have lost five of seven.