In the 2012 NBA draft, Draymond Green had to wait until the 35th overall pick to hear his name called by the Golden State Warriors. “I was pissed,” he says. “I won’t lie. But when I look at it now, I wouldn’t change anything. ... I realized later that I fell into a great situation.” Green has emerged as a powerful presence as the Warriors attempt to clinch their Western Conference semifinals series Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Kings didn’t show much improvement last season, but perhaps their image around the NBA has. Before the 2012 draft, the top five prospects snubbed the Kings – wouldn’t work out for them. This year, some prospects are eager to talk. “I’m definitely willing to meet with every team, any team. I’m going to talk to everyone because I’m not the man yet,” says Murray State guard Cameron Payne at the draft combine in Chicago.
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The Los Angeles Clippers blow a 19-point, third-quarter lead and perhaps the Western Conference semifinals with a 119-107 loss to the Houston Rockets to leave the series tied 3-3. Game 7 is Sunday in Houston. The Clippers’ Blake Griffin, who finishes with 28 points, didn’t score in the final quarter. In the East, LeBron James struggles to score 15 points, Kyrie Irving limps off the court, and yet the Cleveland Cavaliers still beat the Chicago Bulls 94-73 to clinch their semifinal series in six games.
Few major-league hitters have been hotter than Oakland’s Stephen Vogt, the 30-year-old, left-handed-hitting catcher who is perhaps the most surprising name among the American League’s offensive leaders. He leads the league in RBIs (30) and has nine home runs, matching his total last season.
Bad things often happen – such as a 4-3 loss – when the Giants visit Cincinnati. Starter Tim Lincecum can’t get his footing and slides to his knee on one delivery. The Reds have won 12 of their last 15 regular-season games against the Giants at Great American Ball Park.
Hunter Pence, still on injury rehab assignment from the Giants, homers in the third inning as the River Cats defeat the host Las Vegas 51s 6-5 to end a four-game road losing streak. The River Cats hang on despite giving up five runs in the eighth inning.
Defensive lineman Justin Smith, teetering on the brink of retirement, shows up at the 49ers’ facility but does not meet with general manager Trent Baalke. Smith, in the final year of his contract, may reveal his decision today. If he returns, he says 2015 more than likely would be his final season.
Wheatland-based Herrera Ranch Racing, which will compete in Saturday’s Hangtown Motocross Classic, is short on funds but big in ambition when compared to factory teams.
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