Leading Off

Rockets beware: Warriors won’t roll over as Clippers did

Golden State Warriors players laugh on the bench in the second half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, May 15, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn.
Golden State Warriors players laugh on the bench in the second half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, May 15, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. AP

This, that and the other:

▪ Houston, you have a problem.

The Golden State Warriors are not the Los Angeles Clippers, who proved in the second round of the NBA playoffs to have about as much substance as a jelly doughnut.

The Warriors won’t take a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven playoff series and choke on it as if it were a chicken bone, especially since they are playing for the Western Conference championship and a ticket to the NBA Finals.

▪ The Warriors have the Rockets right where they want them.

Houston has allowed an average of 121.6 points on the road in the postseason.

Yes, that is Stephen Curry salivating.

▪ As easy as it would be to blame general manager Billy Beane for the A’s horrible start, Oakland fans may want to check the quarters in their pockets.

They would find a profile of Beane with the words, “In Billy We Trust.”

Yes, the team has been in a tailspin since Beane traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox on July 31. But as poorly as this year’s club has performed, Beane deserves the benefit of the doubt – for now – because of his track record.

Because at some point, you expect the A’s to win 20 games in a row.

▪ As good as it was for Giants fans to see Hunter Pence back in right field, manager Bruce Bochy has a tough, but nice, problem: finding playing time for Justin Maxwell.

If Maxwell’s average hadn’t dipped from .333 to .248 in the past month, he might be in left field with Nori Aoki on the bench.

▪ More than 160 family members, friends, former Giants and sportswriters gathered at AT&T Park on Monday to remember former Bee staff writer Nick Peters, who died March 23. Stories were told, and tears and laughs flowed throughout a fitting farewell to a true Giant among sports scribes.

Victor Contreras: (916) 326-5527, @sacbeevictor

Playbook

WHAT TO WATCH

NBA playoffs, Rockets at Warriors, 6 p.m., ESPN: Golden State’s home loss to Memphis gives Houston hope in the Western Conference finals.

TWITTER CHATTER

@baseballmarty (Marty Lurie): “My goodness how about (Hunter) Pence? What can you say...holy cow...”

ON THIS DATE

May 19, 1979: Spectacular Bid, ridden by Ron Franklin, wins the Preakness Stakes by 51/2 lengths over Golden Act. He finished third in the Belmont Stakes, failing to become the third consecutive Triple Crown winner.

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