Monday, January 06, 2014

Bay Area Sports - Sunday Silencers

While the San Francisco Bay Area glistened with golden sunshine and mild temperatures this weekend, the rest of the country were in the clutches of a wet, wintry cold that's a reminder of the real reason the Clampetts "loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly."

So far California hasn't suffered the pouring rains that visit us in the winter months. Maybe its a sign; three of our NoCal sports teams are out of town raining down havoc on opponents and keeping the fan base here in the bay area as bright and cheery as the weather. the ice - the San Jose Sharks struck down the mighty Blackhawks in Chicago 3-2 with two goals scored in a shootout. The Sharks hadn't won in the windy city in six straight tries. And as the headline reads, "Victory Drought in Chicago Over." The two teams share the NHL Western Conference lead. Interesting to note, the Sharks did it with 33 saves from goalie #32 Alex Stalock, playing in place of starter Antti Niemi.

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) gets past Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
On the hard-court - the Golden State Warriors shot lights out in the third quarter, showering down a hailstorm of baskets that froze the Wizards and completed a comeback to ice the game. Warriors forward #11 Klay Thompson led the Warriors scoring going 6-for-9 on three point attempts and 26 total points. Final score was 112-96. The Warriors 30-5 run in the third helped extend their winning streak to nine straight games, five on the road.  One of those road wins was against the time-time defending champion Miami Heat.  The Warriors leave the nation's capitol tie for first place in the Western Conference with the L.A. Clippers.
On the gridiron - the San Francisco Forty-Niners, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, won their first playoff game in Green Bay in four tries, 23-20.  On a cold and blistery Lambeau Field, the Niners found a way to beat the Packers on a game ending field goal.  The game was a back-and-forth struggle full of  clutch performances by both teams. Every time the home team gained momentum the visiting Bay Area team would snatch it right back.  Credit the arms and legs of Kid Kaepernick for keeping his team on course toward the divisional playoff round.  When Packers fullback John Kuhn botched his 'Lambeau Leap' touchdown celebration in the fourth quarter, I saw it as I sign of things coming up short for the home team.  Kuhn's 1-yd TD run gave the Packers their last lead of the game.

And just for posterity sake, the California Women's basketball team made history at home in their 101-98 overtime win against Oregon. It was the most combined points ever in a women's basketball game at Haas Pavilion. The No.23 ranked Golden Bears, coached by Lindsay Gottlieb, went on a second half 21-11 run that the Oregon Ducks weathered and bounced back from to tie at 88-88, sending the game into overtime.  The Ducks are led by coach Paul Westhead, former L.A. Lakers coach (1979-81), who's fast tempo offense and pressing defense was a good early season test for the Bears. They  passed the exam thanks in part to a gutty performance by junior forward-center Reshanda Gray's 33 points.

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