They (still) believe.
It wasn’t pretty, they often had the composure of a pre-pubescent 8th-grade pickup team, but whatever, the Warriors’ championship aspirations survived and are currently flourishing.
Golden State completed its upset bid over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night by means of a white-knuckle 92-88 victory in front of a boisterous, yellow-clad Oracle Arena.
The closing minutes were hardly a thing of beauty, as the Warriors nearly squandered an 18-point lead in an 8-minute stretch where they committed seven fouls and coughed the ball away nine times.
In the grand scheme of things, though, it amounts to a thing of beauty on paper as they advance to the second round to take on the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, a team they went 2-2 against in the regular season.
“No, I will not watch that,” Warriors wunderkid Stephen Curry told The San Francisco Chronicle in reference to the team’s blundering effort down the stretch. “It was too much torture going through it. I understand how to be better in those situations. I won’t let that happen again.”
But all’s well that ends well…or something. The confetti fell, the Bay Area celebrated and Golden State is back into the second round since its last playoff appearance in 2007.
Even David Lee joined the playoff party.
Lee had previously been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs with a torn hip flexor. To the surprise of everybody, word spread that Lee would dress and potentially appear in Game 6.
The all-star forward only appeared for 83 seconds and missed his only shot, but provided an emotional spark for a team that struggled out of the gate. The Warriors will need him to combat San Antonio’s two-time Most Valuable Player, Tim Duncan.
Game 1 is tonight at 6:30 p.m. in San Antonio.
You’ve probably never heard of Guillermo Quiroz…
But you have now.
The Giants welcomed their bitter rivals from Los Angeles to AT&T Park for the first time this season over the weekend, and the Giants’ catchers both of the household and unknown variety did their best to make it a bitter visit.
One day after Buster Posey hit a walk-off home run in the 9th inning to seal a 2-1 victory for the Giants, Quiroz, a 31-year-old backup, hit his first home run since 2008 and in the process won the hearts of San Francisco to send everyone home in a 10-9 triumph.
Beating the Dodgers will do that around these parts.
The Giants’ 11th comeback victory of the season came after they had blown a 5-0 victory. Then Quiroz bailed the Giants out with his largely unexpected walk-off shot in the 10th inning.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting a home run,” manager Bruce Bochy told the Chronicle. “It was an emotional game, a roller coaster for both teams. “They did a great job at coming back, but so did we.”
Matt Cain helped San Francisco send Los Angeles home winless in a 4-3 nationally televised victory on Sunday night.
We’re in the playoffs too, you guys
The Warriors are rightfully stealing headlines with their playoff run, but down south the Sharks are surprising a few folk on the ice, too.
Considered an afterthought and sellers at the trade deadline, the San Jose Sharks made a run to capture the sixth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
They’re on track to advance to the next round after winning their first three games in Vancouver at the No. 3-seeded Canucks, with Friday’s triumph coming in dramatic fashion.
Patrick Marleau tied Game 2 in the final minute to send the game into overtime and Raffi Torres netted the game-winner in overtime.
The Sharks can wrap up the sweep in Game 4 on Tuesday night in San Jose.
Not fond of Los Angeles since 1984: @seanswaby