NHL owners, players move closer to votes

Updated 10 January 2013
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NHL owners, players move closer to votes

NEW YORK: All that is left of the NHL lockout are a pair of votes by owners and players.
If both sides approve the tentative deal reached over the weekend — as expected — training camps will be open by Sunday.
The league’s board of governors will meet on Wednesday in New York, and the 30 club owners will vote on the agreement that was reached in the early morning hours of Sunday after a 16-hour negotiating session.
If a majority approves, the NHL will move one step closer toward the official end of the lockout that began Sept. 16.
The league and the players’ association were still working on one more key piece of business on Tuesday night that must be settled before hockey is truly back.
“We are trying to finalize a summary document, and we are very close on that,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an e-mail. “That will be turned into a (memorandum of understanding) with more detailed language that won’t be signed until this coming weekend.” The union was waiting for that initial document before it scheduled a vote for its more than 700 members. A majority of players also must approve the deal before the lockout can end.
If there are no snags, ratification could be finished by Saturday and training camps could open Sunday. A 48-game regular season would then be expected to begin on Jan. 19.
“(We) don’t need a signed document to complete ratification process,” Daly wrote, “but we do need a signed agreement to open camps. The goal is to get that done by Saturday so that we can open camps on Sunday.” The NHL has yet to release a new schedule. The regular season was supposed to begin on Oct. 11.
The deal was reached Sunday, the 113th day of the lockout, and seemingly saved a season that was delayed for three months and cut nearly in half. It took a marathon final bargaining session in a New York hotel for the agreement to finally be completed at about 5 a.m. local time.
The lockout led to the cancelation of at least 480 games, depending on the length of the upcoming season. That brings the total of lost regular-season games to a minimum of 2,178 during three lockouts under Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The damage is significant. Perhaps $1 billion in revenue could be lost this season, given about 40 percent of the regular-season schedule won’t be played. Players also will lose a large part of their salaries, not to mention time from their careers.
Hockey’s first labor dispute was an 11-day strike in 1992 that led to the postponement of 30 games. Bettman became the commissioner in February 1993. He presided over a 103-day lockout in 1994-95 that ended with a deal on Jan. 11, then a 301-day lockout in 2004-05 that made the NHL the only major North American professional sports league to lose an entire season. The NHL obtained a salary cap in the agreement that followed that dispute and now wanted more gains.
The NHL’s revenue of $3.3 billion last season lagged well behind the NFL ($9 billion), Major League Baseball ($7.5 billion) and the NBA ($5 billion), and the deal will lower the hockey players’ percentage from 57 to 50 — owners originally had proposed 46 percent.
This was the third lockout among the major US sports in a period of just more than a year. A four-month NFL lockout ended in July 2011 with the loss of only one exhibition game, and an NBA lockout caused each team’s schedule to be cut from 82 games to 66 last season.


Curry comes alive to score 35, Warriors rout Rockets by 41

Updated 21 May 2018
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Curry comes alive to score 35, Warriors rout Rockets by 41

OAKLAND, California: Stephen Curry got his groove back to score 35 points with five 3-pointers, shooting over James Harden and driving past the Houston star as the Golden State Warriors made a second-half statement to beat the Rockets 126-85 on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Kevin Durant added 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Draymond Green grabbed 17 rebounds to go with 10 points and six assists. The Warriors won an NBA-record 16th consecutive home postseason game, surpassing the Chicago Bulls’ mark of 15 in a row from April 27, 1990-May 21, 1991.
The defending champions got defensive — and maybe a little mad — after a 127-105 Game 2 defeat Wednesday night at Houston, determined to make stops to ignite the transition game and open up 3-point shooters.
And they eventually got Curry going with 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the third quarter.
Harden had 20 points and nine assists, while Chris Paul added 13 points and 10 rebounds as they combined to shoot just 12 for 32.
Game 4 is Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
Curry and Durant each scored five quick points as Golden State opened the third quarter with a 10-0 burst to go ahead 64-43.
Under pressure from Paul, Curry swished a 3 from way back with 5:06 left in the third. He struggled with his long-range shot again early but drove through the paint at every chance.
Curry hit a baseline 3-pointer at the 9:02 mark of the first but missed his next five 3s before going 4 for 5 in the second half. He is now 7 of 25 from long range — he made one in each of the first two games.
The Warriors’ five starters all scored in double figures, the first time they’ve done so this postseason.
Trevor Ariza and Green received a double-technical with 6:49 to play when Ariza shoved Green as they traded words.
Both potent offenses were slow getting rolling as the teams played strong defense.
Harden and Paul began 3 for 14 with Paul missing six shots before getting his first basket on goaltending against Andre Iguodala 2:39 before halftime.
Golden State began getting the looks it liked after halftime. The Warriors faced more stingy, in-the-face pressure from Houston, making it hard to get any early flow shooting. Durant hit his first 3 6:27 before halftime then missed from the deep the next time down.
A moment of silence was held before the national anthem for victims of the Houston school shooting.

TIP-INS
Rockets: The Rockets surrendered 10 fast-break points in the first period while getting none of their own. ... They were outrebounded 49-41 and shot 32 for 80 from the floor.
Warriors: Kevon Looney had two key blocks off the bench in the first. ... Durant notched his 20th straight postseason game with 20 or more points. ... Golden State is 36-5 at home in the playoffs since the 2015 postseason. ... Thompson (1,786) moved past Rick Barry (1,776) for second place on the Warriors’ career postseason scoring list. ... Curry (712) moved past Barry (699) into sole possession for most postseason baskets in franchise history. ... The “Run TMC” trio of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin were honored with a standing ovation during a first-quarter timeout. On Monday, Richmond will introduce Hardaway as he goes into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame of which Richmond and Mullin are already members.


PAUL’S HEALTH
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni made the point once again about Paul being healthy: “There’s nothing wrong at all.”
“We’re not going to win without him,” D’Antoni said. “So if he’s got to limp and drag his leg to the finish line, so be it. And he’s ready to do that.”


ORACLE AURA
That deafening, bright yellow sellout crowd was imposing once again.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Is Oracle tough to play?’ Yeah, because the Warriors play here,” D’Antoni said. “There’s a certain energy that their fans will give them and moments they hit two or three 3s you can get a buzz going that helps the home team. You just have to try to keep that crowd out as much as you can.”