Clippers interested in Danny Granger, who’s available

first_imgThe Danny Granger chase is on and the Clippers are in the thick of it.Granger, traded from Indiana to Philadelphia, had his contract bought out by the 76ers on Wednesday and is now free to sign.“Of course,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers answered when asked if the Clippers are interested. Then again, so are other teams like the San Antonio Spurs, it was reported, as well as Houston, Dallas and Chicago.“Obviously a guy with that talent, you want to look at, there’s no doubt about it,” Rivers said. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I don’t know if we’re going to make it THE destination, but we want it to be one of them. We’ve just got to keep being a good basketball team and the rest of this stuff will follow.”Barrage of threesWinning their last two games on the road became an easier proposition for the Clippers once they started hitting 3-pointers. In the wins over Oklahoma City and New Orleans, the Clippers shot a combined 29 of 58 from long distance.Jamal Crawford, of course, led the way with 12 of those 3-pointers and benefits from having Chris Paul and Blake Griffin occupying the defense.“We’ve fallen in love with it all year, we just haven’t made them,” Rivers said. “And now they’re going in and we’re noticing they’re going in. I kept saying I think we’re a good 3-point shooting team, I just wish they went in.“We’re always going to pretty much have good balance. The ball’s going to be in Chris’ hands, the ball’s going to be in Blake’s hands, so I think our balance will be good. The better we shoot them, the more dangerous we become because guarding Blake with 3-point shooters around him, guarding Chris with 3-point shooters around him, that makes us pretty good.”center_img “I don’t think it is up to us. I think it will be up to Danny. I think there will be a lot of teams going after him and there should be. We’re going to have our day to talk.”The Clippers still have two open spots on the roster after they jettisoned Antawn Jamison and Byron Mullens last week. That keeps them in the hunt for any possible free agent that might pop up, such as Granger.Former Clipper Caron Butler, for example, has an impending buyout from the Milwaukee Bucks, with the Miami Heat reported to be interested in him.Rivers not only likes the flexibility, he’s building a destination.“You at least want the opportunity, that doesn’t mean you get one,” Rivers said. “But at least you have the opportunity to do it, so so far, so good.last_img read more

Scott Van Slyke’s walk-off home run gives Dodgers 5-3 win over Marlins

first_imgScott Van Slyke has your back.A baserunning blunder by Joc Pederson that costs a run? No worries, Van Slyke makes a spectacular running catch and throw to nail a runner at the plate.A rare ninth-inning meltdown by the Dodgers bullpen? No problem. Van Slyke answers with a booming three-run walk-off homer for a wild 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday to send the crowd of 44,941 into a frenzy.• Photos: Dodgers celebrate walk-off win over Marlins Van Slyke went 3 for 4 with a double and a homer to end an 0-for-12 drought.“It’s reassuring knowing that guys can pick you up if you’re having a bad game,” Van Slyke said. “You have confidence the guy coming in for you is going to pick you up.“I like the way this team is playing.”VIDEO: Scott Van Slyke on how the team picks each other upSuddenly Pederson’s baserunning blunder, being doubled off first base on a rather spectacular catch and throw by Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, was forgiven. Imagine the outcry if Yasiel Puig had been doubled up in that fashion.Van Slyke caught a sinking liner off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria. Then as he was still charging, fired a strike to the plate to barely nail Yelich to escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh.That’s the way the Dodgers are playing these days.“When I let it go, I knew it was going to be on line, but I was not sure how well I threw it because I was on the run,” Van Slyke said. “(Catcher) Yasmani (Grandal) walked off the field. He made it pretty obvious he thought he got him.”VIDEO: Watch Scott Van Slyke break down his game-changing throw to the plateSo when nearly invincible Yimi Garcia gives up a two-run homer to former Westlake High star Christian Yelich, Van Slyke again picked up his teammate.Van Slyke said non-everyday players have a friendly competition amongst each other.“I don’t know. I’ll have to check the stats, but that sure helps,” Van Slyke said. “It’s just a friendly game of fantasy baseball. RBIs, runs, base on balls, good plays on defense.“No sabermetrics though. We’re old-school.”VIDEO: Scott Van Slyke breaks down the non-sabermetrics fantasy game the non-everyday players play Greinke threw seven strong innings, allowed just one run — a seventh-inning homer by Marcel Ozuna — with six hits, five strikeouts and two walks.Greinke did not factor into the decision, but remained unbeaten since Aug. 9, 2014 when he last lost against Milwaukee. He has recorded a 1.95 ERA since that loss, yielding just 21 earned runs in 97-plus innings.Greinke also recorded his seventh straight quality start (at least six innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs allowed) to begin the season. Only Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 and Brad Penny in 2007 have had more quality starts to open a season (eight).The Dodgers now stand at 47-20 in Greinke’s starts since he joined the Dodgers, a .703 winning percentage.Though Pederson’s baserunning blunder loomed large, the rookie outfielder redeemed himself with a single up the middle to score Van Slyke for a 2-1 lead in bottom of the seventh inning following Van Slyke’s spectacular throw.The bullpen looked as if it was going to take care of business.Lights-out Adam Liberatore struck out the only two batters he faced in the eighth and has retired 28 of the 29 batters he faced in 9 2/3 scoreless innings to start his career. Chris Hatcher closed the eighth by getting the only batter he faced.Then Garcia came undone.Garcia allowed two runs with three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning and left the game with the bases loaded. JP Howell got the final out to limit the damage and eventually earn the victory.Garcia has been nearly unhittable for the Dodgers with a 0.63 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 14 innings entering the game. Batters were just 4 for 48 against him entering the game for a mere .083 average. He saw his string of 12 1/3 scoreless innings come to an end.The game served as a reunion with Dee Gordon, who returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since an offseason trade to the Marlins. Gordon received a warm ovation from the Dodger Stadium faithful but went 0 for 4 with a walk and was caught stealing.Gordon did make a behind-the-back throw to first place on a soft tapper by Grandal to end the sixth. “I didn’t think about it too much,” Greinke said of Gordon’s speed. “I hold runners pretty good. I’m not too worried. I’d rather face that than Stanton with two guys on base.”VIDEO: Zack Greinke breaks down his performanceThe Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Howie Kendrick hit an opposite-field double to right field to lead off the inning, took third on Adrian Gonzalez’s single to left field, extending his hitting streak to 10 games, and scored on Justin Turner’s run-scoring force out.But the Dodgers managed just one run and three hits in six innings against Miami starter Tom Koehler.Steve Cishek got the loss after giving up Van Slyke’s homer. “It was like, ‘Dang, he’s doing it all today,’” said Dodgers starter Zack Greinke, who delivered another stellar seven-inning performance. “Thinking about it, it seems like he was on base every time. He always does well in the outfield. He doesn’t get enough credit, but he does a very good job out there.“This is fun. We’ve been playing well, and you always kind of think we’re going to win.”VIDEO: Zack Greinke reflects on heroics of Scott Van SlykeVan Slyke hit his second homer of the season. It was also the second career walk-off homer by Van Slyke, whose other one came off Arizona’s Josh Collmenter in 2013.Van Slyke appeared to embrace the inevitable ice water showers during the postgame interview.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more