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Curry Breaks 3-Point Record, Warriors Beat Blazers 116-105 

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Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry goes in for a shot as Toronto Raptors' Terrence Ross (31) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry goes in for a shot as Toronto Raptors’ Terrence Ross (31) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

ANTONIO GONZALEZ, AP Basketball Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry never talks about his case for NBA MVP unless he’s asked. Instead, he prefers to let his play speak for itself.

Note to Curry: The message is coming through loud and clear.

Curry eclipsed his own NBA record for most 3-pointers in a season, scoring 45 points to rally the Golden State Warriors to a 116-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

“I finally played a fourth quarter,” he joked, indirectly referring to how many lopsided wins have limited his playing time. “So I wanted to get out there and make some plays.”

Curry entered the game four shy of his mark of 272 3-pointers, which he set two years ago in the season finale at Portland. He hit six before halftime and eight overall, teaming with fellow Splash Brothers star Klay Thompson to bring the Warriors back from 13 points down.

Curry finished 17-of-23 shooting, including 8 of 13 from 3-point range, which had Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob salivating over the statistics following coach Steve Kerr’s postgame news conference.

“Unbelievable,” Lacob said.

Curry added 10 assists, and Thompson scored 26 points to help Golden State avoid its first three-game losing streak this season. Curry became the first Warriors player with at least 45 points and 10 assists in a game since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.

“He played like he wants to be MVP,” Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge said.

And indeed he does.

“He never says anything about it,” Kerr said of Curry’s candidacy, “but you better believe he wants it.”

The Warriors (64-15), who had already secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs because of a tiebreaker over East-leading Atlanta, clinched the NBA’s best record.

Aldridge had 27 points and six rebounds, and Damian Lillard added 20 points and eight assists for the Blazers, who had already locked up the Northwest Division. However, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll get home court in the first round — that’s based on record — and Portland (51-28) fell two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers (53-26) in its chase for that, mostly because it couldn’t corral Curry.

“We tried to mix up our coverages a little bit because he came out making shots from everywhere,” Lillard said. “It pretty much just didn’t matter. He made shots with a hand in his face, off balance, deep, everything. He just had it going.”

On one play in the fourth quarter, Curry lost Lillard on the perimeter with a nifty behind-the-back dribble late. He threw up a 3 and ran down court as if he knew it would go in — and it did.

Curry added another jumper and converted a reverse layup between a pair of Portland scores to put the Warriors up 102-97 with more than 3 minutes to play.

But Lillard and Aldridge kept bringing the Blazers back with an inside-out, two-man game that gave Golden State fits. Portland moved within a point before Golden State’s All-Star duo put away the game.

Curry made three free throws, Thompson broke free for a layup and Curry delivered the dagger — crossing over Aldridge in the corner and hitting a step-back shot from 18 feet that gave Golden State a 111-103 lead with 1:11 left.

“He’s our MVP,” Thompson said. “He should be for the league.”

___

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Aldridge had his 50th game with at least 20 points this season. … Portland lost all three games against the Warriors this season.

Warriors: Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa sat out with a sore Achilles. … Golden State has won 15 consecutive home games.

AFFLALO INJURED

Blazers shooting guard Arron Afflalo left in the fourth quarter with a right arm injury after trying to post-up Curry. The team said he will undergo further medical evaluation on Friday. The Blazers are already missing starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who is out for the season after rupturing his left Achilles tendon last month.

MORE MILESTONES

In a season filled with records, the Warriors matched a few more. They tied the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers for the biggest improvement for a 50-win team. Each team won 13 more games than the previous year. In addition, the Warriors improved to 36-2 at Oracle Arena this season, tying the franchise record for home wins set by the defending champion Warriors in 1975-76.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Host Utah on Saturday.

Warriors: Host Minnesota on Saturday

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Black History

IN MEMORIAM: Referee Jim Burch Got the Final Whistle in The Game

Jim Burch was also inducted into eight different halls of fame, including the CIAA John B. McLendon Jr. Hall of Fame (February 2019). To recognize the hard work of student athletes who exemplify the qualities of academic excellence, involvement in public service, and love of athletic competition, Burch established the James T. Burch Scholarship.

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jim burch
Jim Burch

By Tamara Shiloh

Created in 1953, the Atlantic Coast Conference, an athletic conference headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., quickly rose to prominence. Within 13 years, the university and college teams in its membership had a number of victories to its credit. North Carolina State University won the first three championships, and the conference was getting heavy exposure outside of the region. Several ACC teams went to the Final Four of the NCAA’s basketball championships. In North Carolina, Duke University took four titles, Wake Forest University took two and University of North Carolina had one victory as did the University of Maryland.

Life inside the ACC could not have been better, except for one minor but not overlooked detail: there were no Black players or officials.

But Jim Burch (1926–2019), who began his officiating career with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1959, would become the first, signing on with the ACC in 1969. His debut, however, was delayed for a season because “he reportedly refused to cut his hair and sideburns.”

A Raleigh, N.C., native raised in Larchmont, N.Y., Burch was a 1949 graduate of North Carolina’s Fayetteville State University. There he was a two-sport athlete – football and baseball – having large dreams.

Burch “talked about sitting in the ‘colored’ section of Reynolds Coliseum watching games, telling his friends that he was going to be on that court someday,” ACC referee Jamie Luckie told ESPN in 2019 referring to the sports complex in Raleigh, N.C. “They said he was crazy, and sure enough, he was on that court one day.”

Burch never made a big deal out of the historic mark, although many would benefit from his humility. He would train and mentor hundreds of officials over the years. In fact, it was Burch who gave Luckie his start in refereeing.

Throughout his 60-year career, Burch officiated in the CIAA, ACC, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and Southern Conference. He also worked 14 National Collegiate Athletic Association tournaments and was an educator and administrator within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District.

Working as an educator made Burch “an unbelievable teacher of the game in terms of what he wanted us to do on the floor, how he wanted us to deal with coaches, how he wanted us to communicate, and just his delivery and style was one where he could get it across to you, but he was a teacher. That never stopped,” Luckie said.

Burch continued to make monumental achievements as well as give back.

Many of those he trained moved into CIAA, ACC, Southern Conference, and NCAA championship careers. He was twice featured in the NCAA Champions Magazine, served on numerous civic boards, and was the first African American to serve on the Charlotte Housing Authority board.

Burch was also inducted into eight different halls of fame, including the CIAA John B. McLendon Jr. Hall of Fame (February 2019).

To recognize the hard work of student athletes who exemplify the qualities of academic excellence, involvement in public service, and love of athletic competition, Burch established the James T. Burch Scholarship.

Before retiring in 2018, he served as the head coordinator of officials for the South Atlantic Conference and the CIAA.

Burch died at his home in North Carolina in 2019 at the age of 91.

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Bay Area

Skyline High Girls Volleyball Team Makes History

The team played in Orange County, taking on Santa Clarita Christian School in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5 CIF State Championship match.

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The Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team
The Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team.

As the season comes to a close for the Skyline High School Girls Volleyball team, the members are celebrating that they went farther than any Skyline or OUSD/OAL volleyball team ever has. On the final day, November 19, the team played in Orange County, taking on Santa Clarita Christian School in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5 CIF State Championship match. Skyline fell short 3 games to 1, coming in as runner-up. The photo above shows the team posing with their trophy after the match.

 

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Commentary

OPINION: Would You Pressure Your Kid’s Coach to Apologize for Winning by 106-0?

“Regarding Inglewood H.S. vs. Morningside H.S. Friday night 10/29 game, we at the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) are saddened beyond words by the events that transpired at the football game Friday between Inglewood and Morningside high schools,” the IUSD stamen read. “We will conduct a full investigation and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that a similar outcome never happens again under an IUSD athletic program.”

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Inglewood Football Coach Mil’Von James (Nick Koza/Photo)
Inglewood Football Coach Mil’Von James (Nick Koza/Photo)

By Kenneth Miller | Inglewood Today

Coaches push the athletes they train to put their all into mastering the mental and physical aspects of their sport, preparing them to edge out competitors and perform at the height of their abilities.

But there are real-life situations, it seems, when attaining excellence proves to be too much – or maybe just not good enough.

This seems to have been the case October 29 when an impressive shut-out victory for Inglewood High School in Los Angeles County ended up turning into a bitter crosstown game of guilt, blame and grievances. That day, Inglewood High football coach and former Cleveland Browns defensive back Mil’Von James led his team to a 106-0 victory over rivals Morningside High School.

Since that shellacking, education authorities have blasted James and Inglewood High for being too focused on winning that they failed to exhibit a spirit of compassion and sportsmanship.

The California Interscholastic Federation -Southern Section (CIFSS), the governing body of high school athletics in the state, released a scathing statement regarding the wide margin of the game’s final score.

“The CIF Southern Section expects that all athletic contests are to be conducted under the strictest code of good sportsmanship. “We expect coaches, players, officials, administrators and students to adhere to the Six Pillars of Character – Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship,” CIF-SS fired off in a statement.

“A score of 106-0 does not represent these ideals,” the statement continued. “The CIF-SS condemns, in the strongest terms, results such as these. It is our expectation that the Inglewood administration will work towards putting in place an action plan so that an event such as this does not repeat itself.”

James, 38, said it was not his intention to degrade or demoralize the Morningside High team.

“I apologized for the way things turned out,” James said even though, during the game, he benched his defensive starters after the second quarter and most of his other frontline players in the second half.

But Inglewood continued to run up the score on its hapless opponent.

Anyone who knows James personally would know – and can attest to the fact — that his intent was never to bring shame to the game that he loves.

Coaches like James who have played college and pro football understand the fierce competitiveness it requires for young people to succeed when pursuing careers as professional athletes. They train their students to be warriors, to dominate their opponents. Varsity sports is the highest level of competition in high school.

Today, the advancement of training techniques and year-round coaching and development increases the likelihood that schools with the resources will outperform schools with sports programs that are underfunded or under-supported.

Since he became coach at Inglewood High three seasons ago, James has taken the team from a losing streak to being nearly undefeated. During that time, the team has moved from CIF-SS Division 13 to Division 2.

Inglewood student athletes have advantages in coaching and preparation that Morningside and many other schools do not.

James was a star on the football squad at Fremont High School in Los Angeles where he graduated in 2003. In college, he first played for the UNLV Rebels where he led the nation in passes; before transferring to UCLA and playing for the Bruins from 2003-2005.

After brief stints in the NFL and the Canadian Football League on the roster for the Cleveland Browns and the Vancouver Lions respectively, James began coaching high school football.

He is the founder and director of one of most successful ‘7 on 7’ leagues in the nation, responsible for scores of future and current high school, collegiate and professional players.

Chances are, if you have observed any top football program in California, you have you witnessed his impact on young players, their development and their unmatched leadership skills – on the field and off it.

The Inglewood Unified School District also blasted James and Inglewood High.

“Regarding Inglewood H.S. vs. Morningside H.S. Friday night 10/29 game, we at the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) are saddened beyond words by the events that transpired at the football game Friday between Inglewood and Morningside high schools,” the IUSD stamen read. “We will conduct a full investigation and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that a similar outcome never happens again under an IUSD athletic program.”

High school sports, in many schools, is a training ground for college and pro athletes. Schools that have better resources will always have an edge.

It is unfortunate that this incident has placed a dark cloud over a high school sports program. Inglewood High’s football program should be celebrated for its league championship and undefeated record in a school district that is still in state receivership.

Kenneth Miller is the publisher of Inglewood Today.

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