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News » A time to unload


A time to unload


A time to unloadThe Warriors needed this one, and they played like it.

With Stephen Jackson's agent publicly spitting venom at their coach and their franchise, and a five-game road trip looming without their starting center, the Warriors responded with their best game of the young season Monday night.

Monta Ellis got it going, Corey Maggette kept it going and Kelenna Azubuike made sure he isn't going anywhere as the Warriors dismantled Minnesota 146-105 in front of 15,468 at Oracle.

"We needed this bad," Jackson said. "The last two games, we got blown out by teams of our caliber. This is good, because we're laughing more and talking more.

"It's good for the young guys' confidence."

Ellis had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Maggette turned a 40-40 tie into a runaway, and Azubuike solidified his spot in the starting lineup with his fourth career 30-point game.

The Warriors' offense, which has been bogged down by stagnant play, suddenly looked like the fast-paced, pass-happy unit that coach Don Nelson has been pining to see. They raced to 42 fast-break points and scored 66 points in the paint, and Jackson had a career-high 15 assists to go with 10 points.

Anthony Randolph added 23 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and Anthony Morrow had 20 on 5-for-6 three-point shooting in a reserve role.

"We came out and we set the tone early with our energy and effort," Ellis said. "We can say we're frustrated or say this or that, but we have to go out there and play Basketball.

"That's what we did tonight."

Enough went right to put the drama on the backburner, for at least one night. Jackson's agent, Mark Stevens, questioned Nelson's honesty and the state of the Warriors' franchise in an ESPN report published Monday, and the Warriors found out before the tip that Andris Biedrins won't make the trip with a sore lower back and muscle inflammation in his groin and abdomen.

The Warriors mostly eschewed Stevens' comments.

"I hope his lawyer says something negative about me tomorrow," Nelson said. "Maybe it'll charge him on.

"I can take it if he plays like that."

Biedrins, who wrenched his back in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's win over Memphis, reinjured it Sunday at Sacramento.

By the time the Warriors scored 74 first-half points - their most in a half in exactly seven months - and expanded their lead to 111-77 after three quarters, none of the pregame worries seemed to matter.

Ellis still has some work to do in becoming a vocal leader, but his teammates can follow the physical tone he is setting in the meantime. He had 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting, four rebounds and two assists by halftime and was so active that it sometimes looked like he was guarding two or three players at a time.

With the score tied 40-40 in the second quarter, Maggette took control. He scored nine of the Warriors' 11 points and assisted Ellis for a layup on the other basket during an 11-2 run that gave them a 51-42 lead.

Nelson has said he's going to keep Azubuike in the starting lineup "for a while," and the forward made sure it'll be a long while. He had 31 points - two points off his career high - in 29 minutes.

Up next at Pacers 2-3 4 p.m. WednesdayCSNBA/1050Second-year center Roy Hibbert is averaging 11 points and 10.4 rebounds a game and is coming off the first three double-doubles of his career. He scored 20 points or more three times during the preseason, a feat he didn't accomplish once during 70 games as a rookie.Up next OPENING TIP: Andre Ward was at Oracle on Monday to promote his Nov. 21 WBA super-middleweight title fight against Mikkel Kessler, when he was asked about the struggling Oakland franchises. "I don't want to make it seem like I'm going to come in and save the show, but I do want to do my part."

- Rusty Simmons

Up next Remember when? Before Monday, the Warriors' largest margin of victory over Minnesota was 37 points, a 146-109 rout on April 1, 1994. These eight players scored in double digits for Golden State:

Chris Webber 21

Latrell Sprewell 20

Jeff Grayer 19

Billy Owens 18

Jud Buechler 15

Chris Mullin 12

Avery Johnson 11

Keith Jennings 10


Play Basketball Hot Streak and win prizes!

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 10, 2009

 

 
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