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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-11-21

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-11-21

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-11-21Welcome back to the NBA, Chris Hunter. Meet Greg Oden.

The NBA approved a request by the injury-plagued Warriors to exceed the roster limit of 15 Friday, and general manager Larry Riley dipped into the NBA Developmental League to grab one of its stars from last season, the 6-foot-11, 240-pound Hunter.

"I'd never see him before," Warriors coach Don Nelson admitted. "I'd never met him."

Nor had Hunter ever played in an NBA regular-season game.

Nonetheless, the Michigan product got pressed into immediate duty for the desperate Warriors, going head-to-head with Oden for most of his 14 minutes and holding his own, helping Golden State defeat the Trail Blazers 108-94 in Oakland.

The 25-year-old Hunter, whose previous NBA experience consisted of exhibition contests and sitting on the bench for one regular-season game as a Knick last season, watched the Warriors use a 17-4 run to overcome an 11-point deficit and take a 56-52 halftime lead.

He then got the call to start the second half on Oden and held him scoreless for his entire 7:10 stint. Meanwhile, the new Warrior snuck outside to hit two jumpers, helping Golden State increase its lead to six.

The best was yet to come. Rushed back into the game with the Warriors still up six and 10:30 remaining, Hunter contributed a steal and a rebound to a game-clinching, 18-7 Warriors spurt, limiting Oden to three points in almost seven minutes.

"Coach just said be ready ... ready for two minutes or 22 minutes. So I was ready to go whatever he asked of me," Hunter admitted afterward.

With 15 guaranteed contracts on the roster, the Warriors aren't likely to keep Hunter long-term. But with none of the seven injured players expected back anytime soon, the big guy just might stick around a while.

Nelson already is pondering his options.

"That guy belongs in the NBA," the veteran coach insisted. "Hopefully we can find some way to keep him. He's probably stronger than anyone I have at that position."

If Hunter thought Oden was tough ... the Warriors' next three games are against the Mavericks, Spurs and Lakers.

Introducing Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Pau Gasol.

Don't be surprised if Hunter starts against at least one of them.

WARRIORS 108, TRAIL BLAZERS 94: The Warriors took great joy in just being competitive on back-to-back nights in Cleveland and Boston earlier this week to end their five-game road trip. Actually coming out on top Friday against another quality club -- the Trail Blazers -- was even more satisfying. Monta Ellis played exceptionally over the entire 48 minutes, four teammates supported him with double-figure scoring and first-day Warrior Chris Hunter battled Greg Oden evenly over 14 minutes as Golden State recorded its most impressive win of the young season.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 21, 2009


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