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News » Grizzlies-Warriors Preview 2009-03-29

Grizzlies-Warriors Preview 2009-03-29

Grizzlies-Warriors Preview 2009-03-29
Though they rank among the NBA's worst teams, the Golden State Warriors have put together a strong stretch at home thanks largely to prolific offense.

That formula for success, though, will be harder to maintain without Stephen Jackson.

With Jackson out for the season, the Warriors come off a winless road trip looking to avoid being swept in their season series with the lowly Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

Golden State (25-48), which has not had its full lineup all season, announced Saturday that Jackson will undergo surgery Tuesday to remove a bone fragment in his left big toe. The veteran swingman ranks among the NBA leaders in minutes per game at 39.6 while averaging a team-high 20.7 points.

"We are not going to quit," Warriors guard Jamal Crawford said. "That is the thing about us. We have got young guys and we have got a lot of pride and our coach won't let us quit."

Golden State has lost five of six and went 0-4 on its just-completed road trip, but it's been more than respectable at home over the last two months. The Warriors have won nine of 13 at Oracle Arena, averaging 120.5 points during a stretch that includes wins over Phoenix, Utah, Portland, Dallas and Philadelphia.

Jackson averaged 27.6 points and 8.5 assists in the first nine games of that span before his injury began to slow him down.

Jackson, however, struggled in Golden State's lowest-scoring game of the season, scoring 17 points but going 6-for-21 with five turnovers in a 90-79 loss at Memphis on Nov. 3. The Warriors fell 109-104 at home to the Grizzlies (18-54) four days later in the teams' other matchup this season.

Memphis is coming off its worst offensive game of 2008-09, falling 86-66 to Portland on Saturday night.

The Grizzlies managed 12 assists, missed all eight attempts from 3-point range and were outrebounded 50-28 en route to losing for the 10th time in 12 games.

Rookie guard O.J. Mayo, who tops Memphis with 18.2 points a contest, was held to 12. Rudy Gay, averaging 18.6 points, had 10.

Gay would likely have drawn the assignment of guarding Jackson, who will be replaced in the lineup by Jamal Crawford.

Crawford had 30 points, five assists and five rebounds against Denver on Saturday night, but the Warriors lost 129-116.

Golden State dressed only eight players, although six of them scored in double figures. Also out for the Warriors were Corey Maggette (head contusion), Marco Belinelli (ankle), Andris Biedrins (ankle) and Jermareo Davidson (foot).

The injuries forced Golden State to give its younger players more minutes, and Anthony Morrow continues to impress. The rookie swingman scored 18 points versus the Nuggets after a 29-point effort in a loss to Dallas on Wednesday night.

Morrow, who wasn't drafted, is shooting a league-best 49.6 percent from 3-point range.

Second in that category is Kelenna Azubuike, another versatile young Warriors player. Azubuike, who's in his third year and also went undrafted, is making 46.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and averaging 16.6 points in his last nine games.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 29, 2009


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