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News » Smaller lineup brings first win

Smaller lineup brings first win

Smaller lineup brings first winThere is no longer a winless NBA team in California.

The Warriors on Wednesday night joined the Lakers, the Clippers and Sacramento in the win column.

"That's confidence," Stephen Jackson said. "That's all we needed."

The Warriors got a well-rounded effort, and coach Don Nelson's imagination paid dividends for a 113-105 victory over Memphis in front of 17,457 fans at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors had four 20-point scorers, and got a combined 21 assists from Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. In his most complete game in 2 1/2 years, Ellis had 24 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.

"Monta was sensational," Nelson said. "His shot wasn't even falling, and he still had a monster game."

Anthony Morrow scored 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting, and Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette added 20 apiece. Curry had seven points, nine assists and five rebounds.

Scrambling for their first win of the season, the Warriors 1-2 were creative, using a small starting lineup with mixed results and getting Morrow involved.

Kelenna Azubuike 6-foot-5 and Jackson 6-8 started at the forwards, a pairing that appeared to be a disaster when Andris Biedrins got into early foul trouble. Azubuike and Jackson combined for 26 points and four rebounds, but their Memphis counterparts, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay, had 45 points and 18 boards.

"We lost the rebound game and the free-throw game, but we won a few games," Nelson said.

The small lineup shot 54 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent on threes, opening the lane for Ellis. It also sparked the Warriors' fastbreak and ball movement, and had Memphis 1-4 out of sorts.

Ellis is "hard to guard, especially off that pick-and-roll, because he's one of the fastest guys in the league," Jackson said.

After falling behind 26-13 in the first quarter, the Warriors scurried back with Maggette and Morrow at the forwards. It quickly became clear that Nelson's message about getting the sharpshooting Morrow the ball had taken hold.

Ellis found him in the corner for an open three-pointer that tied the game 43-43 with 5:02 left in the first half. Morrow made all four of his three-point attempts and showed the ability to drive and score, including a 7-foot floater that gave the Warriors an 87-77 lead late in the third quarter.

"Less on Azubuike and more on Morrow," Nelson said. He also said he wants to stick with the new starting lineup, the third in three games, for "a while."

With Biedrins in foul trouble and Ronny Turiaf left knee out, Moore had four rebounds in 21 minutes and helped hold Marc Gasol to 12 points.

Scott Ostler: Think your team is dysfunctional? You should check out the Grizz. B5

'Miracle' for Tuohy Memphis Grizzlies TV analyst Sean Tuohy said he has been caught off guard by the acclaim he has received recently."The movie rights were sold a week before the book came out, and I laughed because 'Who would read a book about it, let alone do a movie about it?' " Tuohy said. "Well, I've learned to be careful what I laugh about."Tuohy's family is the subject of Michael Lewis' book, "The Blind Side," which has been turned into a movie starring Sandra Bullock and opens Nov. 20. The Tuohys adopted Michael Oher, then a homeless teenager and now an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens. "To us, it is just a miracle," Tuohy said. "If you try to describe it any other way, it doesn't make any sense."'Miracle' for Tuohy OPENING TIP: Marcus Williams, a 2006 first-round pick who got playing time in only nine games with the Warriors last season, is in a familiar bench spot in Memphis this season. "He's a fast guy and a fast thinker, but he doesn't play fast," Memphis TV analyst Sean Tuohy said.

'Miracle' for Tuohy UP NEXT Who: vs. Clippers 1-4

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Of note: The matchup between the top two players in the Las Vegas Summer League will have to wait. Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin is expected to miss two months with a fractured left patella, and Warriors forward Anthony Randolph is coming off the bench.

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Added: November 5, 2009


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