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News » Warriors-Cavaliers Preview 2009-11-16


Warriors-Cavaliers Preview 2009-11-16


Warriors-Cavaliers Preview 2009-11-16The Golden State Warriors had been looking to deal Stephen Jackson for months after the disgruntled guard demanded a trade in the offseason, and they were finally able to ship their second-leading scorer out of town Monday.

Golden State can only hope the return netted them some defensive help.

The acquisition of Raja Bell comes after the Warriors allowed a historic individual performance over the weekend, and they'll have their hands full again Tuesday when they visit LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers - who nearly became Jackson's new team.

The mercurial Jackson was one of Golden State's leaders when it went 48-34 in 2007-08 and stunned top-seeded Dallas in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs, but he wasn't pleased with his role as the leading scorer on a 29-win team last season.

Jackson went public with a trade demand in August, clashed with coach Don Nelson during an exhibition game and was suspended for two more preseason games before relinquishing his role as captain, issues that hung over the Warriors (3-6) during their rocky start.

As Cleveland (7-3) continued to deal with the off-court distractions involving guard Delonte West, the two teams spoke about a trade that would have involved backup center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. An agreement wasn't reached, however, and Golden State shipped Jackson and Acie Law to Charlotte on Monday for Bell and forward Vladimir Radmanovic.

"We can get back to playing basketball," Warriors general manager Larry Riley said. "Our players had done a great job doing everything they could to play through this and not let it be a major distraction. We felt we needed to do this and move on."

While shedding the remaining three years and $28 million on Jackson's contract, the addition of Bell - known as a defensive stopper - could also be significant for the Warriors, who allow an NBA-high 113.7 points per game.

They could have certainly used Bell on Saturday. Golden State allowed Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings score a team-record 55 points in the Bucks' 129-125 win, the most by a rookie since Earl Monroe had 56 on Feb. 13, 1968.

He scored 29 points in the third period, the most in a quarter against the Warriors.

To make matters worse, Golden State's Kelenna Azubuike suffered a patella tendon injury in the first quarter and could be done for the season.

Centers Andris Biedrins (right groin and abdominal inflammation) and Ronny Turiaf (sprained knee) are out, as is power forward Brandan Wright (shoulder), leaving Golden State with Mikki Moore and Anthony Randolph as its only healthy big bodies.

The Warriors likely won't have to deal with Shaquille O'Neal on Tuesday, however. Cleveland's big offseason acquisition missed Saturday's game against Utah with a strained shoulder and is listed as doubtful against Golden State.

"We can be cautious during this time of the year," coach Mike Brown said. "We're not going to rush anybody back, let alone Shaq."

James was held to 21 points after averaging 34.3 in the previous three games, but he scored seven in the final 28.8 seconds as the Cavaliers beat the Jazz 107-103 for their fourth straight win.

"Anytime the game is close or I feel like we have an opportunity to win, I hit the switch and say 'It's time to get going. It's time for you to lead this team,"' James said. "That's what I'm here for. I'm not afraid of the moment. I kind of live for it."

James had 32 points - the final two on a jumper at the buzzer - to lift Cleveland to a 106-105 victory in Oakland on Jan. 23.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 17, 2009

 

 
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