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 Crawford scores 50 points in Warriors' win

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Join date : 2008-11-21

PostSubject: Crawford scores 50 points in Warriors' win   Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:41 pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C.(AP) Maybe a defensive
coordinator will work in basketball. But it sure helps when you've got
a guy hitting almost every shot at the other end.Behind 50
points from Jamal Crawford, the Golden State Warriors beat the
Charlotte Bobcats 110-103 on Saturday night, giving Warriors coach Don
Nelson a win in his first game with a new coaching structure.Yielding
control of his NBA-worst defense to assistant Keith Smart and calling
him the "defensive coordinator,'' the Warriors did just enough at that
end and let Crawford dominate on offense in his best game since being
acquired from New York last month."He's an amazing scorer when he heats up,'' Nelson said.Crawford
was 14-of-26 from the field, 5-of-8 from 3-point range and made 17 of
18 free throws. He was two points shy of his career high, and became
the first Warrior to reach 50 points since Antawn Jamison did it in
consecutive games in the 2000-01 season.Crawford continually
beat Raja Bell and Raymond Felton off the dribble for layups or fouls,
bringing the type of explosive offense the Warriors envisioned when
they sent Al Harrington to the Knicks to get him."I feel like I can pretty much get any shot I want,'' Crawford said. "I let people off the hook by settling for jump shots.''Golden
State played again without top scorers Corey Maggette (hamstring) and
Stephen Jackson (hand), who is not expected to return until Friday,
making Crawford the go-to guy.Kelenna Azubuike added 21 points and the Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak with Nelson and Smart co-coaching the team.Gerald
Wallace scored 26 points,and Raja Bell added 21 for the Bobcats, who
failed to win three in a row for the first time this season and
couldn't contain Crawford."Basically you've got a guy out there
with his confidence as high as the sky and he's only playing one end,''
Wallace said of Crawford. "He's only playing offense, so what can you
say?''Maybe Nelson's new strategy has a ways to go to be successful.Nelson
said he decided Friday afternoon to turn over the defense to Smart,
explaining after Friday's loss to Atlanta that he's not tough enough
and that "I'm getting soft as I get older.''The 68-year-old
Nelson didn't inform the players of the move until before Saturday's
game, which the Warriors entered allowing 112.2 points per game.Smart
got out of his seat and shouting instructions when Charlotte had the
ball. They each had chairs in the huddle during timeouts, and several
times Smart spoke before Nelson."I think that's an honor and a
credit to Nellie,'' Crawford said. "I think him being a Hall of Fame
guy and identifying that as one of his weaknesses and doing something
about it, it's a credit to Coach Nel.''The defense faltered
early in the fourth quarter, as the Bobcats cut a 12-point deficit to
95-88 on Felton's 3-pointer with 4:53 left. Crawford responded with a
3-pointer on the next possession, then later added two free throws and
a mid-range jumper.It was quite a turnaround from a night earlier, when Crawford scored six points on 3-of-15 shooting."I was just out of it yesterday,'' Crawford said. "I got mad (at myself) yesterday and I played horribly because of it.''The
Bobcats, who shot a franchise-best 66 percent in a blowout win Friday
at Memphis, were mad they couldn't build off their best performance of
the season.Boris Diaw got into foul trouble and was held to 11
points. Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 13 rebounds, but air-balled a
free throw with his team down by five with 28.3 seconds left."When you're not a great team, you've got to be ready to play every night,'' Bobcats coach Larry Brown said.Crawford
made up for subpar games from some of his teammates. A night after
scoring a career-high 19 points, Brandan Wright got the start,
committed three fouls in five minutes, and didn't score. Rookie Anthony
Randolph, after not getting off the bench against the Hawks, scored two
points in seven minutes.It didn't matter with Crawford schooling
whomever guarded him. His offbalance 3 over Felton put Golden State
ahead 84-72 late in the third quarter.Notes: Warriors G Anthony
Morrow, who last month set a record for the most points (37) scored by
an undrafted rookie, handed out more than 50 tickets to friends and
family in his return to his hometown. "I get to come back home. It's
just a blessing,'' Morrow said. ... Former Hornets and Cavaliers coach
Paul Silas attended the game. His son, Stephen, is a Warriors

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