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by Matt Forsman on Apr 01, 2005
While Jason Richardson is unquestionably one of the most talented players on the Golden State Warriors, few can argue the impact Baron Davis has had since his arrival. A team that won 16 games from November through February has now won nine games in the month of March alone. Baron's presence has injected new life into a moribund franchise. In the words of Mickael Pietrus, "He's the boss."
The Warriors were on a tear last week knocking off Sacramento twice and upsetting the Western Conference leading Phoenix Suns. Back in Oakland for a game against Dallas, Golden State hoped to continue their winning ways last Wednesday. Dallas had other ideas.
Baron Davis and the Warriors came out hot in the first quarter hanging 31 points on the Mavericks and took a three point lead into the second. The second quarter was a different story as the Mavericks started to heat up behind the efforts of Dirk Nowitski and Devin Harris. Devin and Dirk gave the Mavs a three point lead at the end of the first half.
Some questionable calls and continued hot shooting by Dallas allowed the Mavericks to seize a thirteen point lead heading into the final quarter. Despite the valiant effort of Derek Fisher and Mickael Pietrus, the Warriors were unable to put much of a dent in the Mavericks lead and fell, 109-97.
Mourning the end of their three game winning streak, the Warriors hosted the floundering Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. This one was a back and forth battle from the get go. Despite a disappointing season, the Bucks played with a sense of urgency in the first quarter ringing up 27 points in the first quarter; Desmond Mason and Michael Redd led the charge for Milwaukee.
Golden State woke up in the second quarter as Mickael Pietrus and Jason Richardson pulled the Warriors to within one, heading into the second half. The third quarter was a shootout with both team exchanging long range jumpers and a plethora of treys. Golden State carried a three point advantage into the final quarter. Desmond Mason and Michael Redd kept the Bucks close, but a pair of free throws by Milwaukee's Zaza Pachulia ultimately forced overtime.
Milwaukee took advantage in overtime and Michael Redd put the Bucks in a position to win by hitting a key lay-up with a scant four seconds left. Derek Fisher rose to the occasion burying a three pointer to send the Bucks packing.
Golden State took the energy from their emotional win over Milwaukee on the road to Madison Square Garden for a match up against a New York Knicks team clinging desperately to rapidly waning playoff hopes. Baron Davis led the Warriors offense dishing assists, hitting threes, and keeping the Warriors in the game.
Down by two points in the second quarter, Golden State came out flat with a lone three pointer by Derek Fisher the only bucket for nearly four minutes. Fortunately, the Knicks failed to capitalize and the game remained tight. New York's Maurice Taylor and Jamal Crawford finally found their stroke extending the Knicks lead to seven with two minutes left. In a furious rally, Golden State scored nine points to take a two point lead into the second half.
In the third quarter, it was the return of Baron Davis. Burying three pointers, dishing assists, Davis sparked Golden State to a 32-point third quarter and gave the Warriors eleven points of breathing room with a quarter to play. The boss, indeed. A team effort by Golden State's starting five staved off any would be Knick comebacks. Golden State hung on, winning 108-98.
The Warriors head to Milwaukee on Wednesday for a rematch against the Bucks. From Milwaukee, Golden State will head to Utah to face the cellar dwelling Jazz. The week concludes with a Sunday game against the Seattle Sonics in Oakland. Given the way Golden State has been playing as of late, the Warriors could very well be riding a four game win streak back into Oakland.
by Matt Forsman on Apr 01, 2005