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Warriors Wrap

When it Rains…

The Warriors began their workweek on a Wednesday last week hosting the visiting New Jersey Nets. While the tandem of Jason Kidd and Vince Carter has yet to turn the Nets into contenders, Golden State has fallen to lesser opponents numerous times this season. Wednesday would be no exception.

The Nets came out fired up after a loss to Sacramento. Brian Scalabrine led the charge for the Nets leading New Jersey to a 28 point first quarter. In contrast, the free falling Warriors flailed for most of the quarter posting a paltry 14 points. Golden State continued their cold shooting ways in the second quarter unable to put any kind of dent in the 14 point deficit they incurred.

Jason Richardson single handedly brought the Warriors within striking distance in the third with a driving layup, a twenty-foot jumper, and a three pointer. Golden State only managed to get within six and eventually finished the quarter down by nine. Barely four minutes into the fourth, the Nets had inflated their lead to fifteen. Things went from ugly to hideous as the Nets increased the lead to twenty two with three minutes left to play. The Nets wrapped things up, 113-98.

Friday night brought the arrival of the Seattle Sonics. Posting a win against the surprising Northwest Division Sonics would be a non-trivial task. Missing two starters (Speedy Claxton and Clifford Robinson) doesn't help. The Warriors opened the first quarter in lackluster fashion missing their first twelve shots. The Sonics blasted Golden State going on a 16-0 run. Mercifully, Mikael Pietrus ended the drought sinking a lone free throw. Remarkably, the Warriors only found themselves down five by the end of the first.

Nick Collison and Ray Lewis would extend Seattle's lead to ten a little more than two minutes into the second quarter. Golden State's Calbert Cheaney caught fire and unloaded 14 points to pull the Warriors within one by the end of the first half.

The Warriors battled mightily in the third quarter to gain some momentum (and the lead). While Golden State managed to tie the score multiple times throughout the third quarter, they were unable to turn the tide and entered the fourth quarter down by 3. Early inconsistent shooting allowed the Sonics an opportunity to extend their lead to six with three minutes left in the game. Golden State rallied and found themselves down by one. But, the Warriors inability to make clutch shots to close out a game reared its ugly head again as Seattle pulled a win out, 88-85. To make matters worse, Troy Murphy came away from the loss with a hairline fracture in his left thumb.

The week ended in L.A. against the oft-maligned Clippers on Saturday. Sans Speedy Claxton, Troy Murphy, and Clifford Robinson, things didn't bode well for Golden State. Fortunately, Elton Brand got into foul trouble early allowing the Warriors to go on an early run, leading by as much as seven and finishing the first quarter with a four point lead, 25-21. A series of early missed shots in the second quarter gave the Clippers the lead. The return of Elton Brand extended this lead to twelve before the Warriors put together a string of buckets eventually tying things up by the end of the first half.

Elton Brand and Rick Brunson lit things up in the third quarter enabling the Clippers to extend their lead several times before closing out with a seven-point lead. Cold shooting once again undid the Warriors as they went through several lengthy stretches without converting a basket, falling behind by as much as twelve and finally conceding to the Clippers with a final score of 96-85.

Wednesday night brings a home game against the Sacramento Kings. Again, the Warriors will be without Tory Murphy. Clifford Robinson is out for five games after violating the league's drug policy. Can you blame the man for self-medicating at this juncture?

Golden State hosts a Friday game against one of the few teams playing as bad as the Warriors are. New Orleans has yet to post a double-digit win total this season. Should be an epic battle. The Warriors finish the week on Saturday against the erratic Denver Nuggets.

January was a tough month for Golden State with one lone victory posted and a staggering fifteen losses to accompany it. January futility of this caliber has not been seen since the 97-98 campaign. One has little choice but to hope that February will bring better things for the Warriors.