Warriors Squeak By Pistons, 101-97

The Warriors take on the Detroit Pistons at home, but tonight will really be a celebration over Joe Lacob and company's successful purchase of the Golden State Warriors. Check back for more updates.

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NBA Scores and Standings: Mapping the Western Conference - November 15, 2010

Recap of Monday’s Western Conference Games:

Memphis 72 @ Orlando 89. The Magic rode a tenacious defensive effort to victory over the Grizzlies, holding Memphis to a .362 shooting percentage, including 18 points on 3-of-32 shooting combined by the Grizzlies’ top two scorers, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph. D-Howie went for 18 and 14 and even hit a respectable 8-for-11 from the line.

New Orleans 95 @ Dallas 98. The Mavs handed the Hornets their first defeat of the season behind 26 points from Jet Terry and 25 & 10 from Dirk. Hornets PG Chris Paul did his usual (22 pts, 9 ast, 3 stl) but he got little support from his fellow starters, although Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 17 points off the bench in under 20 minutes of run. Dallas SG/SF Caron Butler missed his third straight game with back spasms.

Oklahoma City 115 @ Utah 108. The Thunder finally stopped the buzz saw that was the Utah Jazz on Monday night. After posting come-from-behind victories in their last five games, the Jazz could not make it six in a row, despite valiant efforts from Deron Williams (31 points), Paul Millsap (20/6/6), and…. C.J. Miles? (16 pts off the bench). Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 30 points, including 16-for-16 at the free throw line (he only shot 6-for-17 from the field though). Russell Westbrook chipped in 22, including 6-for-6 from the line (as a team the Thunder shot 33-34 FTs…shame on you, James Harden!). Perhaps the most unexpectedly impressive night came from Serge I-BLOCK-a, who went for 22 points, 11 boards, and 4 blocks.

New Jersey 110 @ LA Clippers 96. I had the "privilege" of attending this game tonight and it truly was a battle of ugly. Early in the second quarter, Devin Harris earned a flagrant type 2 when he took down Blake Griffin as BG drove to the hoop on a fast break. There was nothing malicious about Harris’s actions, but the fact that Griffin went down seemingly awkwardly made it look worse than it was. In any event, I could recognize why the Clippers have only one win on the season (and they were probably lucky to get that). The "Amazin’" Nets held the Clips to .395 shooting, including an interesting 6-for-20 FG / 16-for-20 FT night by Eric Gordon (30 points). With BD and Kaman out again with injuries, the Clippers starting 5 was as follows: Eric Bledsoe, Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and Al-Farouq Aminu. There’s a lot of youth and potential there, but they were not much of a match for the Nets, who were led by Brook Lopez (24 points) and former Clipper Travis Outlaw (23 points). I’m not sure Brook Lopez posted up once all night as most of his shots were from 20 feet out. Ridiculousness. As a team the Nets shot .597. I’m willing to bet they don’t reach that figure again this season!

Minnesota 110 @ Charlotte 113. Just as I was calling out Larry Brown for not playing Tyrus Thomas enough, Ty goes off for 20/10 in almost 31 minutes of run. Of course Tyrus’s 0:7 Assist:Turnover ratio can’t be helping his cause. In any event, Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace led the way for the Bobcats with 26 points apiece. Mike Beasley is starting to make a believer out of me as he put up 28 points, the fourth game in a row he has gone for 25+. Darko also contributed the best game of his season (13 pts, 12 rebs, 5 ast, 4 blk), while Kevin Love fell one rebound short of a double-double in the losing effort for the T-Wolves.

Denver 94 @ Phoenix 100. The Suns prevailed in the Battle of the Laker Conquerors behind a balanced scoring night and a strong finish. Trailing by seven heading into the fourth, the Suns outscored the Nuggets 31-18 in the final period to pull off the victory. Six Suns players scored in double figures, led by 6th man Hakim Warrick, who had 21. Carmelo had a pretty ridiculous game as he led Nuggets scorers with 20 points and also pulled down a career-high 22 boards. A night after going 22-for-40 from downtown, the Suns (predictably) cooled off and hit just 4-for-20 3s.

 

Previewing Tuesday’s Western Conference Action:

Portland (6-5) @ Memphis (4-7). The Trailblazers bring a 2-game skid into Memphis, while the Grizzlies try to stop their own 3-game losing streak. Brandon Roy left the last game with soreness in his knee and his availability for Tuesday’s game is in question. The Grizzlies will look to bounce back from their worst shooting night in two seasons.

New York (3-7) @ Denver (5-5). Carmelo, coming off his first career 20 rebound game, faces one of the teams he was rumored to join in the offseason. The Knicks, led by That’s Amare in both scoring (20.8) and rebounding (8.1), are losers of their last five games. NYK hopes to get some of its defensive swagger back when/if Ronny Turiaf (knee) is able to return to the court; he is currently day-to-day.

LA Lakers (8-2) @ Milwaukee (5-5). The Lakeshow tries to bounce back from consecutive losses against the league’s top defensive team. The Bucks (who would’ve thought?) are allowing a league-low 89.4 points per game. I’m guessing Kobe, Pau, and Co. say "pish posh" to that and take Brandon Jennings to "school" …. Get it? (Of course Kobe and Pau didn’t go to college either…so I’m not sure how terribly sophisticated this school might be.)

Chicago (5-3) @ Houston (3-6). The circus is in town, so Chicago is starting its annual two-week November road trip. First up: Houston, where the Bulls will take on the Yao-less, Brooks-less Rockets. (Of course the Rockets have won their last two without Yao – and don’t they always seem to perform better when Yao is hurt?) Leading the charge for the Bulls (I crack myself up) will be Derrick Rose (23.6) and Luol Deng (20.3), who are both averaging over 20 ppg, while the Rockets feature their own 20 ppg duo in Kevin Martin (24.1) and Luis Scola (22.1).

At the end of Monday’s games, here’s what Mapping the Western Conference looks like:

11-15-2010_medium

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Warriors 101, Pistons 97 - Another 3rd Quarter Collapse

After dropping a 32 point lead to 2 points in the span of the second half, Warriors and “defense,” surely would be consider antonyms. “Defense,” however, was how they won the game.

With the Warriors up 2, the Pistons regained possession with 54 seconds left in the fourth. Ben Gordon, intent on driving on Stephen Curry with 5 fouls, turned the corner into the lane only to have the ball poked out by Dorell Wright, diving and securing a timeout.

The Warriors squandered their huge lead mostly within the 3rd quarter when the Pistons began their 21 straight free throw attempts. The Warriors, on the other hand, attempted 6 free throw attempts, total, in the second half. Consecutive charge calls, fouling jump shooters, moving screens were the many fouls that the Warriors committed that helped the Pistons get back in the game.

Charlie Villanueva, seemingly motivated by Kevin Garnett’s accusations as being “cancerous to the league and his team,” made several big three point shots to pull the Pistons to single digits. Villanueva finished with 18 point and 8 rebounds. Ben Gordon had 14 points in 18 minutes and Tayshaun Prince had 15 points.

The Warriors were led by Monta Ellis who scored 21 points in the first quarter. Foul trouble, however, kept Ellis out for huge time blocks in the second and third quarter. Ellis only had 6 points in the second half, one of them a free throw coming with a minute left.

Stephen Curry seems to have gotten himself out of his funk shooting an efficient 7-14, finishing with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Dorell had 15, but shot 5-15 from the field.

Lastly, Jeremy Lin played crucial minutes in the 3rd quarter when Curry and Ellis were both sitting out with foul troubles. In limited minutes, Lin had equal stats across the board, doing a little bit of everything on defense, registering 2 points, 1 block, 1 steal, and 1 rebound in his first four minutes on the floor.

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Warriors-Pistons: Jeremy Lin Active Hands In The Third Quarter + Warriors 11-0 Foul Disparity

Rodney Stuckey might overpower Steph Curry, but Jeremy Lin seems big enough to stop him. In 4 minutes left in the third, Jeremy Lin got to sub in for Steph Curry, sitting out with four fouls. Within the first minute, Lin had a block on Rodney Stuckey who tried to back him down for a fadeaway. In a few possession later, Lin, with 5 seconds on the shot clock, crossed over his man for a two handed floater in the lane over the outstretched hands of Tayshaun Prince.

Lin’s defense, in these few minutes, was tremendous as he broke up a 3-2 fastbreak, anticipating the pass to the wing heading in the opposite direction which led to an easy Dorell Wright floater. Lin has looked good and, surprisingly, the crowd (through the TV) cheering isn’t overwhelming.

Also, the disparity in fouls during the third was 11-0 at one point, favoring the Pistons.

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Warriors-Pistons: Up 20, But Self-Destruction Imminent

As always, the Warriors are looking great in the third quarter. Except the Warriors are shooting themselves in the foot, again. Charging fouls seem to be part of Keith Smart’s Flex Offense as are moving screens. Fouling jump shooters is also part of the regular defensive scheme. The Warriors are fouling at reckless abandon in the third quarter as both Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis both have four fouls.

Dorell Wright also fouled a wide open Richard Hamilton on the wing. On the Pistons’ possession prior, after the Warriors secured a 23 point lead, Tayshaun Prince faked Dorell Wright, though Wright looked like he was cheating, and then nailed a 3 pointer.

The Warriors don’t look good right now and prepare yourself for a meltdown. Hopefully they will prove us wrong.

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