for this game

Healthy Davis carries Warriors past Wizards in shootout

Mar 24, 2007 - 7:12 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- A healthy Baron Davis is rounding into form just in time for a playoff push.

Davis dominated the game, collecting 34 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds as the Golden State Warriors surged past the Washington Wizards, 135-128, in an exciting shootout.

Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins scored 24 points apiece for the Warriors (33-37), who stayed in the playoff hunt, remaining one-half game behind the Los Angeles Clippers (33-36) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

"We got to win, we have to win. We have to control our own destiny," Davis said. "We can't rely on people to lose. We can't do that. We have to go out with a sense of urgency like every night is a playoff game for us, and if we don't win then we could easily be out of it.

"That's the mentality that we have to have in order to play well, and we want to play well for these last 12 games. We want to play the best team ball that we can and put ourselves in a position to be right there at the end."

The Warriors seemed to gain momentum after mercurial guard Stephen Jackson was ejected in the first quarter for arguing a call.

"When Jack (Jackson) goes out, it was just the telltale of the first half," Davis said. "It was quite frustrating for us to play that first half and try to play the way we wanted to play."

Golden State was coming off Tuesday's 104-100 loss at Utah, its first defeat with Davis in the lineup since he returned from a knee injury that forced him to miss 13 contests.

Davis came back March 5 and sparked a three-game winning streak. He sat out a loss to Portland but returned and triggered another three-game run. Since his return, he is averaging 19.9 points and 6.8 assists in eight games.

"(Davis) brings a lot of effort. He always talks and always has high energy," Biedrins said. "He picks up everybody else. He comes to the game, he's at a high level so everyone else has to stay at that level.

"He gives a lot - not just on basketball - but mentally, too. He knew he had to step up, we didn't have Jack, and it's certainly important now that somebody step up and he's that guy who can do that."

On Friday, the versatile guard whipped the crowd into a frenzy with a number of circus shots and fancy passes.

"A sellout crowd, the crowd was great," Davis said. "They pumped us up, they pumped us through it and got us the victory. The fans were great and they're continuing to get better."

Davis shot 10-of-16 from the field, including 3-of-6 from the arc, and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line.

He also made an impact on the defensive end, recording four steals and igniting Golden State's up-tempo offense. Biedrins and Ellis benefited, combining to shoot 19-of-30 from the floor.

"I told Coach I could play some extra minutes and I wanted to start pushing myself because I know we're getting ready for this stretch run and every game counts," Davis said. "I know that when I'm on the floor guys respond, and we have good chemistry and that's all that matters."

Gilbert Arenas scored 29 points on 9-of-21 shooting for the Wizards (37-30), who are one-half game ahead of Miami (37-31) for first place in the Southeast Division.

"We started off and thought the momentum was on our side," Arenas said. "We had it in the first half. Jackson was ejected and then their momentum was rolling and they started to hit easy baskets.

"That is how they play, when they start going, they're going to attack. Both the Warriors and the Clippers are fighting for that eighth spot, so we are going to see the same kind of atmosphere in L.A."

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