Warriors use balanced attack to net first road winNov 18, 2007 - 10:38 PM By Brian Herman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
TORONTO (Ticker) - The Golden State Warriors may be finding their stride.
Stephen Jackson scored 17 points in his season debut and Andris Biedrins had 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 106-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
After an 0-6 start, Golden State has won two straight, including notching its first road victory of the season. The Warriors' defense - which had allowed 118 points per game during the skid, has improved in that area since, yielding 103 points in their two wins.
"That was a huge effort on our behalf considering that we haven't been able to close out fourth quarters very well," Warriors guard Baron Davis said. "But these last two games, we've been playing phenomenal defense in the fourth quarter."
Jackson was playing in his first game for the season after serving a league-imposed, seven-game suspension.
"Being back with my team and getting the win was great," Jackson said.
All five starters for the Warriors scored in double figures and the team enjoyed a decisive 26-12 edge in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors got off to a fast start with a 9-0 run on three consecutive 3-point shots - including two by guard Kelenna Azubuike - to take their biggest lead at 19-8 at 6:59 of the first quarter.
"I see myself as a shooter and try to take good shots," Azubuike said. "Baron created all of them for me and I was able to knock them down."
The Raptors answered with a 10-0 run, capped by a thunderous dunk by rookie Jamario Moon at 3:13 of the second quarter to take the lead at 49-48. T.J. Ford scored 21 points in the first half to pace the Raptors as they led 61-58 at the break.
Ford continued to lead the Raptors in the third quarter with consecutive jumpers to give Toronto an 88-80 lead with two seconds left in the quarter.
Davis took control for the Warriors in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points as part of a 21-6 run. Davis capped with a 3-pointer by Azubuike at 2:16 and a jumper by Davis at 1:41 to lift Golden State's lead to 103-95.
"We were able to bear down at the end of the game to get some stops and hit some shots," Davis said. "I was struggling all game to find my rhythm but I just pushed through it and I was able to hit a couple of shots in a row. This win is huge as we try to climb back to .500. Having Stephen Jackson back brings energy and leadership that we were missing."
"We were able to jump on Baron's back and knock down some open shots and come away with a win," Jackson said. "But we still have a lot of work to do and we can't dwell on this win because we have a long road trip ahead."
Ford posted a 29-point effort for the Raptors, who fell to 2-4 at home.
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