Davis' triple-double lifts Warriors past WizardsNov 24, 2007 - 5:02 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) - On triple-double night in the nation's capital, Baron Davis and the Golden State Warriors came out on top.
Davis scored 33 points, dished out 15 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Warriors snapped the Washington Wizards' six-game winning streak with a 123-115 victory on Friday night.
Stephen Jackson added 28 points, six rebounds and three assists and Kelenna Azubuike finished with 15 points for Golden State, which won for the fourth time in its last five games behind seven players in double figures.
Davis' stellar performance overshadowed the first career triple-double by Caron Butler, who had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Wizards. Butler notched the first triple-double by a Washington player since Larry Hughes accomplished the feat at Toronto on November 28, 2004.
"Caron had a triple-double, but Baron pretty much controlled the game," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.
The duo's triple-double was the first in an NBA game since the Orlando Magic's Tracy McGrady and the New Jersey Nets' Jason Kidd turned the trick on February 23, 2003, in New Jersey.
Davis, coincidentally, said he patterns his game after Kidd's style of play.
"I made a conscious effort of trying to hit the boards a little bit more," said Davis, who committed only one turnover. "I've been watching Jason Kidd a lot, and the way he rebounds, to me, is impeccable. He's always been one of the guys that I've always looked up to and I've admired his game and tried to pattern my game after, so just watching him and seeing the type of rebounds he gets and the scoring opportunities that they lead to.
"We have a young team, and if I can get a lot of those long rebounds and track down some boards, then I'm pretty much keeping the ball in my hand and somebody's open on the back end."
Davis sealed the win and capped his brilliant night when he drove the middle of the lane and converted a three-point play over Wizards forward Andray Blatche, who fouled out on the play with 38.6 seconds remaining.
"I just saw an opportunity to get DeShawn Stevenson off his feet a little bit and get into the hole," Davis said. "I saw Blatche and I wanted to attack him because he'd been doing a great job of blocking shots all night, so I wanted to get in between his body and the basket."
Butler kept his team in the game all night, and his 3-pointer pulled the Wizards into a 108-108 tie with 3:29 remaining.
"Myself and Antawn (Jamison), as the leaders on this team, just got to continue to step it up and continue to pull out-of-body performances out of a lot of guys," Butler said. "It would have felt better with a win. It would have felt a lot better."
Jackson responded with a shot from the arc that gave the Warriors a 111-108 edge with 3:07 left. Jackson then hollered at the Wizards' bench, something he repeatedly did after burying 6-of-11 3-pointers.
"You know how it is, that's just competing," said Jackson, who was playing his fourth game since returning from a league-mandated, seven-game suspension. "They were over there screaming: 'No way, miss the shot!' I could hear them in the background. That's just a part of me staying in the game. It wasn't nothing personal, it's just into the game - my emotion.
"I'm still getting into game shape and working out the kinks, but it felt good to knock down some shots tonight because we definitely needed them in that fourth quarter."
Butler scored again to pull Washington to within one point, but Azubuike answered with a jumper that gave Golden State a 113-110 lead with 2:24 left.
Jamison's two free throws pulled the Wizards to within 113-112 with 2:02 remaining, but they never regained the lead down the stretch. Jamison finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds, Blatche added 13 and eight and rookie Nick Young netted a career-high 18 for Washington.
"That's a team that's hard to prepare for because of their style of play," Jamison said. "They just don't run any plays. They look at matchups, and they just go."
The Warriors players said they expect a triple-double from Davis every time he steps on the court.
"Baron plays like that every night," Jackson said. "He's close to a triple-double every night, if you look at his stats. That's what he do, man. I think this year he's definitely going to get his respect as being one of the best players and definitely one of the best point guards in this game. He's been carrying us since last year. I expect him to play like that. I'm one of his biggest fans.
"I don't see how people don't see that. Baron is dominant every night in every game we play, but he's human, we all have off nights - but his presence on the floor is just as dominant as any other player in this league."
Warriors forward Al Harrington had similar words of praise for his point guard.
"I didn't even know they were doing that, but it was a great game," Harrington said of the duel between Davis and Butler. "That's what the league likes: two teams battling down to the wire and really getting after it. Baron can do that, every night as long as he keeps getting to the rack. The more games he has like that, the more games we're going to win."
Warriors assistant coach Keith Smart addressed the media after the game for coach Don Nelson, who temporarily lost his voice.
"He has been preparing me to always be ready to coach," Smart said. "He allowed me to just coach and run the plays I wanted to. That is the beauty of working with him.
"We played well down the stretch and made some plays and moved the ball well. We kept the ball in Baron's hands and he made plays and we played through him. He didn't force shots and found open guys. You just know that he can make big plays once he gets into a flow."
GOLDEN STATE 123
WASHINGTON 115 FINAL
Nov 23 9:34 PM
GOLDEN STATE 90
WASHINGTON 89 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 23 8:53 PM
GOLDEN STATE 60
WASHINGTON 61 HALFTIME
Nov 23 8:10 PM
GOLDEN STATE 30
WASHINGTON 33 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 23 7:37 PM
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