Rookie G Morrow erupts as Warriors top ClippersNov 16, 2008 - 12:49 AM By John Reger PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- With all eyes on Baron Davis and Corey Maggette, an unknown rookie managed to steal the spotlight.
Anthony Morrow came out of nowhere in his first NBA start, scoring a career-high 37 points to lead the explosive Golden State Warriors to a 121-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
"I've been in this league 30 years and I've never seen a performance like that from a guy who got his first opportunity to start and play consistent minutes," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "He had the game of a lifetime, and I hope there's a lot more like that in him."
Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech this summer, Morrow had played in three previous games and his high had been eight points. But he blistered the Clippers' defense, hitting 15-of-20 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
"I think my high at Georgia Tech was 30 or 31," Morrow said. "I can't believe I shot 15-for-20. Sometimes, I don't even shoot 15-for-20 in drills."
Coming into the afternoon, the attention was on Davis and Maggette - both of whom were facing their former teams. Davis, who opted out of his contract with the Warriors and signed a five-year deal with Los Angeles, had 25 points and 11 assists to lead the Clippers, who lost for the eighth time in nine games.
Maggette exacted a measure of revenge against his former team, scoring 17 points - though he mostly got to look on and watch one of his new teammates burn his old ones. Maggette bolted north this offseason to join Nelson's run-and-gun system following eight seasons with the Clippers.
"It was great to come back and embrace the people that supported me while I was here," Maggette said. "It was great to come back and interact with them. I knew this is my second game back from my hamstring injury and I'm still not fully healed. I'm only probably playing at 60 percent."
Four other Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Jackson and Andris Biedrins. Jackson had 20 and 10 assists, while Biedrins registered his 17th consecutive double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
Maggette scored eight points in the opening quarter as the Warriors staged an 11-0 run and never trailed in the first half. The team built a 14-point lead halfway through the first period.
"We came out with a slow start and we had to fire our way back into it," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We began to develop some good energy and around the third quarter we actually had a lead. I think we settled for too many outside shots. We were not aggressive and that allowed them to get into the open court."
Los Angeles actually took the lead in the third quarter, 66-64, but it was short-lived. Maggette scored six points in the last two minutes of the third quarter to build a 90-83 cushion.
In the final period, it was Morrow who put the game out of reach. The 6-5 guard opened up with another jump shot, then drove to the hoop for a pair of layups - including a three-point play to make it 98-85. He added two more jumpers over the next couple of minutes to cap off his career night as the Warriors built their lead to as high as 20.
"I have just been going into practice soaking everything in like a sponge and tonight was just one of those games where I caught the vibe," Morrow said. "I am trying to do the best I can for the other guys and help the team win. We needed this win really bad."
The Clippers were once again plagued by poor shooting. They connected on just 39 percent from the field for the game, including Al Thornton's 3-for-13 showing. The team has not shot 50 percent or better in any of its nine games this season.
"There is no question about us not playing well," Dunleavy said. "There has got to be some results coming in and we cannot be making the same mistakes. We definitely need to improve."
Marcus Camby had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, while Chris Kaman added 15 and 13.
GOLDEN STATE 121
LA CLIPPERS 103 FINAL
Nov 15 5:58 PM
GOLDEN STATE 90
LA CLIPPERS 83 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 15 5:24 PM
GOLDEN STATE 58
LA CLIPPERS 50 HALFTIME
Nov 15 4:40 PM
GOLDEN STATE 36
LA CLIPPERS 31 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 15 4:07 PM
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