Wizards respond to firing of coach, trounce WarriorsNov 26, 2008 - 6:21 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- For one night, the Washington Wizards were all aboard the Ed Tapscott bandwagon - so much so that Caron Butler compared the new coach to the President-elect Barack Obama.
Butler had a season-high 35 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Wizards coasted to a 124-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday Tapscott's debut.
Antawn Jamison added 25 points and 11 rebounds for Washington, which fired Jordan on Monday after a 1-10 start. Tapscott was named the interim coach, and Butler apparently likes the change.
"Now that we got 'Obama' on the sideline with us, we're going to ride with it," said Bulter, who shot 13-of-19 from the floor. "Tap, he's light-skinned, he stands for change, he's got a law degree, he uses big words, and he's new in the District. And he's in control now, so shout out to Obama.
"We won tonight, he brought a lot of hope. And he's good with numbers, so hopefully he'll change the economy, as well," Butler joked.
Tapscott said before the game the Wizards needed a new identity. Washington then snapped a five-game skid by posting season-highs in points, rebounds (54) and assists (27). Untold by the boxscore, Washington also played with more intensity.
"We just fed off the energy," Jamison said. "We knew we had to get this win. It's been a crazy 24 hours, and we just wanted to stop the bleeding."
Andray Blatche had season-highs of 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. Blatche, who shot 11-of-18, also had five assists in 29 minutes off the bench.
Tapscott said Blatche will be a key part of his plans for change in Washington.
"We were able to keep to our plan," Tapscott said. "It's what I call the eight-plus-two plan. We're going to have a core of eight guys who are going to play every night. The two out of the remaining four are based on match-ups and scouting reports. Nobody gets put in the closet."
Jamison had 17 points and Butler added 14 to lead Washington to a 63-49 halftime lead and the Wizards' highest-scoring half of the season.
Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 17 points and Stephen Jackson added 16.
"Anytime you get a coaching change guys come out with a point to prove and they play harder, that's always, regardless of what team it is," said Jackson, who added eight rebounds and a career-high four blocks.
"I knew this team was going to come out with a lot of emotion and play hard for their new coach, and Jamison and Caron Butler had tremendous nights, as well as Blatche," Maggette said.
Jamal Crawford scored his first bucket for Golden State midway through the second quarter and followed with a 3-pointer that pulled the Warriors within 49-42 with 3:32 left in the second. It was all Washington after that.
Crawford, who was acquired from the New York Knicks in a trade for forward Al Harrington on Friday, finished with nine points and seven assists.
Warriors coach Don Nelson was none too pleased with the effort. The Wizards forced 20 turnovers that led to 26 points and grabbed 23 offensive rebounds to the Warriors' 13. Washington won the battle of the boards, 61-49.
"We played an inspired team tonight," Nelson said. "They outworked us, outhustled us, outplayed us. They did everything well and we didn't do very much well, at all. Pretty disappointed with the way that my team played."
GOLDEN STATE 100
WASHINGTON 124 FINAL
Nov 25 9:16 PM
GOLDEN STATE 72
WASHINGTON 93 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 25 8:45 PM
GOLDEN STATE 49
WASHINGTON 63 HALFTIME
Nov 25 8:04 PM
GOLDEN STATE 26
WASHINGTON 32 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 25 7:35 PM
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