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Crawford hits for 50 as Warriors roll Bobcats

Dec 21, 2008 - 5:02 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 50 points Saturday, helping the Golden State Warriors snap a five-game skid with a 110-103 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Crawford, who was traded from the New York Knicks last month, was 14-of-26 from the field, including 5-of-8 from the arc, and 17-of-18 from the free-throw line.

"I was just out of it (Friday)," Crawford said of his six points in Friday night's game. "I couldn't sleep. Today's game couldn't come fast enough. The best thing about the NBA is another chance and opportunity."

The high-scoring Crawford victimized the Miami Heat for a career-best 52 points on January 26, 2007, while with the Knicks.

Golden State picked up its first victory since a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on December 10.

"We actually played well enough last night to win," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "But the valve shut off for us. We've played a couple of good games on this road trip and finally got a win. It seemed like forever. I'm very happy with it."

The Bobcats had been looking for their first three-game winning streak under coach Larry Brown.

"We have to be ready to win every night, and that's what I told them at halftime," Brown said. "Good teams come every night to win a game that they are supposed to win or have a good chance of winning, and they don't let it slip away. We still have to figure that out."

Despite Nelson turning over defensive coaching duties to assistants Keith Smart and Sidney Moncrief after Friday's loss in Atlanta, the Warriors gave up 100 points for the 24th time in 28 games.

"It was the first time," Crawford said. "(Keith's) always had his input, but was just standing up. It worked tonight so we'll see how it goes. Coach is great for even acknowledging he thought that was one of his weaknesses and doing something about it."

Crawford scored the final 15 points for the Warriors, who held off a strong comeback attempt from the Bobcats.

"I think (I was in a zone tonight)," Crawford said. "But it can't be done without your coaches and teammates pulling for you and putting you in good situations to succeed. It's a credit to all of us, but most importantly was the win."

The Warriors went up 102-93 on a bucket from Crawford and appeared to have the game in hand.

Charlotte, however, would not go away quietly. Raymond Felton scored on two straight possessions to cut into the deficit.

The Bobcats had cut the lead to five, but Emeka Okafor missed two free throws that would have made it a one-possession game, and the Warriors cruised from there.

Charlotte opened the second half on a 7-2 run to break a 56-56 tie. Crawford's running jumper with 6:34 left put the Warriors in front at 66-65.

The Warriors extended their lead with eight straight behind threes from Kelenna Azubuike and Crawford.

Golden State took an 84-72 lead after another three from Crawford. The Warriors finished the game 10-of-18 from behind the arc.

In addition to the half-century mark from Crawford, Azubuike added 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Charlotte had all five starters in double figures and was led by Gerald Wallace's 26 points while Boris Diaw and Emeka Okafor each notched double-doubles. It was Diaw's second double-double since being acquired for Jason Richardson earlier this month.

"The rhythm was off in the second half because of all the free throws," Diaw said. "It was difficult for us."

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