Crawford caps wild finish as Warriors top PacersJan 12, 2009 - 6:07 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The injuries are starting to pile up for the Golden State Warriors - but they found away to open a seven-game homestand with a win.
Jamal Crawford scored 32 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer for the Warriors, who had all five starters in double figures during a 120-117 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
"It felt really good," Crawford said. "We have a nice stretch at home and we've had a lot of road games and we feel like if we can put some wins together here, our fans are always out there supporting us - so get the team feeling good and get the morale up."
Danny Granger tied his career high with 42 points for the Pacers, who have lost three of four on their five-game road trip that ends Monday in Utah.
"It's kind of the way we lose games," Granger said. "We lost by two (points) to the Lakers a few nights ago and lose to (the Warriors) on a last-second shot, so that's the way it is. But we know we're right there. We've just got to get a stop to win a game and we're not doing that right now."
After Crawford made a pair from the line to give Golden State a 116-114 lead with 34 seconds to play in a back-and-forth final quarter, Granger drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key as Indiana took a 117-116 edge with 24 seconds left.
After a timeout, the Warriors passed the ball around the perimeter and Crawford responded with a shot from the arc, giving the home team a two-point cushion with 11 seconds to go.
"I thought it was a little long, so I pulled back just a little bit to take a little off of it," Crawford said. "But when it went through that net, it felt so good."
"We have to learn how to defend at some point in our lives and we're just not defending well enough to win these close games, that's what it comes down do," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We got every opportunity it just didn't work out."
Former Warrior Mike Dunleavy hurried a 3-pointer and missed badly and Kelenna Azubuike got the rebound and was immediately fouled. Azubuike made only one foul shot giving the Pacers a chance to send it to overtime with three seconds remaining.
The Pacers were able to send the ball the length of the court, but Travis Diener missed his 3-point attempt as the Warriors held on for the win.
"It's a shot I should make, I was wide open and it didn't fall," Diener said. "Danny (Granger) made a great play to find me and it was an open look, but it just didn't make it. They made some big shots, but we fell one play short which we've done a lot this year."
Azubuike added 21 points for Golden State, which lost guard Marco Belinelli in the fourth quarter to a sprained right ankle. The young second-year guard from Italy had to be helped off the court after landing on Troy Murphy's foot during a jump shot.
Golden State had already lost Brandan Wright, who partially dislocated his left shoulder last Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers and captain Stephen Jackson has missed the last three games with a strained right hamstring. Corey Maggette had missed 15 straight games with the same injury as Jackson.
"Man, it's been tough because our team has a lot of potential," Maggette said. "Regardless of our record shows us, we are a good team but we've had some setbacks here and there and it started with me and Monta (Ellis).
"Now it's Jack, Belli, and Brandan Wright, so we're dropping like flies. Hopefully we can get guys back healthy and until then, you try to hold the fort down as much as possible."
After trailing by nine after one quarter and by six at the half, the Warriors led by one entering the fourth quarter.
Belinelli gave Golden State its largest lead of the quarter at 96-91 with 8:51 left on a 3-pointer.
Indiana fought back and took a 107-106 lead on Granger's mid-range jumper with 4:40 remaining.
The lead changed four times and Granger gave the Pacers a 114-112 lead with an uncontested dunk in the paint with 2:18 left.
C.J. Watson was able to tie the game on a pair of free throws with 1:10 left and Crawford later gave the Warriors a 116-114 lead with 33.5 seconds remaining.
GOLDEN STATE 120 FINAL
Jan 11 11:36 PM
GOLDEN STATE 86 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 11 10:55 PM
GOLDEN STATE 55 HALFTIME
Jan 11 10:12 PM
GOLDEN STATE 23 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 11 9:39 PM
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