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Warriors down Heat with fourth-quarter rally

Dec 8, 2007 - 7:59 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Golden State Warriors completed their largest comeback of the season, scoring 38 points in the fourth quarter to claim a 120-113 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday.

Stephen Jackson scored 28 points and Baron Davis added 25 as the Warriors hit 30-of-35 free throws to end a three-game losing streak to the Heat at home.

Miami was in control the entire game before falling apart in the fourth. The Heat led by as many as 18 points in the first half.

"It was a very hard loss for us," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "I thought we played extremely well until about five minutes to go and then fatigue really played more a part than anything else. I take total responsibility for that. I tried to finish it out with a group that played their hearts out and it was really a shame."

They asserted their authority in the third quarter, pushing their lead to 17 with two minutes remaining in the period.

However, the Warriors managed to chip away at the deficit and trailed, 91-82, entering the final quarter.

After the Heat extended their lead to 11 with just over nine minutes left in the game, the Warriors began their run, outscoring Miami 19-7 over the next six minutes.

"We didn't make the defensive stop that we needed," Heat forward Udonis Haslem said. "Down the stretch, if they're not going to miss, you've got to make them miss and we didn't make them miss.

"In the first half, it looked like everything was clicking but the second half things got a little tight. They made a couple of big shots, with a couple of runs and we didn't get the stop that we needed."

Davis capped the run with a 3-pointer, giving Golden State its first lead of the game, 108-107 with 3:16 left to play.

"We just kept fighting," Davis said. "Once we got the lead down to eight, we just kept chipping away and chipping away. I knew we had a chance, we just had to keep getting stops. They played the night before, so we knew they would get tired and it was just a matter of us making shots."

Dwyane Wade, who finished with 33 points, was fouled on the ensuing possession and tied the game by making one of his two free throws.

But the Heat could not stop the Warriors over the final three minutes. Golden State scored seven straight points after Wade's free throw - highlighted by an off-balance layup by Monta Ellis as he was fouled by Ricky Davis.

"They started hitting shots," Wade said. "We did a good job of keeping them out of rhythm. But Baron did a good job at the end of really taking over. If he wasn't hitting threes, he was penetrating and kicking it out to his guys for open shots."

Ellis, who finished with 21 points, completed the three-point play and Kelenna Azubuike ended the run with a follow shot, pushing Golden State's advantage to 115-108 with just under two minutes remaining.

"We just started playing defense and running, getting fast-break points and easy points," Ellis said. "Everybody came together and was on the same page. I don't think they wore down but we just played so much great defense."

Davis' fourth 3-pointer of the game and a pair of free throws by Ellis was all the Warriors needed to cement the victory down the stretch.

"I think it just comes from heart and determination," Davis said. "Coach challenged us at halftime and said this game was ours to get, and it was a matter of us coming and playing hard. You're not always going to be able to shoot the ball well but, at the end, we can always get some stops."

The loss was the Heat's fifth straight as they fell to 4-15 this season - the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

"I definitely should've given Dwyane a little bit of rest and definitely should've played (Shaquille O'Neal) in the second half," Riley said. "We had the nine to 12-point lead, and I thought we could finish it with a small lineup.

"And then they got hot which they're capable of doing and they had a 21-4 run on us and a very poor (coaching) performance on my part."

Meanwhile, the Warriors continued their hot play, winning their second straight and eighth in their last nine games.

"I wouldn't call it our best win," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "I guess any come-from-behind win is a good win, and we did it in great fashion, but we've had so many really good wins so far - road wins, close games, buzzer-winners and overtime games."

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