Warriors Beat Bobcats, Take Over First Place
Golden State 107, Charlotte 100
OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 2 (Ticker) -- After one of the best Novembers in franchise history, Baron Davis and the Golden State Warriors showed no signs of slowing down in December.
Davis had 21 points and 14 assists and Jason Richardson scored 22 points as the Warriors extended their winning streak to five games with a 107-100 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
It is the first time that the Warriors, who tied the franchise record with 11 wins in November, are alone in first place since March 1992.
However, Davis did not want his team to get too far ahead of itself.
"Anytime you're in first place it means something," Davis said. "(But we can't) look too much into it because we have a tough schedule coming up, an even tougher schedule than we had this month. We're back on the road again with pretty much all playoff-contending teams."
Facing a two-point deficit entering the final period, Golden State rallied behind reserve Calbert Cheaney, who recorded six points and an assist in a 10-2 run that gave the Warriors an 85-79 lead with just over nine minutes remaining.
"We came out and weren't as attentive as we would have liked," Murphy said. "We had a talk at halftime about coming out and playing hard in the second half and were able to do it. They never really went away and then (Cheaney) came in and hit some big shots for us and put us over the hump."
The Bobcats drew within 95-92 on a pair of free throws from Keith Bogans at the 4:10 mark, but Richardson took over in the final three-plus minutes.
After Murphy missed a 3-pointer, Richardson grabbed the offensive rebound and made the easy layup. The Bobcats failed to score on the other end, and Richardson drove past Charlotte's Emeka Okafor for a thunderous dunk with 2:38 left to make it 99-92.
Matt Carroll's 3-pointer with 25 seconds to go cut the deficit to 103-98 before Richardson made 4-of-4 free throws to seal the victory.
"We had to win this game," Richardson said. "We just came back in the second half, had a little more energy, got some key stops. We didn't necessarily play good tonight, but we won and that's the most important part."
Okafor scored 11 of his 19 points in the first half to help the Bobcats build a 57-54 lead. Davis added seven in the third period, when the Warriors closed to 77-75.
Charlotte center Primoz Brezec had 14 points and 11 rebounds and forward Gerald Wallace contributed 10 on 5-of-9 shooting.
"Charlotte's a team to be reckoned with," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "They're playing hard every night for (coach Bernie Bickerstaff). Their big guys gave us all kinds of problems inside."
Brevin Knight had 19 points and nine assists for the Bobcats, who lost their third straight despite making 43-of-52 free throws.
"I told the guys they don't have any reason to drop their heads," Bickerstaff said. "You shoot 33 percent, you're still in the basketball game and my hat's off. I'm disappointed about the loss, I'm not disappointed in the effort."
Knight, however, did not want to talk about moral victories.
"We couldn't get any buckets at the end of the fourth," Knight said. "They did a good job of scoring and that's the name of the game. I'm about done taking positives. When we start winning games again, then that'll be the positives."