Golden State 131, Bobcats 105

OAKLAND, Jan. 28, 2007 (AP) -- A comfortable home victory on the eve of their longest road trip allowed Al Harrington and the Golden State Warriors a rare moment of levity.

Harrington scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half to lead the Warriors over the Charlotte Bobcats 131-105 on Saturday night.

"This is the best basketball I've played in my life so I'm having a blast,'' he said. "It's always good for me to make my first couple of shots. That's when my confidence really gets going and I start feeling like I can make any shot.''

He almost did, going 9-of-11 from the field, including all five of his 3-point attempts.

"We needed the win to get momentum and gain confidence going into the (six-game) road trip,'' Harrington said. "It was good to play against these Eastern teams. I think we have a good chance to win our share of the games.''

Baron Davis added 17 points and 10 assists as the Warriors won their second straight and eighth in their last 10 home games. Stephen Jacksonadded 17 points and Monta Ellis had 16. Mickael Pietrus scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half. Josh Powell scored a career-high 13.

"It's great, we started with our defense,'' Davis said. "A lot of deflections, fast breaks and in turn that got us that nice, comfortable lead. I thought we played with our lead a little bit too much, which is dangerous. We have to get to the point where our defense is steady for 48 minutes.''

Season-high quarters of 40 in the first and 38 in the third helped give the Warriors the easy victory. Golden State, which leads the NBA in fast-break points, recorded 30 to the Bobcats' five.

"Bottom line is we couldn't keep up with them,'' Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "They did exactly what they were supposed to do at the beginning of the game - they got out and ran and made 3-point shots.''

Rookie Adam Morrison scored 21 points to lead the Bobcats, who were coming off an overtime victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday night. Gerald Wallace had 19 points and Emeka Okafor recorded his third straight double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Walter Herrmann scored a season-best 18 points.

"We played right into their game plan,'' Morrison said. "They are a great offensive team and they showed it tonight. It's not fun getting blown out by 20.''

The Bobcats, who have lost three straight in Oakland, missed seven of their first eight shots and fell behind 21-2 just over five minutes into the contest.

"Them coming off a back-to-back helped us,'' Harrington said. "They are a dangerous team coming off back-to-backs. My message to the guys was we had to respect them because they are the hardest-working team in the NBA.''

Golden State, using its reserves, opened a 30-point advantage midway through the final period.

The Warriors' third-quarter outburst extended their advantage to 101-76 going into the final quarter. The Warriors broke the century mark after the third quarter for the first time.

Golden State settled for a 40-25 lead after the first 12 minutes, matching its season high for points in the opening quarter.

Wallace scored 13 points in the second quarter as the Bobcats rallied from the 19-point deficit to pull within 63-54 at halftime.

The Warriors improved to 6-6 in games which they have scored 30 or more in the first quarter. The Bobcats fell to 4-11 against the West. It was Charlotte's third loss in the past eight road games.

Notes: Warriors G Jason Richardson had his cast removed and replaced with a removable splint before the game. X-rays showed his right hand has healed. He has missed 11 games since the Dec. 30 injury at Sacramento and 20 overall. ... Okafor spent one possession midway through the first quarter tying his shoe under the Warriors' basket. The Bobcats still managed to score in the 4-on-5 situation. ... Bobcats F Melvin Ely returned to action after missing two games with a respiratory infection. ... Bobcats F Othella Harrington also returned to action after missing three games with soreness in his left knee.


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