Warriors have the correct answer - SF Chronicle

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» Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:02 am
Warriors have the correct answer
Davis' 3-pointer helps send Bucks to first loss

Janny Hu, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Milwaukee -- Basketball's rule of atonement calls for a player to make up for a bad play with a good one. In the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 110-103 win over the Bucks, Baron Davis lost the ball to Charlie Bell and watched him streak down the court for a fastbreak layup.

The basket cut the Warriors lead to two points with 3:49 to play, but the fuming Davis didn't panic. He came back on the next possession and swished a 3-pointer from 27 feet to give Golden State a five-point cushion.

Bad play. Good play.

Perfect display of atonement.

"That's what the beginning of the season is all about -- making silly mistakes," Davis said. "But we were able to correct them at key points in the game. We hit big shots when we needed to, we got big stops."

That was the deceptively simple recipe the Warriors followed in handing Milwaukee its first loss of the season. Something had to give when the league's fifth-best defense took on the second-highest scoring offense, and it was the Warriors who locked down Milwaukee with their clutch shooting.

Their defensive stand came in the third quarter, when the Warriors held the Bucks scoreless for 4 minutes and 16 seconds to turn a one-point lead into a 13-point edge.

The clutch shooting followed in the fourth, when in between four turnovers, Davis, Troy Murphy, Derek Fisher and Jason Richardson each sank a 3-pointer to turn away Milwaukee's attempts at rallying.

"It's the way you're supposed to play," Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said.

The game unfolded exactly as Montgomery wanted. When the Warriors used a big man to help on defense against the Bucks' ultra-quick point guard, T.J. Ford, they left themselves vulnerable on the defensive glass.

Montgomery challenged his smaller players -- particularly Richardson in the first half and Dunleavy in the second -- to crash the boards, and both delivered. Richardson had a double-double two minutes into the second quarter, and Dunleavy added five second-half rebounds.

When the Bucks used a big man to help defend Davis against the smaller Ford, they left themselves vulnerable to the outside shot. And the Warriors made them pay by shooting 50 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from 3-point range. Murphy led the way with four 3s, Davis had three and Richardson, Dunleavy and Derek Fisher each added a pair.

Richardson grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to go with 23 points, and Murphy tied his career-high with four 3s en route to a game-high 25 points. Davis added 20 points and 15 assists -- his best as a Warrior.

"That's what we're capable of doing," Davis said. "That's what makes us so dangerous. You have to pay attention to our perimeter game and that opens up everything on the inside with penetration.

Golden State improved to 3-1, its best start since the 1994-95 season, and spoiled the perfect start of Bucks coach Terry Stotts, an assistant with the Warriors last season.

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