By Geoff Lepper
ORLANDO, Fla. - Baron Davis had 38 points, nine assists and four steals, but the Warriors' 117-108 victory Friday over the Orlando Magic -- one of the Eastern Conference's best teams -- was about more than their talented guard.
With Jason Richardson benched because of ineffectiveness and Andris Biedrins and Mickael Pietrus going down in the fourth quarter with injuries, Golden State had to dig deeper than it had on any other occasion this season.
The result? Arguably, the Warriors' best win of the season, and undoubtedly their biggest team effort, with everyone from Davis to forward Mike Dunleavy (21 points, five rebounds) to guard Monta Ellis (18 points, six rebounds) to seldom-used center Adonal Foyle (eight points, five rebounds, four blocks in a season-high 29 minutes) helping Golden State triumph for only the second time in its past 14 trips to central Florida.
``We're coming,'' Davis said. ``We're working together more, we're learning from each other; guys are out there actually talking and yelling at each other and trying to get it right. And that's the most important thing. You need that on the road. You need that to be a good team.''
The Warriors (14-14) took a big step toward being a good team Friday, clawing their way back to .500 with a second consecutive road win. A victory today in Miami in the finale of this season-long, six-game excursion would make it a merry Christmas indeed for Coach Don Nelson's crew.
``It was a very, very good win for us, unexpected,'' Nelson said. ``It was a very good team. We just happened to get hot at the right time.''
That time would be the fourth quarter, when the Warriors shot 12 for 22, including 4 for 7 on three-pointers. Dunleavy hit all three of his three-point attempts in the last 12 minutes.
``The three-point shot actually won the game for us tonight,'' Nelson said. ``We made some (9 for 24), they didn't (2 for 10). Otherwise, it's a pretty even game.''
The Warriors didn't take a three-pointer during a 10-4 run that created a 100-93 lead with 5:17 remaining. But after Magic guard Jameer Nelson knocked down two free throws to make it 104-100 at the 2:17 mark, Golden State got two game-changing three-pointers from Dunleavy.
The first came when Foyle collected a miss and fed Dunleavy with just four seconds on the shot clock. Dunleavy hoisted a shot from just left of the top of the key that caught glass, rolled around the rim and finally dropped.
``I knew it was going in,'' Dunleavy said. ``It just felt good on my hands. I didn't know how it was going in -- whether it was glass, swish or whatever.''
After a 19-foot fadeaway jumper from Davis, the point guard found Dunleavy open for another three-pointer, and he splashed it with 51.1 seconds remaining, putting the game out of reach at 112-104. After that, it was free-throw time, and Davis hit 3 of 4 to secure the win.
The Warriors lost Biedrins to a bruised right hip and Pietrus to a broken nose after taking an elbow from Orlando's Dwight Howard.
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