Oakland, CA – What a come back by the Golden State Warriors! Down by as much as eighteen points in the third quarter. The Warriors rallied early in the fourth to beat the Atlanta Hawks 108-104. Limited to only eight players coach Don Nelson shuffled his line up and shocked the Hawks who dominated in the third quarter.
“We made changes in the fourth by resting Monta Ellis to spread the floor and added two centers to the line up to get more rebounds,” said Nelson. “Chris Hunter played his best game, he was huge for us.”
For three quarters the Warriors looked none to spectacular than when they lost Friday night by 30 to the Utah Jazz. They played a close game during the first half being down by 1 before heading into halftime. The third quarter belonged solely to the Hawks who out played, out rebound and out scored Golden State while advancing their lead to almost 20 points.
“We built a comfortable lead and failed to continue to do the things that got us into the lead and we just can’t do that,” coach Mike Woodson said. “I haven’t seen that all year from this team, except the time we self-destructed in Cleveland.”
The lead Atlanta built was chiseled down slowly by Golden State. The additions of Anthony Tolliver and Chris Hunter was a huge factor at the start of the fourth quarter. By the mid way point, the Warriors scored the last 13 points in a 16-0 run to take the lead. Stephen Curry again became the unsung hero with a layup to give Golden State the lead for the first time since the first quarter.
“They were a force,” said Ellis. “They were blocking shots, getting rebounds every which way, making shots, did everything.” “At the end coach (Don Nelson) went big and we were successful with it.”
Curry and Ellis combined 58 points and outscored the Hawks 35-14 in the fourth. Curry finished with a game high 32 points and nine rebounds. Ellis had 26 points including the 5,000th of his career. Chris Hunter who was called up by the D-League had 12 points and was a huge part of the win.
“What we wanted to do is protect the basket and help the smalls out because they have big guards posting them up,” said Hunter. “We were able to get rebounds, run, leak out and get some fast-break buckets.”
Former Warrior Jamal Crawford made his first appearance since being traded in July. He scored 17 points and was the reason for the Hawks success in the first three quarters. Coming into this game Crawford had no ill feelings toward his former team and still watches their games. Speaking humbly before the game, Jamal talks about his new team and the transition of leaving what he thought was his future.
“It feels good to have an opportunity to win every single game,” said Crawford. “They made it easy for me here, it’s like a family, from my teammates, owners, entire organization and the fans really helped me with the transition.” “I’ve seen the ‘worst of the worst’ over my career!” “Playing for team that is looking for position in the playoffs, I do not take this opportunity for granted.”
Written by: Malaika Bobino