Crawford’s clutch shots lift Blazers over WarriorsThursday, Feb 16, 2012
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Jamal Crawford stepped to the foul line with 44 seconds left in a tie game and needed some extra time to shake off the pain in his right wrist following a hard fall.
He spent those few seconds listening to former teammate Nate Robinson, who was trying to distract Crawford with trash talk, before calmly knocking down both shots to give Portland a two-point lead.
“He’s like a little brother to me,” Crawford said, referring to Robinson. “We went to high school together and were teammates for three years in the NBA. I’m still the big brother. Heck, he had a pretty good game, too.”
“The thing we’ve been missing in a lot of games is finishing down the stretch,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “I thought we did that tonight. Gerald hit a big basket, Jamal hit a big shot and Marcus made a key stop. That’s what we need to win these close games.”
David Lee matched his season high with 29 points to lead the Warriors, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Lee also grabbed 11 rebounds.
“There were times we had an opportunity to close them out,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “They made a couple of dagger 3s with the clock dwindling down and that really hurt. So, a tough loss, but we move forward.”
Crawford, who finished with 14 points, hit a long 3 to put Portland ahead 91-90 with 1:03 left. Robinson made one of two from the foul line to tie it with 51 seconds remaining before Crawford sank his free throws for the final points of the game.
“A win like this can catapult us,” Crawford said. “Those guys play good at home and we haven’t won here much. We were the aggressors and usually the aggressors win.”
Robinson had the ball with 6 seconds remaining but lost control of it driving to the basket and kicked it out to Brandon Rush, whose 3-point attempt missed.
“Nate was getting whatever he wanted to do on the floor,” Jackson said. “It was a high pick-and-roll, and when he came off he had options around the court in shooters. We did get what we wanted.”
Portland All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge missed the game with a left ankle injury sustained early in Tuesday night’s game against Washington.
“To see a guy like LaMarcus go down like that shakes you up,” Crawford said. “We had to regroup after last night and focus on this game. It was a huge win for us.”
Wallace scored 10 points in the second to help rally the Trail Blazers to a 57-54 halftime advantage.
Portland took a 72-70 lead into the fourth quarter as the Warriors missed their last six shots of the third and their first four of the final period before Klay Thompson hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 8:52 remaining, tying the game at 74.
Thompson’s shot sparked a 16-6 run that gave the Warriors an 88-82 edge with 3:04 left. The Trail Blazers tied it at 88 with just under 2 minutes to play on Wallace’s 3-pointer.
The Warriors scored the game’s first seven points and shot nearly 58 percent to take a 27-20 lead after the opening quarter.
Notes: Of the seven games Aldridge has missed over the past three years, four have been against the Warriors. … Robinson averages 15 points a game against the Trail Blazers, his second-best against any team. … Jackson all but challenged the players selected for the NBA 3-point shooting contest to go up against Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson. “We can put something at stake and I’ll take my guys,” Jackson said. … Warriors broadcaster Jim Barnett was an original Trail Blazer. … Lee recorded his fifth consecutive double-double at home. … The Trail Blazers scored a season-high 37 points in the second quarter. … The Warriors fell to 1-5 in games decided by three points or less.
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