Sports

Davis leads Warriors to big victory

OAKLAND -- Even after Stephen Jackson scored 12 points in overtime with one clutch shot after another, the Warriors swingman knew who really carried Golden State to a stirring win over the defending NBA champions.

"I know if I had a choice between myself and Baron, I'd put the ball in Baron's hands," Jackson said.

Over and over, the Warriors did just that against the San Antonio Spurs -- and the remarkable Baron Davis came through again.

Davis had 34 points and 14 assists while creating offense on nearly every possession in the final 10 minutes of Golden State's 130-121 victory Monday night.

The style clash between freeflowing Golden State and orderly San Antonio was entertaining throughout, but Davis put on the best show. He had 12 points in the fourth quarter during a stunning series of baskets before the Spurs erased a six-point deficit in the final 47 seconds, forcing overtime on Tony Parker's 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds left.

Davis simply altered his game, getting three assists and a key basket in overtime as the Warriors pulled away. All told, Davis was responsible for 28 points with baskets and assists in the final 5 minutes of regulation and overtime.

"I thought our spirits were really down, but somehow we got it back together," coach Don Nelson said. "And I think we can thank Baron for this one."

Jackson, who rallied from a terrible start to finish with 29 points, hit two free throws and two 3-pointers on passes from Davis in a 56-second span of overtime. Davis added a silky pullback jumper with 43 seconds to play, ensuring San Antonio's second loss at Golden State in four weeks.

Few January games carry more importance than this victory for the Warriors, who won the season series with the Spurs for the first time since 1996-97. They also avoided their first three-game losing streak since beginning the season 0-6.

"It was a much-needed victory to scratch that two-game streak we were on," Davis said of consecutive home losses to Denver and New Orleans.

"We were consistent, and especially against the champs, we knew we were going to have to play like that. This is one of those victories that can kind of snap you out of it."

SUNS 137, NUGGETS 115, at Phoenix -- So much for the Phoenix Suns' chemistry woes.

General manager Steve Kerr had a little talk with the team before shootaround. What followed was a 3-point barrage that an old sharpshooter like Kerr surely appreciated.

Shawn Marion scored a season-high 27 points, had six blocked shots, and hit five of Phoenix's 20 3-pointers to lead the Suns to a romp over the Denver Nuggets in a division leaders' matchup that quickly became a mismatch.

"A good day at the office, I guess you could say," Marion said.

Marcus Banks, who has played his way back into the Suns' rotation, made a career-high seven 3s -- in eight attempts -- en route to a season-best 23 points. The 20 3-pointers matched a franchise record and were one shy of the NBA record set by Toronto on March 13, 2005.

Steve Nash said Kerr told the players "he just believes in us and wants us to believe in one another and give ourselves our best possible chance."

  Comments