OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors have been
beaten down mentally and physically for so long now, they allowed
themselves to celebrate just a bit.
And with good reason.
The Warriors, who believe a new, winning era of basketball has
begun in Oakland, showed major positive in signs Eric Musselman's
head coaching debut Wednesday night, a 106-98 victory over the San
Antawn Jamison scored 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting and Jason
Richardson added 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Both
had several monstrous dunks, as did Adonal Foyle, who came off the
bench to score 14 points and grab seven rebounds.
"We believe in ourselves,'' Jamison said. "It's this
us-against-the-world mentality. People don't believe in us. We did
what we were supposed to do, but don't get me wrong, there are
still 81 games to go.''
The Warriors played energized, aggressive and determined in
their opener. They even received a standing ovation.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio,
which looked sluggish after beating the defending NBA champion Los
Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night to start the season.
"You've got to give them credit for an excellent ballgame,''
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We've played better, and it was
a quick turnaround, but they had a lot of energy. This crowd really
got behind them, too. (Musselman) has got them playing exciting
Jamison burned Spurs' defensive stopper Bruce Bowen all game and
scored 15 of his points in the first half to help the Warriors
build a two-point halftime lead.
"What this does is help our players' confidence,'' Musselman
said. "They have been beaten up so much mentally. We want them to
believe in themselves and that they can be a team that can win
Golden State, which has missed the playoffs an NBA-high eight
straight seasons, built its biggest lead of 12 points -- which the
Warriors later matched -- with 2:23 to go in the third quarter on a
dunk by Foyle. But the Spurs went on a 9-0 run to end the period,
getting 3-pointers from Danny Ferry and Stephen Jackson to pull to
The Warriors received a standing ovation from the 13,261 fans
with 43.1 seconds left, a rare sight for basketball in Oakland.
"It's funny,'' Jamison said. "We have the best fans in the
world, but it's difficult to cheer for a team that wins 20 to 25
games. They're just itching for us to play to our ability.''
Golden State's Troy Murphy provided a key 3 that banked in as
the 24-second clock sounded with 11:34 left, and Jamison kept
hitting huge baskets. When he connected on a 3 with 10 minutes left
to make it 81-72, he maintained his followthrough as if to send a
message. Richardson's dunk at 8:57 made it 83-72.
David Robinson, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds against the
Lakers, finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
"They're a young team that could win a lot of games,'' Robinson
said. "I think it's good for us, because it reminds us what
happens if you don't bring the full effort and energy you need even
on one night in this league. It's early, but it's good to get that
Golden State overcame frigid shooting early in the game to
finish 40-for-83 in Musselman's first game. The 37-year-old is
Golden State's eighth coach since 1994, the last time the Warriors
made the playoffs and had a winning record.
He has changed almost everything with this team -- dress code,
rule book, lighting in the locker room and practice facility --
anxious to find anything that might bring about different results.
Tony Parker, who shot 0-for-10 against the Lakers, made his
first four shots as the Spurs took a quick lead. But Parker cooled
off and didn't score again until 2:40 remained and finished with 14
points as the Spurs had six players score in double digits.
Mike Dunleavy, the Warriors' top draft pick out of Duke, played
only the final 18.9 seconds of the first half and never touched the
Golden State had lost six of its last seven openers. The
Warriors broke a 16-game losing streak to the Spurs, winning for
the first time since March 4, 1998. ... Warriors guard Bob Sura was
placed on the injured list Wednesday with a strained right calf
that kept him out all preseason. Forward Chris Mills (tendinitis in
his left Achilles' tendon) also is on the injured list. ...
Dunleavy's father, Mike, sat just a few rows up from courtside to
see his son's first NBA game. "It's very special,'' said Mike Sr.,
a former NBA coach. "This is something Michael's always wanted,
it's a long time coming. As a parent, you want the best for your
child. It's an exciting day.'' Any advice from dad? "Just like I
always give him: play hard and do what the coach says.'' ... Golden
State played without Danny Fortson, whose father died, and rookie
second-round pick Steve Logan, who's in a contract dispute. ...
Oakland mayor Jerry Brown attended the game.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
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