After finally recording their first victory of the season, the Golden State Warriors look to make it two in row when they visit a team they’ve had little trouble beating of late.
The Warriors try for an eighth consecutive victory over the Memphis Grizzlies when the clubs meet Monday night.
After losing its first two games by a combined nine points, Golden State (1-2) had enough to hold off New Jersey 105-97 on the road Saturday to avoid the possibility of another lengthy losing streak to open the season.
“It’s good to get the first one out of the way,” Golden State swingman Stephen Jackson said. “Last year we started 0-6 so it feels good to have a new team, a young team and to get this out of the way.”
Jackson scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half, while Andris Biedrins added 23 points and 11 rebounds as the Warriors held an opponent to fewer than 100 points for the first time this season.
“We just wanted to make sure this time because we had painful losses in the second half of our first two games,” said Biedrins of the Warriors, who will close out a three-game road trip Monday. “We wanted to make sure we got the lead and held on to it.”
Jackson, who also had eight assists, is averaging 22.7 points and 6.0 assists through three contests. He averaged 21.3 in four games versus Memphis in 2007-08.
Biedrins, meanwhile, dominated in the second quarter and in the opening half of the third, scoring 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field in posting his third straight double-double. He is off to a strong start, averaging 18.0 points and 12.0 boards.
“I got a lot of confidence this summer playing with the national team (Latvia),” said Biedrins, in his fifth NBA season overall with the Warriors. “I was the go-to guy all the time and when I came here I was really confident about myself.”
Corey Maggette added 20 points and 10 rebounds as he tries to help Jackson and Biedrins compensate for the loss of Baron Davis to free agency and Monta Ellis, who the team suspended for the first 30 games.
Maggette averaged 28.5 points in four games against the Grizzlies last season.
Memphis (1-2) hasn’t beaten Golden State since a wild 144-135 victory at home on Jan. 3, 2007. Rudy Gay had 22 points as a rookie in that contest. He averaged 21.3 points against the Warriors last season and is averaging 23.0 points overall to start 2008-09.
In Memphis’ 96-86 loss at Chicago on Saturday, Gay had 20 points but the Grizzlies couldn’t hold an eight-point halftime lead and were outscored 54-36 in the final two quarters,
“We really have to learn to put teams away,” said Gay, whose team has blown second-half leads in both losses.
O.J. Mayo, the third overall pick in June’s draft, had 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting. He is averaging 14.3 points.