Warriors 99, Bobcats 87

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—The Golden State Warriors finally put together a strong second half and avoided becoming the first team to lose at home to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Jason Richardson scored 24 points to help the Warriors keep the Bobcats winless on the road with a 99-87 victory on Sunday night.

“This was a game unlike any we’ve had this year where we played well in the second half,” Troy Murphy said. “There are no easy wins in this league.”

Murphy had 17 points for the Warriors, who outscored Charlotte 53-35 in the second half. Cliff Robinson added a season-high 21 points, Speedy Claxton had 18 points and seven steals and Mike Dunleavy grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds.

“A lot of games have been close enough at the end and we can’t pull it off,” Richardson said. “To fight for the lead and gain it is good for us.”

Emeka Okafor had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost their fourth straight and fell to 0-10 away from home.

“It’s a loss but we’re competitive,” Okafor said. “It’s great entertainment. It’s not ‘ho-hum, trying to stay awake.’ Sooner or later we have to pull out some of these darn wins.”

Okafor has recorded 10 straight double-doubles, the longest streak by a rookie since Tim Duncan had 10 straight in 1997-98. Shaquille O’Neal had a 15-game streak in the 1992-93 season.

Jason Kapano added 17 points for Charlotte, while the newly acquired Kareem Rush had 13.

“We started a little flat but our back-ups gave us some good energy,” Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. “They hustled up and down the floor and we needed that.”

Charlotte point guard Brevin Knight dished out 11 assists in front of his former coach. Knight was Montgomery’s first major recruit at Stanford and helped lead the Cardinal into the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history during his senior year.

The Bobcats lost guard Keith Bogans with 8 minutes left when he was helped off the court with a sprained right ankle.

The Warriors can empathize with the Bobcats and their futility on the road. They’re one of four teams with only one road victory, and that came at Charlotte on Nov. 13, Montgomery’s first NBA victory.

Golden State overcame a 10-point deficit to take the lead late in the third quarter, 67-64, on Murphy’s three-point play with 4:27 left. The Warriors took advantage of seven Charlotte turnovers in the first eight minutes of the second half. The Bobcats committed 26 for the game.

“When we needed to be good, we were bad,” Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “We ended with 26 (turnovers) and we’ve been averaging about 10 on this road trip.”

Charlotte led for most of the first half, taking the lead late in the first quarter when Gerald Wallace, who had a career-high 13 rebounds, hit an 18-foot jumper for a 21-19 advantage.

The Warriors were within a point several times but Charlotte, which shot over 51 percent in the half, was able to extend its lead to 52-46 at the intermission.

“We just made some adjustments,” Richardson said. “They were playing with a little more energy than us and we picked it up in the second half. The whole team did a good job of pressuring them and getting turnovers.”


Warriors G Derek Fisher was placed on the injured list with a sprained right knee. G Luis Flores was activated from the injured list to take Fisher’s place on the roster. … Wallace played in his first game since sustaining a concussion during practice on Dec. 2. … Richardson has scored in double figures in 19 of 20 games. … Charlotte used its 10th different starting lineup of the season.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
E. Okafor E. Okafor
10-19,  21 Pts
13 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Golden State
M. Dunleavy M. Dunleavy
4-10,  9 Pts
15 Rebs, 4 Assists

Team Stat Leaders