OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Jamal Crawford’s first game with Golden State was a humiliating loss at Washington eight weeks ago. After seeing the Warriors’ injury problems and daunting holiday schedule, the newcomer sensed Golden State might be a grim place for a while.
The cloud over the Warriors finally seems to be lifting with ample help from Crawford, who has barely left the court at all during their first real streak of success all season.
Crawford had 28 points and eight assists, and Stephen Jackson added 26 points in the Warriors’ third win in four home games, 119-98 over Washington on Monday in a rare matinee game at Oracle Arena.
Crawford played all 48 minutes and hit four 3-pointers, scoring at least 20 points for the sixth time in seven games. The veteran has been unfailingly upbeat since joining the Warriors from New York, determined to help coach Don Nelson get his team together again.
“Now that we’re finally home for a while, I’m hoping we can build on what we’re doing,” said Crawford, who played 47 1/2 minutes against Atlanta last Friday and 60 minutes in a triple-overtime loss to Sacramento last week. “With a lot of games left, hopefully we can put something together. … This crowd, they give us so much energy. I’m being serious. If we didn’t have this crowd, I don’t know if I could do it.”
Corey Maggette scored 16 points for the Warriors, who had won three of four just once previously in their disappointing season. Golden State comfortably held off the Wizards, hitting 13 3-pointers and making 53 percent of its shots against Washington’s sketchy defense.
“It was a game we thought we should win, and we did,” Nelson said. “We finally held somebody below 100. We’re counting that. I’m making it very difficult to do that, because we’re a high-scoring team, but when it happens, it’s kind of a special thing for us.”
Even with serious injury problems, Golden State has put its game together since returning from a brutal four-week travel stretch in mid-January. With Jackson returning to the lineup last Friday, Golden State already has three wins on a seven-game homestand that still includes visits from lowly Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Our team is coming together,” Maggette said. “We’re doing a lot of good things, and having Jack back adds a lot more good things. We’ve stayed positive through all the adversity, and we’re finally coming together and playing well.”
The Warriors could get their first three-game winning streak of the season Wednesday against the Thunder. Golden State improved to 9-9 in Oakland, although it doesn’t make up for that 4-20 road record.
Golden State also made up for that 124-100 loss to Washington on Nov. 25, the first victory for Wizards coach Ed Tapscott, who took over the club one day earlier. Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Andray Blatche scored 22 points apiece for the Wizards, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.
“Every time we tried to make a run, they responded,” Tapscott said. “We did not have enough discipline to take advantage of prosperous moments. You have to pass and share the ball to have an offensive flow. We did too much dribbling and standing around.”
Golden State jumped to a 15-point lead in the third quarter with eight points from Kelenna Azubuike, who finished with 17. Butler’s nine points in the period pulled the Wizards close heading to the fourth, but the Warriors steadily stayed ahead with layups and open jumpers.
“We’ve beaten some quality teams this year, but we’ve also lost to some teams that are under .500,” James said. “Every win is a relief, and every loss is like taking two steps backward. We just want to try and continue to savor this season as much as possible.”
Washington snapped a six-game skid against New York on Friday, but opened a four-game West Coast trip with another listless performance by the Eastern Conference’s worst team.
The Wizards have lost three straight in Oakland. Washington dropped to 2-17 on the road, losing six straight.
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, a Bay Area native, attended the game. … Golden State rested G C.J. Watson, who has turf toe, the Warriors said. Marco Belinelli, Brandan Wright and Monta Ellis still are out of Golden State’s lineup with injuries. … Jamison and injured Wizards G Gilbert Arenas both left the Warriors in the summer of 2003.