Lee leads road Warriors past Hawks, 115-93By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer Saturday, Dec 15, 2012
ATLANTA (AP)—The weary Golden State Warriors managed to put together quite the finale to an impressive seven-game road trip.
They sure look like one of the top teams out West.
The Warriors capped a 6-1 tour against Eastern Conference teams, including a win at Miami. It was the team’s first winning trip of at least six games since a 4-3 trip in the 1970-71 season.
“It was important for us to do that to show that we’re for real and we’re going to be here for the long haul,” coach Mark Jackson said. “It was a quality, quality effort.”
Golden State (16-8) closed the long trip with back-to-back games, including a loss at Orlando on Friday night.
“I told them before the game I’m tired so I know they’re tired,” Jackson said. “Physically beat up, ready to get home. That’s no excuse; 6-1 sounds better than 5-2. The good teams make sure that they finish the course.
“Even though it’s a legitimate excuse about fatigue, we didn’t allow it to take over us.”
Jarrett Jack who had 13 points, said the Warriors were determined to avoid a losing streak.
“We didn’t want to go back with two losses in a row,” Jack said, adding players told each other: “Let’s give it everything in the tank.”
The Hawks, who fell out of a first-place tie with Miami in the Southeast Division, looked like the fatigued team.
“That was probably one of our worst games all year from the standpoint of just our energy,” coach Larry Drew said.
“We didn’t have it. For some reason, we did not have the energy. We were a step late with a lot of things and we shot short.”
The Warriors set season highs for points and assists (32).
“I was really proud of our guys,” Lee said. “Everybody brought it.”
The Warriors shot 49.5 percent (49 of 99) from the field.
“Give them credit. They were on fire,” Atlanta’s Zaza Pachulia said. “They did a good job and we didn’t.”
The Hawks had won 11 of 13 but quickly dropped off the pace after the teams played to a 26-all tie in the first quarter.
The Warriors grabbed control when they outscored the Hawks 36-23 in the second period. Barnes gave Golden State the lead for good when he opened the period with his first of two straight 3-pointers.
No Hawks starter logged 30 minutes, and backups played most of the final period.
Golden State completed a sweep of its two-game season series against Atlanta. It was Lee’s seventh straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Drew was called for a technical foul as he protested a play at the end of the first half. No foul was called as Jeff Teague was knocked to the floor on a missed layup. Drew charged from the bench and drew the technical as he was restrained by his assistants.
Curry made the free throw awarded for the technical foul to open the second half.
Warriors rookie center Festus Ezeli was held out due to a bruised right knee. He banged his knee in Friday night’s loss at Orlando and had difficulty loosening up in pregame drills.
Andris Biedrins filled in for Ezeli and had seven rebounds and no points in his first start of the season.
Josh Smith had a difficult night for Atlanta. He was 1 for 12 from the field for three points while playing only 24 minutes.
“If you’ve ever played basketball, you know you’re going to have games when you don’t make shots,” Smith said. “Tonight was my game.”
Smith wasn’t alone. Teague made only 3 of 11 shots and the Hawks shot a season-low 36.9 percent from the field.
NOTES: Newly retired Braves 3B Chipper Jones attended the game with two of his sons. … Lee has scored 20 or more points in eight straight games, the longest streak of his career. … Hawks G Anthony Morrow (sore back) did not play. … The Warriors continue to be without C Andrew Bogut who is recovering from ankle surgery, and G Brandon Rush who is out for the year with an injured left knee.