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Warriors give Jackson happy homecoming in Brooklyn

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Mark Jackson grew up 15 blocks from the new Barclays Center, so when Brooklyn's native son brought his Golden State Warriors to face the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night, it was a special moment.

"For me, it's great," Jackson said. "My mom was here. My sister was here. I had friends, people who haven't seen in years. To see my mom sitting in the stands was a great blessing. It's good to be home and it's better to leave with a win."

After the Warriors stormed back in the second half to topple the hometown Nets, 109-102, the mood in the Golden State locker room was electric. They were hooting, hollering, yelling like a bunch of school kids.

"That's part of the reason why we're playing so well," said forward David Lee, who led the Warriors with 30 points and 15 rebounds -- the fifth time Lee reached 30 and 15 in his career. "We have some of the best chemistry around. We have a great group of young guys and some veterans. It's a good mix. We're going to continue that chemistry and that keeps us together in the close games."

Lee was a major factor in the victory, scoring six consecutive points down low that broke an 89-89 tie and gave the Warriors the lead for good at 95-89 with 6:37 remaining.

"David Lee was spectacular tonight," Jackson said.

Another key performer was Stephen Curry, who torched the Nets for 28 points, 13 of which came in the third quarter when the Warriors (12-7) recovered from an eight-point deficit.

"Curry continues to show the world just how good he is," Jackson said of his point guard, who scored 20 or more points for the sixth consecutive game. "When Steph heats up like that, he makes it hard to stop him. I'll take him against any point guard in the league. He shoots the ball as well as anyone who has ever played the game."

"I kept putting the ball up and making those shots," Curry said. "I made some tough shots, but you have to make shots in all sorts of situations."

The Warriors opened a grueling seven-game road trip with a 2-0 record.

"We all know how tough it is to win on the road," Curry said. "To play the way we did and come away with the win is a great start to the trip."

The Nets (11-7) lost for the third game in a row. Coach Avery Johnson is concerned with his team's defensive effort.

"It's been a problem for us," said Johnson, whose team surrendered 117 points in a loss to Oklahoma City Tuesday night. "We're not the same team defensively. We have to figure out how to get our team out of this defensive funk. Our defense got broken down quite a bit and we need to repair it. They scored way too many points."

Meanwhile, the Warriors put the defensive clamps on the Nets, who shot just 20 percent in the second half and scored just 39 points after going for 63 points in the first half.

Curry connected on 5-of-9 from 3-point range, including 4-of-6 in the third quarter, with one 3-pointer seemingly being from longer range than the first.

Joe Johnson scored 20 of his game-high 32 points in the first half to lead the Nets, who begin a stretch of four home games in five games. It was Johnson's best scoring performance as a member of the Nets.

Despite Johnson's contribution, the Nets received 23 points and eight assists from Deron Williams and 22 and 15 rebounds from Andray Blatche.

Golden State also got 15 points from Jarrett Jack off the bench and 13 from Klay Thompson.

The Nets took a 63-55 lead into halftime, thanks to an 11-0 run right before the break. Blatche scored seven during that stretch, including a 3-pointer from the right wing.

The Nets led by as many as 13 (37-24), but the Warriors' fast-paced offensive attack enabled them to crawl back and take the lead at 55-52 on a long 3-pointer from Thompson, but the Nets took control late in the second quarter to take the halftime lead.

Curry's 13 points in the third quarter enabled the Warriors to take an 84-82 lead into the final period.

Lee hit a foul line jumper to give Golden State a 93-89 lead with 7:12 remaining, the biggest lead of the night for the Warriors, then scored on a rebound hoop down low, giving Golden State a 95-89 lead, forcing Avery Johnson to call a time out.

The Nets continued to shoot poorly for the remainder of the game, causing their demise. Golden State outscored the Nets, 23-13, over the final five minutes, completing the happy homecoming for the head coach.

"This is a huge, huge win for us and I'm just so proud of our guys," Jackson said. "This is who we are. The guys come to practice with this electricity. They're young, they're energetic and they're enthusiastic. They're just learning the experience. I think special things are coming. This was a good W for the good guys, a heck of a win."

NOTES: The Nets were once again without their leading scorer, center Brook Lopez, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a sprained right foot. Lopez, averaging 18.5 points per contest, tested the foot in the morning shoot-around, but was deemed not ready for action. He is listed day-to-day. ... Blatche has flourished in Lopez's absence. In four games prior to Friday, Blatche has averaged 17.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. ... The Warriors were without Richard Jefferson, who sat out the game with a foot injury. Jefferson spent seven seasons with the Nets, averaging 17.4 points during that stint, earning one All-Star berth. ... Andrew Bogut (ankle) also sat out the game for Golden State. ... Warriors coach Mark Jackson, a native of Brooklyn, spent three seasons (2005-2008) as a television analyst for the Nets on the YES Network.
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