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News » Warriors get relief in New York

Warriors get relief in New York

Warriors get relief in New York NEW YORK So that's why Warriors guard C.J. Watson turned down a three-year, $5.4 million contract.

In September, banking on a good season to increase his earning power, Watson spurned the Warriors' multiyear proposal to sign a one-year, $1 million qualifying offer. In Friday's 121-107 win over the New York Knicks, Watson showed why he had the faith to turn down so much guaranteed money.

Seeing his first significant action of the season, Watson was exactly the spark the Warriors needed, scoring 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting with three assists.

"He was great," said guard Monta Ellis, who scored 22 points. "That's what he can do. He can come in and he can score, he can defend, he can run the ball. I'm not surprised by his play. He played excellent. I really think (he's) the reason we got to doing what we were doing and won the ballgame."

The Warriors shot 58.3 percent and had five players score at least 19 points. Swingman Stephen Jackson had a game-high 23. Ellis, forward Corey Maggette and swingman Kelenna Azubuike had 22 each.

The locker room was full of talk about how potent their offense can be when they share the ball. Friday, it opened up lanes and created one-on-one matchups, of which the Warriors took full advantage.

Led by penetration from Azubuike and Ellis, the Warriors registered 58 points in the paint. Azubuike set the tone early with two layups to start the Warriors scoring. He scored eight points in the first quarter, all off drives to the basket.

"He makes his defender respect him, and that opens up the paint for me and Monta and Corey (Maggette) and other guys," Jackson said. "Guys don't want to leave him, especially when he's hitting his 3s. ... He had (Danilo) Gallinari on him, and he was just taking him to the cup real aggressively and that's what got us that lead."

Then Watson came in and helped push the Warriors into another gear.

Warriors coach Don Nelson told Watson at shootaround that he would get some time Friday. Nelson said he wanted to go with veterans because he felt the Warriors could win, plus Watson had developed a nice rhythm in practice.

When he checked in early in the second quarter, the Warriors led 34-30 and he made his first five shots. By the time his baseline runner snapped the net for the final basket of the half, the Warriors led 66-52.

But Watson's impact wasn't limited to offense. During the run, he came up with two steals and helped set the tone for a pesky Warriors defense. The Knicks turned the ball over seven times in the second quarter, 21 for the game.

"I've been saying all along, C.J.'s one of my favorites," Jackson said. "I love him because he's one of those guys who plays defense first and takes good shots. He always takes good shots. I love having him on the court with Monta because they both play defense and we're a real fast team with both of them out there."

Watson was the opposite of excited after the game. As matter-of-factly as possible, he said he felt pretty good. He added that it was just one game, realizing he'll probably need a few more games like Friday.

"I've prepared myself for it," Watson said. "I know the situation. So I'm just going to stay ready, work on my game and keep practicing hard every day. When he calls my name, I'll be ready."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 16, 2009


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