Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Wednesday, November 5th
Hawks72Final
Warriors99
Game 2: Wednesday, December 17th
Warriors98Final
Hawks85

Hawks 72

(1-4, 0-3 away)

Warriors 99

(2-2, 2-1 home)

    Coverage: FSBAY

    7:30 PM ET, November 5, 2003

    ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 21 24 19 872
    GS 29 22 27 2199

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: J. Terry 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast

    Golden State: M. Dunleavy 13 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl

    GOLDEN STATE 99, ATLANTA 72

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jason Richardson and Nick Van Exel expect to put up big numbers as the Golden State Warriors' starting backcourt _ and they're just two parts of an equation that might add up to more victories than anybody expected.

    Richardson had 16 points and 10 rebounds in his first game back from suspension, and Van Exel scored 12 points in his Warriors debut, a 99-72 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

    Erick Dampier had 11 points and 18 rebounds for Golden State, which began a five-game homestand with an energizing victory following the addition of two starters. Van Exel missed the first three games of the season following minor knee surgery, while Richardson was suspended for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

    "We have a lot of veterans who have been around, who know how to win," Van Exel said. "That's going to be our strength."

    After the offseason departures of Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas, their top scorers and team leaders, nearly everyone expected the Warriors to regress from the team that went a surprising 38-44 last season.

    Instead, Golden State has shown early signs of veteran savvy _ such as the tenacity to bury the struggling Hawks with stifling defense in the second half.

    "It's just a veteran team, a smart team," said Dampier, who has four straight games of double figures in points and rebounds. "It's a different feeling around here. This is the best team I've been a part of, and I think we're going to show it on the court."

    The Warriors led by only five midway through the third quarter, but they made a 25-5 run into the fourth. Richardson's reverse dunk on an alley-oop pass from Mike Dunleavy with 8:41 left was the rally's highlight.

    It was the Warriors' biggest victory since a 28-point win over Cleveland last Jan. 15 _ and with Van Exel and Richardson back, Golden State's only missing starter is injured forward Troy Murphy.

    "We wanted to go out there and put them away," Richardson said. "We know they're capable of coming back, but we played real great team defense. That's one of the differences from last year's team. Sometimes we struggled on defense."

    Jason Terry had 13 points and six assists for Atlanta in his return from a one-game suspension for throwing a flagrant elbow last Saturday against Indiana, but the Hawks couldn't keep up in their third straight loss to the Warriors.

    At the start of a five-game West Coast road swing, Atlanta went 3-for-15 from the field and scored just eight points in the fourth quarter, tying the franchise record for fewest points in the fourth.

    While the Warriors seem to be fixing the problems that have kept them out of the playoffs for nine years, Atlanta is off to another lousy start with four losses in five games.

    "It was a terrible exhibition of basketball," said center Theo Ratliff, who had eight points and six rebounds. "We weren't playing together. We were just jacking up shots and not really playing defense, and we can't expect to play that way and be in the game. That's why we got blown out like that."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ATL
    GS
    Points 72 99
    FGM-FGA 29-79 (.367) 37-83 (.446)
    3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 5-18 (.278)
    FTM-FTA 10-20 (.500) 20-31 (.645)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-43 16-52
    Assists 19 23
    Turnovers 20 14
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 4 2
    Fast Break Points 4 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 25 (0/0) 20 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Atlanta
    Golden State
    Jason Terry Terry
    Points: 13
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Mike Dunleavy Dunleavy
    Points: 13
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0