OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Brian Cardinal made good on Golden State
coach Eric Musselman's promise that this game would be won with
The journeyman power forward had career highs of 13 points and
eight rebounds, sparking the Warriors in their 95-89 victory over
the Utah Jazz on Friday night. Cardinal returned after receiving
five stitches over his right eye at halftime and ignited the crowd.
"It's just great to be part of the team," said Cardinal, who
spent his first three seasons in the league with Detroit and
Washington and won a spot with the Warriors early in training camp.
"My goal was to make the team and be one of the top 12."
Erick Dampier had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his career-best
fifth straight double-double, and Jason Richardson had 21 points to
lead the Warriors in scoring for the second straight game after
serving a three-game suspension.
Mike Dunleavy made three 3-pointers on the way to 20 points as
the Warriors received another balanced offensive effort to win
their third consecutive home game.
They all appreciated Cardinal's effort.
"Who wouldn't want to watch that guy play?" Dunleavy said.
Andrei Kirilenko scored 21 points for the Jazz, who made a late
run but couldn't overcome their slow start without leading scorer
Matt Harpring, who missed the game because of the death of his
Kirilenko converted all 11 of his free throws, giving him 26
straight from the stripe to start the season. Raja Bell had a
career-high 20 points and Carlos Arroyo added 13 points and 10
But the Jazz seemed to be missing the veteran leadership of Karl
Malone and John Stockton.
"They were the aggressors, and they came out and stroked us,"
Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We've got too many battles to fight.
We've got guys looking up in the stands and visiting with people
while we're shooting free throws. That doesn't show a great deal of
respect for the game."
The highlight for Cardinal was a spectacular basket in the
fourth quarter. He hit an 8-footer as he was being pushed down and
got fouled on the play. He threw his hand in the air as he hopped
up, winning over many of the 11,642 fans in the process.
"Every Warriors fan and everyone in our organization should be
extremely happy Brian Cardinal popped out of nowhere," Musselman
The Warriors have missed the playoffs for nine straight seasons
but seem determined to change that this season. They defeated
Atlanta 99-72 on Wednesday night to kick off their five-game
homestand on a high note.
Golden State shot 56 percent in the first half to build a big
lead and cruised the rest of the way.
Nick Van Exel had 16 points and nine assists in his second game
back after minor knee surgery. Richardson was suspended the first
three games for assaulting his former girlfriend.
The Warriors made 12 straight shots during a first-quarter spurt
to build a 30-13 lead and were 13-of-18 at one point. Their 34
points in the first quarter were the most the Warriors have scored
in a period this season, and Utah's 13 were the second-lowest total
allowed by Golden State in a quarter.
Injured Warriors F Troy Murphy hopes to have a follow-up
examination on his right foot in about a week and hopes to play
again within a few weeks. He is still limping around and unable to
shoot because of the pressure it would put on the foot. "It feels
better, but it's not where I can just go out and play," Murphy
said. "I'll be OK." ... Keon Clark didn't travel with the Jazz.
He has a bone spur in his right ankle and stayed in Salt Lake City
to be evaluated.
The NBA has hired Byron Spruell as president of league operations. He will take over operations formerly the responsibility of Rod Thorn, who is retiring.
From LeBron to KG to the city of Cleveland, Joakim Noah has always enjoyed needling his opponents.
Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant talk about the opportunity to represent the United States at the Olympics.