Warriors ease past Hawks 111-97 in return home

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 8, 2014 at 12:44 am •  Published: March 8, 2014
Advertisement
;

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson asked his players a simple question during Friday's morning shootaround: How many of them had ever been on a team 14 games over .500?

Only veterans Jermaine O'Neal, Steve Blake and Andre Iguodala raised their hands.

With so many home games remaining, the opportunity in front of the Warriors is rare. Golden State took another step forward Friday night by easing past the Atlanta Hawks 111-97 for its third straight win.

"We're chasing greatness," Jackson said. "We're not going to be satisfied. We're going to continue to try to chalk up Ws, continue to battle and continue to celebrate where we are as a basketball team. It's a great time. And if nobody else knows it, we know it."

David Lee had 18 points and six rebounds, and O'Neal came off the bench to add 17 points and eight rebounds to lift the Warriors (39-24) a season-high 15 games over .500 with a relatively smooth win.

Iguodala and Stephen Curry each scored 13 points to help Golden State build a 66-52 halftime lead and go ahead by 20 in the fourth quarter. The Warriors, fresh off a 4-2 road trip, are 8-2 since the All-Star break and beginning to look like the team that roared to the second-round of the playoffs last year.

"I've been 15 under in New York a bunch of times and when I first got here," Lee said. "It says a lot about the direction this organization's headed that we're breaking through and reaching goals like that."

Paul Millsap had 16 points and seven rebounds after missing the last five games because of a bruised right knee for the Hawks, who have lost five straight. Mike Scott added 14 points and DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague scored nine points apiece as Atlanta continued its late-season slide.

The teams traded baskets for most of the first half until the Warriors put together a 12-1 spurt in the closing minutes that the Hawks (26-34) never recovered from.

"We lost our focus," Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. "We lost our mental toughness at the end of the second quarter and they were able to get out on us to like a 14-point lead going into halftime. That stretch really hurt us."