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Warriors win first of season

Warriors win first of season OAKLAND The Golden State Warriors answered their ball-movement issues on Wednesday night.

They registered a season-high 29 assists en route to their first win, a 113-105 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

The starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry combined for 21 assists, spearheading the Warriors' selfless attack against statistically one of the league's worst defenses.

Ellis had 24 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in 46 minutes. It was the second point-assist double-double of his career, the first coming on Feb. 24, 2007, when he had 17 points and 13 assists against the Clippers.

Anthony Morrow had 24 points on 10-for-12 shooting, knocking down all four of his 3-pointers. Corey Maggette had 20 points, and Stephen Jackson had 20 points and six assists.

The Warriors took control of the game during the back half of the third quarter. Morrow tied the game at 71 with a 3-pointer from the right wing. It started a 19-6 Warriors run, during which Morrow scored nine points. His floater in the lane put the Warriors ahead 87-77 with less than a minute to go in the third. The Warriors led 90-80 entering the fourth quarter.

Once sequence early in the fourth illustrated the kind of night the Warriors were having. Ellis brought the ball up and passed to Maggette who put his head down and went to the basket, but passed back out to Jackson. After passing up the jumper, Jackson drove to the basket and got to the rim, where he slipped a pass to center Andris Biedrins for a dunk.

In addition to the new-found ball movement, the Warriors played pesky defense, which led to easy baskets. Golden State scored 26 points off 17 Memphis turnovers.

The Grizzlies had topped 115 points in their past three games. Despite 29 points from Rudy Gay and 18 points from Allen Iverson, Memphis couldn't muster enough offense to keep pace.

The result was a comfortable home win for the Warriors , who were the last team in the Western Conference to get a victory.

It didn't look as if it would be so early on. The Warriors had a fairly disastrous first quarter and trailed 29-19 entering the second. They were outrebounded 21-9 and shot 32 percent from the field (8-for-25).

The Warriors led 13-9 after Jackson found Biedrins for a reverse dunk.

But Gay and Iverson combined for 14 points during a 17-0 Memphis run.

Gay's 17-foot jumper gave the Grizzlies a 26-13 lead inside of three minutes.

Golden State chipped away at the deficit before finally tying the game.

Ellis, who missed nine of his first 12 shots, found Maggette for a layup. Moments later, Ellis drove the lane and found Morrow open in the corner for a 3-pointer, tying the game at 43 with 5:02 left in the first half.

By the end of the second quarter, the Warriors had their field goal percentage up to 49 percent and led 57-56. The offense picked up in part because of improved ball movement, largely due to Ellis, who had five assists in the second quarter. But Maggette also found his groove. After missing 5-of-21 shots over the first two games, Maggette scored13 points in the second quarter on 6-for-8 shooting. He abandoned the jumper to get easy baskets. Of his 17 first-half points, 12 came in the paint.

Warriors 113, Grizzlies 105 ?Friday: vs. L.A. Clippers, 7:30 p.m. ?TV/Radio: CSN/KNBR (680)

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Added: November 8, 2009


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