Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/8/12
OAKLAND -- Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson would like to forget just about everything from last year's lost season. Fortunately for the Warriors, one thing Jackson chose to remember paid off handsomely in a 106-96 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night. With the Warriors struggling in the fourth quarter and the Cavaliers hanging around long enough to potentially set up an exciting finish, Jackson called a timeout and went to an unusual source -- rookie Harrison Barnes -- on a key possession. The rationale: Cavaliers coach Byron Scott defended a Warriors small forward with a guard in a similar situation last season. "And we didn't make them pay," Golden State's second-year coach recalled. The second time around was different. Barnes went right at the much smaller Daniel Gibson for a three-point play and a layup over a three-possession span, helping awaken the Golden State offense and preserve a comfortable margin to the end. "I talked to Harrison this morning and told him exactly what I wanted him to do," Jackson noted of the team's shoot-around. "No fadeaway jumpers." Barnes, who had just a 2-for-6 night going through the game's first 39-plus minutes, wasn't surprised when his number got called at the timeout called by Jackson after the Warriors had committed turnovers on four of their first six fourth-quarter possessions. "Coach has a lot of confidence in me," he assured. "He encouraged me to be aggressive. I just wanted to be in attack mode, hopefully get some contact." Barnes' personal five-point run gave the Warriors an 11-point cushion for the final 7:33, and when David Lee added a pair of hoops of his own moments later, there was just one question left unanswered. When would Jackson pull the flu-ridden Lee from the game? "We were up 13 with about two minutes left and I looked over there and said, 'C'mon, Coach,'" Lee said. "He looked the other way." Lee wound up finishing up a courageous, 38-minute performance with 22 points and 14 rebounds. The double-double was his first of the season, as was his triple-digit temperature. "As captain of this team along with Steph (Stephen Curry) and Andrew (Bogut), guys are looking up to me and seeing how I handle myself when I'm not feeling your best," he said. "I wanted to play tonight and show that. "I'm very surprised (with the successful night). I was on fumes." Lee had the advantage of going against a Cavaliers front line that was missing the league's second-leading rebounder, Anderson Varejao, who suffered a right knee contusion Monday in a win over the Clippers. The undersized Cavaliers got 52 points from guards Kyrie Irving (28), Dion Waiters (12) and Gibson (12), but in the end were doomed by a defensive effort that allowed Golden State to make 53.8 percent of its shots. "The first quarter was a prime example of coming out and almost feeling sorry for ourselves," Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said of missing not only Varejao but also impressive rookie center Tyler Zeller. "They got easy baskets. It just boils down to defensive effort." Like the Warriors' Lee and Jarrett Jack, Irving said he was far less than 100 percent because of an illness. "It was the worst thing I've ever done," he assured of a 10-for-22 night that included three turnovers. "I've never really played under the weather like that. It was tough." Curry added 21 points and Carl Landry had 19 off the bench for the Warriors, who entered the game with a winning record on the road (2-1) but a losing mark at home (0-1). NOTES: The Cavaliers were making their third stop on a six-game trip. ... World Series Most Valuable Player Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants watched the contest from courtside. ... The game matched two of the top seven picks in the June draft -- No. 4 overall selection Waiters and No. 7 pick Barnes. Both have started every game of their brief NBA careers to date. ... Like Varejao, Zeller (fractured cheek bone) was hurt Monday against the Clippers.
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