Proving worthy of a playoff spot, the Golden State Warriors came to Orlando on a mission to win, and to win only after losing only two back-to-back games this season.
Orlando concluded the Eastern road trip for the Warriors as they achieved a 3-1 record, shooting only 40 percent as a team during this road swing.
40 percent as a team—and they're winning games?
Apparently, yes, and in Don Nelson's world anything is possible. Co-Captain Stephen Jackson explained, “We are a scrappy team with a big heart."
In Don Nelson's run-and-gun action-packed game, a veteran player might sit on the bench for a rookie to come out midst a tight fourth quarter and a 6'9 power forward might play more at the center position than his original position.
That's how the Warriors roll.
The Warriors came to Florida after sweeping Miami 134-99, the largest defeat for Miami this season.
Saturday night was a different story.
The Warriors were trailing through most of the first half and went into the break down eight. As usual, Warriors being known as a horrible rebounding team were owned in the paint by who else than Superman.
The Warriors learned as much in the first half while watching him dominate with 19 points and nine rebounds, so they came early and often with the double-team to start the second half.
As soon as Howard put the ball on the court, those little Warriors swarmed him forcing him to find a teammate as fast as possible.
The second half for the Warriors was sparked by Baron Davis, who had 33 points, as he converted two remarkable lay ups. The first, splitting two defenders and the second high over Howard who couldn't jump high enough for a rejection.
Jackson, who had 20 points, continued the run with a transition three and a steal that ended up with an easy dunk on the other end.
Mikel Pietrus had 11 rebounds to go with Jackson's 20 and Baron's 33.
They rode momentum to a sweep of the Florida teams for the first time since the 1989-90 season and finished a four-game, five-night set with a 3-1 record to keep pace in the high-octane West.
"We have a long flight home," Jackson told the San Francisco Chronicle, "and we didn't want to go home after a loss because it would make it longer."