Jamal Crawford’s 40 points would seem like a rosy depiction of a home debut with his new high-paced team...had his effort not been stained by a crushing defeat at the hands of the worst team record-wise last season in the entire NBA.
The Miami Heat defeated the Golden State Warriors 130-129 in Crawford’s first game donning a Thunderbolt-encrusted white and orange jersey, despite his highest scoring output since Feb. 2, 2007 against Toronto, in which he poured in 43. However, the outcome of that game resulted in a W for his old team, the newly rejuvenated New York Knicks.
In the second quarter Crawford converted on back-to-back extracurricular plays to outsource the Warriors' lead over Miami. Crawford nailed a three-pointer from the right corner (off a Stephen Jackson assist) and was fouled by rookie Michael Beasley and swished the free throw.
On the next possession, Crawford blew past Dwyane Wade and lofted a scintillating lay-up, despite being bear-hugged across the waist by Marion. At halftime, the newly welcomed ex-Knickerbocker notched 19 points, outdueling Dwyane Wade (18 points), and also had five assists—both team-highs at the time.
Crawford continued to be aggressive and upgraded his scoring total to 31 points in the 3rd once again outlasting Wade again (27 points) and scored the majority of his points by fanning in-and-out of the paint and tantalizing the Heat's defense.
In the fourth quarter, as the Warriors fumbled away the lead, Crawford tried his best to keep Golden State afloat, nailing a three-pointer a mere three feet away from befuddled Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, to push the W’s lead to 105-101.
Though it was Crawford’s only make of the period (1-4), Crawford’s shots were taken in stride. He was Golden State’s best player and their only player to connect on a three-pointer for the entire game.
J.C. scored six points in overtime and watched in disgust as his floater rolled off the rim to end the game, handing Miami its ninth win and second in three games.
The Warriors could have won the game if it weren’t for several supernatural factors:
Crawford was only one of three Warriors to attempt a shot in the 5:00 of overtime (Corey Maggette and C.J. Watson both went 1-1) and Crawford went 2-6. The trio combined to go 3-8 and produce 14 points, the highest OT production from the Warriors this season.
However, team Captain Stephen Jackson and last year’s league leader in field goal percentage Andris Biedrins did not hoist a shot. Combined their drought lasted 6:47, from 1:47 remaining in regulation to the end of the game.
Unfortunately for Crawford and the Warriors, Stephen Jackson tallied a season-low eight points on 2-of-11 field goal shooting, including 0-of-3 from downtown. In fact, the last time Stephen Jackson scored below double-figures while playing 40-plus minutes, was in a 108-96 loss last April at New Orleans.
In that contest, Jackson scored six points. Since Captain Jack’s arrival, Golden State is 3-6 when Jackson logs 30 minutes or more and fails to reach double digits and 2-2 when the total reaches 40 minutes.
However, in No. 6’s home debut the Warriors scored a season-high 129 points and tied their season-high with 52 free throw attempts. It also marked the second time of the season that Golden State shot over 90 percent from the free throw line (90.4).
Hopefully Crawford's moxie upholds for the remainder of the season for the 5-13 Warriors.
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