Biedrins' 26 boards helps Warriors past Knicks

Warriors 106, Knicks 104
January 28, 2008 7:59:50 AM PST
The way Andris Biedrins grabbed every rebound that came his direction, it didn't look as if the Golden State Warriors needed any more help on the inside. Coach Don Nelson knows that's not the case, which is why he's still interested in putting his old feud with Chris Webber to rest and bringing the free agent forward back to Golden State.

Biedrins had the Warriors' best rebounding game in more than a quarter-century, grabbing an NBA-season high 26 boards Sunday night to help Golden State for a 106-104 victory over the New York Knicks.

Biedrins' performance was the talk after the game. But before the contest, the focus was on Nelson saying he hoped the team would bring back Webber, who won the Rookie of the Year with the Warriors in 1993-94 only to be traded the next season after clashing with Nelson.

With the Warriors relying almost entirely on two big men, Biedrins and Al Harrington, Nelson has been lobbying for Webber, saying he didn't know if the team could make the playoffs if it didn't sign him.

"Of course I take it a little bit personally because that's my job," Biedrins said. "My job is at the defensive end, rebound and block shots. I try to do my job as good as I can."

He did it as well as ever against the Knicks. His 26 rebounds were the most by a Warriors player since Larry Smith grabbed 31 against Denver on March, 28, 1981 - more than 5 years before Biedrins was even born.

"Dre was a monster," teammate Stephen Jackson said. "It was hard for anybody else to get rebounds because he was getting them all. That's what he does. He's our best rebounder on the team. If he hadn't had those 26 rebounds I think they would have killed us inside and won that game."

Jackson also helped make sure New York didn't, scoring 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to help Golden State win for the seventh time in nine games.

The Warriors missed 17 of their first 19 attempts from 3-point range before Baron Davis hit his first of the game to cap 10-2 run that erased the third-quarter deficit and tied the game at 71. Davis hit an even longer shot to beat the third-quarter buzzer, hitting a 40-footer after a long inbound pass by Matt Barnes to cut New York's lead to 79-76 heading into the fourth.

Jackson then hit his first three 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter, all part of a 17-5 run that gave the Warriors a 95-87 lead.

"We had to do a better job at locating Stephen Jackson," New York's Jamal Crawford said. "He slipped through the cracks in the zone and changed the game. It was tough tonight. It was not an embarrassing loss. We played hard and had a chance to win."

The Knicks got the lead down to five on a 3-pointer by Quentin Richardson with just over 2 minutes remaining, but Davis hit a fallaway baseline jumper to get the lead back to seven with 1:29 to go. Jackson hit three free throws in the final minute as Golden State hung on to beat the Knicks for the sixth straight time at home.

Nate Robinson's 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining cut the lead to two, but the Warriors were able to inbound the ball to Davis and run out the clock.

"We did just enough right to win the game but just enough wrong to keep them right where they had a chance to win," Nelson said.

Monta Ellis added 24 points, Davis had 22 points and nine assists, and Biedrins had 11 points to go with his career-high rebounding game for Golden State.

Robinson led New York with 22 points, Jamal Crawford added 21, and Eddy Curry had 17. But the Knicks, who had won five of seven, could not make the key plays down the stretch to begin a crucial five-game western swing with a win.

"We had our chances to win it," coach Isiah Thomas said. "We had good looks and a couple of open shots that didn't go down. ... I thought we played some pretty good basketball."

The Warriors score 14 straight points late in the first quarter to take an 11-point. But with Biedrins spending much of the second quarter on the bench, the Knicks capitalized on their size advantage, outrebounding Golden State 17-7 and scoring 13 second-chance points. New York led 52-47 at the break when Crawford hit a driving layup in the final seconds of the half.