OAKLAND -- There’s little that Jarrett Jack won’t do for his team – and that includes chucking a shoe when necessary.
The Golden State Warriors earned a 96-89 home victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night thanks to a rare feat.
Jack proved to be the ultimate utility man when, in the second quarter, the shoe of Dorell Wright came off and sat in the lane of the 76ers’ basket. Jack, in a defensive stance, swooped the shoe from just inside the free-throw line and, with an underhand, tossed it into the crowd behind the basket.
Jack then sped down to the other end where he was open to bury a three-pointer. The antics took the shoeless Wright out of the game for nearly three minutes and Jack’s three-pointer began a 19-6 run that gave the Warriors a 57-42 halftime advantage.
“We ended up getting a three out of it, I’m happy,” Jack said. “If it’s throwing shoes, assists, whatever.”
Jack, who added 16 points and six assists, said he was just playing the role of protective teammate.
“I honestly, and you probably don’t believe me, didn’t want anybody to step on it, turn an ankle and get hurt or anything like that,” Jack said. “I didn’t mean to throw it as far as I did but I’m glad the way it worked out.”
Were there any words from the 76ers toward Jack after that?
“Jokingly people were telling me, ‘yo, that was messed up,’” Jack said. “But I’m like, ‘hey, if you all were able to get an upperhand on us in any way I’m sure you would have done it as well.’”
Jack added that he saw Dwyane Wade do it to Mike Bibby at one point.
Jack laughed: “He probably didn’t throw it as far as I threw it but it’s been done before. Don’t act like I’m breaking the mold here.”
The Warriors continue to break new ground as the win marked the first time the Warriors won 20 games before New Year’s since 1980-81.
The Warriors also improved to 12-2 against the Eastern Conference and will host the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.
The Warriors were led on Friday by David Lee’s 25 points and 12 rebounds and the bench tandem of Jack and Carl Landry.
Landry scored 15 points, including 7-for-9 from the free-throw line, and added 11 rebounds. Stephen Curry added 11 points and six assists.
The Warriors’ new defensive identity
Warriors coach Mark Jackson has found a simple formula that continues to bring successful results: The superstar duo of Lee and Curry remains consistent, as does the bench play of Jack and Landry. But it’s the team’s growingly dependable defense that has resulted in victories.
The Warriors allowed the 76ers to shoot just 40.2 percent from the field and 25 percent (5-for-20) from three-point range.
“I think all night we did a very good job of defending, making life tough for them and staying disciplined with our game plan,” Jackson said.
The Warriors had 18 turnovers to their 20 assists and shot just 42.5 percent. The Warriors also allowed 44 points in the paint.
“We had way too many turnovers tonight and not enough assists,” Lee said. “Give them credit, they’re a pesky team defensively but that’s not the way we want to play offensively and we’ll have to make some adjustments against a tough Boston team here tomorrow night.”
Battling the boards
One of the keys for the Warriors this season has been their ability to rebound. The Warriors, the fifth best rebounding team in the NBA, entered Friday night’s game with a record of 17-2 when they outrebound their opponent.
The Warriors improved to 18-2 and outrebounded the 76ers 52-43. Andris Biedrins contributed once again with seven rebounds in 14 minutes.
Closing it out
The 76ers cut the lead to just four points at 84-80 midway through the fourth quarter, but the scoring of Lee and Landry down the stretch helped Golden State hang on to the win.
In crunch time, the Warriors played David Lee and Carl Landry at the four and five, with Stephen Curry, Jarrett Jack, and Klay Thompson rounding out the perimeter.
The Warriors led 57-42 at halftime. Tied at 30-30 with 7:39 remaining in the second quarter, the Warriors outscored Philadelphia 27-12 to end the first half. Jack and Landry combined for 25 points and 10 rebounds in the first half alone.
#WarriorsTalk Tweet of the game
@bobbyg27 That little Euro step reverse layup shows how confident Steph is with his ankles. Never would have attempted that past two yrs #warriorstalk
The last time Jason Richardson adorned a Warriors uniform was in the 2006-07 season, the “We Believe” year and the last time the team made the playoffs.
On Friday he returned with his latest team, the 76ers, and did not play after sitting Wednesday night at the Memphis Grizzlies with a strained back.
The veteran, originally drafted by the Warriors, said he’s impressed with what this Warriors team has accomplished so far this season and he has warm memories of playing here.
“This was the best stop by far,” Richardson said before the game. “The way the fans responded to me, the energy in here, how loyal they were to us when we weren’t winning games and how exciting that whole ‘we believe’ time was, even as short of a time as it was.
“You always remember that first team that drafted you, that first team that gave you a chance.”
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