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Webber Returns To The Scene Of His Crime And Wins The Duel
15 December 1996. Washington Bullets 110, Golden State Warriors 102 (record: 10-11)
Game leaders: Howard, Strickland (22 points), Webber (12 rebounds), Strickland (15 assists)
Chris Webber returned to California to play Golden State, and it was quite a game. Actually, it wasn't quite home, as the Warriors are playing at San Jose Arena (while their home arena gets refurbished). Still, they game was being hyped, especially on ESPNet Sportszone, as a grudge match. The Golden State history is there, there is squabbling in the Bullets' ranks, the players are underperforming, and the team is underachieving. Big deal, we've been living with it all season.
This game was a big deal. Latrell Sprewell, the star shooting guard for the Warriors, scored a career-high 43 points and was basically the Warriors offense (only one other Warrior, Joe Smith, scored in double figures). Sprewell was 14 of 23 from the field (6 of 7 from 3-point range) and 10 of 15 from the free throw line. He even had 2 4-point plays (3-pointer plus a free throw).
But it wasn't enough to overcome Webber's 6th career (and 2nd against the Warriors) triple double (he had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists before fouling out). He also was one turnover away from an unofficial quadruple double, plus collected 6 steals, 3 blocked shots, and hit 2 three-pointers.
Good thing for the Bullets the Warriors played awful defense. The Bullets got assists on 35 of their 41 made shots and shot 53.9% from the field. They outscored the Warriors 36-19 in the third quarter to break open a game tied at 60 at halftime. (Not much defense was played in the first half.) Luckily, they got it because they eventually needed it, because they only scored 14 points in the fourth quarter.
wtf 16 December 1996
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