Instant Replay: Warriors centers pick up slack vs. Hawks

Highlights: Warriors bench strong in return to Oracle

Instant Replay: Warriors centers pick up slack vs. Hawks
March 7, 2014, 9:30 pm
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David Lee led the scoring with 18 points followed by 17 points in 19 minutes from backup center Jermaine O'Neal. (USATSI)

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The Warriors returned to Oracle Arena after nearly two weeks away and fought through an early lack of focus before giving their fans what they wanted, an old-fashioned rout of a struggling team.

The Warriors' 111-97 victory over the Hawks was widespread and comprehensive, with pretty much every Warrior contributing something of value.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by 18 points from power forward David Lee and 17 points in 19 minutes from backup center Jermaine O'Neal.

Starting guard Klay Thompson left the game midway through the first quarter, clutching his lower back after taking a hard fall. He was diagnosed with a strained lower back and did not return.

The Warriors (39-24) did just fine without their third-leading scorer, forcing 18 Atlanta turnovers (off which they scored 22 points) and shooting 53.8 percent in going 15 games over .500 for the first time since April 2008.

Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala each scored 13 points, while Andrew Bogut added 10. No Warriors starter played more than Iguodala's 31 minutes.

Atlanta (26-34) was led by forward Paul Millsap, who finished with 16 points and seven rebounds as the Hawks lost for the fifth straight time and 13 of their last 14.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: O'Neal did most of the damage, but he had plenty of help.

Bogut grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, Iguodala finished with 13 points and five assists and Draymond Green came off the bench for 8 points and five assists, while igniting several runs with his defense.

TURNING POINT: With the Warriors sluggish and trailing 40-39 midway through the second quarter, an O'Neal bucket touched off a 27-12 run that built a 66-52 halftime lead. Atlanta never tied or led again.

The Warriors held the Hawks to 34.8 percent shooting in the second quarter, including missing their last six shots.

INJURY UPDATE: G Klay Thompson (lower back strain) left the game with 5:51 left in the first quarter and did not return to the game, but was seen sitting on the Warriors bench in the game's final minutes. His status will be evaluated on Saturday.

C Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) is out indefinitely.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Warriors continue this stretch of three consecutive home games on Sunday, when they face the Suns in the season-series finale. The Warriors lost both games in Phoenix (106-102 and 122-109) but won the game in Oakland (115-86). The Warriors have won seven of the last nine meetings.

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