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News » Warriors veteran sits out vs. Jazz

Warriors veteran sits out vs. Jazz

Warriors veteran sits out vs. Jazz
Oakland, Calif. ? When the Jazz played the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 8, Stephen Jackson nearly posted a triple-double, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in a 116-96 demolition.

He didn't even get the chance to play in Sunday's rematch, with Warriors coach Don Nelson electing to give some of his veterans nights off with more than a quarter of the season still to play and Golden State not officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Jamal Crawford didn't play in Friday's loss to Charlotte and Jackson sat Sunday, despite averaging 27.3 points, 8.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds in February, the first Warrior to put up those numbers in a month since Guy Rodgers in November 1965.

Nelson said he would sit veterans "not every game, but a lot of games" the rest of the season. He would not elaborate on his reasoning, dismissed questions on the subject and ended his pregame media session after 90 seconds.

"I've already talked about it enough," Nelson said. "Read the paper -- it's in the paper."

What was in Friday's San Francisco Chronicle was Crawford's agent, Aaron Goodwin , questioning whether Nelson's message to his players was "Don't play to win" as well as wondering what his message was to fans who buy tickets.

Both Nelson and Jazz coach Jerry Sloan are finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2009. For his part, Sloan said he had no problem with Nelson's decision and hoped his team wasn't expecting an easy night with Jackson out.

"I've always said other coaches have got to do what they've got to do and what they feel comfortable with," Sloan said, adding, "Don's teams have always played hard and they've always been difficult to play against."


Honorable mention

With the Jazz going 10-1 in February and beating Boston and the L.A. Lakers, Deron Williams is a leading candidate to be selected Western Conference Player of the Month. Sloan also could earn honors as the conference's Coach of the Month.

Williams averaged 23.2 points, 10.9 assists and shot 51.2 percent for the month, including five consecutive 30-point scoring games in which he shot better than 50 percent, the first guard to do so since Michael Jordan .

The Lakers went 11-2 in February, beating Boston and Cleveland on the road, with Kobe Bryant averaging 31.3 points and setting a Madison Square Garden record with 61.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 2, 2009


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