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Written by Anthony Rome   
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 07:00
NBA Headline News

Jackson's Return

Former Golden State Warriors forward Mike Dunleavy was booed throughout his first game back in Oakland on Sunday. When Dunleavy's Indiana Pacers host the Warriors, Pacers fans will have a chance to greet Stephen Jackson the same way.

Jackson returns to Indiana as the Warriors go for their fourth straight win Wednesday against the Pacers, who are returning home from a discouraging road trip.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Indiana -1 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 223.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 77% of bets for this game have been placed on Golden State +1 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

On Jan. 17, the Warriors and Pacers completed a blockbuster trade that sent Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod to Indiana in exchange for Jackson, Al Harrington, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell.

Dunleavy, who was not a fan favorite during his 4 1/2-year tenure with Golden State, returned to Oracle Arena for the first time Sunday. He had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists amid boos and heckling from fans, but the Warriors scored nine of the game's last 12 points to win 106-101.

Dunleavy said the jeers didn't bother him.

"I wouldn't want it any other way," he said. "I couldn't care less. It's hard to pay attention and care about something somebody says when you have no respect for them. They can do whatever they want."

Indiana fans will have a chance to return the favor as Jackson makes his second trip back to Conseco Fieldhouse since the trade. He had 36 points to lead the Warriors to a 113-98 victory on Feb. 5 less than three weeks after the move. He was not treated kindly in his return to Indianapolis, where off-court issues often overshadowed any contributions he made on the court.

"I'm not going to lie, it feels good to come back and beat your old team," Jackson said after that game.

Jackson's past legal trouble has continued to plague him while with the Warriors. He was suspended for the first seven games of this season after pleading guilty to a felony count of criminal recklessness for an incident outside an Indiana strip club in the fall of 2006, when he was still playing for the Pacers.

Since returning from that suspension, however, he's sparked the Warriors to a 22-10 record. They were 1-6 without him.

Jackson had 21 points and Baron Davis added 22 on Tuesday as Golden State beat Minnesota 105-98 for its third straight victory.

"It seems like we're hitting a nice little stride with the way the game is going and the way we are playing," said Davis, who's averaging 23.0 points, 11.3 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 51.0 percent from the field during the win streak.

"We are getting better. You can't ask for more from this team. The resiliency, the fight, to fight back from injuries and a lot of stuff that we've been through. This is a close-knit team."

That's bad news for the Pacers, whose loss at Golden State capped a 1-4 Western Conference road trip on which Indiana allowed 112.6 points per game.

"We were running on fumes this game," Dunleavy said. "Playing these teams - Phoenix, Sacramento, Golden State - they really wear on you. I thought we got it together in the end, but we couldn't finish it off.

"We will get another crack at (the Warriors) on Wednesday, and hopefully we can get them back at our place."

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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