One night after coach Mark Jackson called his team’s effort unacceptable, the Golden State Warriors took a step in the right direction.
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David Lee scored 24 points and Monta Ellis added 22 to help the Warriors win on the road for the first time this season, 99-91 over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday. Jackson said before the game he expected Golden State to play like ”a team that’s upset” – and the Warriors responded by controlling the second half at both ends of the floor.
”We defended, we didn’t make excuses, and we didn’t get frustrated,” Jackson said. ”It was just a great performance overall.”
Golden State won at Detroit for the second time in its last 17 visits. Greg Monroe had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons.
The Warriors trailed 48-44 at halftime but went on an 8-0 run early in the third quarter and never trailed after that. They led by five early in the fourth before scoring 10 points in a row to make it 88-73.
Ellis scored 17 points in the second half.
”I think the guys felt challenged, and first and foremost we are a defensive-minded team,” Jackson said. ”We started to get stops and it affected our offense.”
The Warriors came in having lost seven of eight, including a 112-100 defeat at Charlotte on Saturday. Jackson said after that game he was ”embarrassed” and felt his team overlooked the Bobcats. Golden State didn’t have that problem against the struggling Pistons.
Detroit snapped a six-game losing streak Friday night with a victory at Charlotte, but Lee hurt the Pistons inside early, then Ellis and Dorell Wright contributed some scoring of their own in the second half.
Lee’s streak of double-doubles ended at six games. He fouled out with 4:40 remaining with only six rebounds. Lee went 10 of 12 from the field, and the Warriors shot 52 percent.
”That game against Charlotte really upset us,” Lee said. ”That was a game we have no excuse for losing. We didn’t want to complicate things by coming in here and losing again.”
Detroit shot 42 percent.
The Warriors were still without guard Stephen Curry, who has a sprained right ankle. Both teams seemed intent on going inside early. Monroe and Lee each scored 17 points in the first half.
Detroit coach Lawrence Frank was on his feet for much of the half, shouting detailed instructions to his team at the defensive end.
”They played last night, and we didn’t. In this league, with this schedule, you have to be able to grind out these games, and they did a better job than we did,” Frank said. ”We weren’t getting out on the break, and we weren’t getting back on defense.”
Wright scored on a breakaway in the third, capping an eight-point run and giving Golden State a 56-54 lead. It was 74-69 after Ellis made a shot from near the top of the key at the buzzer to end the quarter.
Detroit was still within striking distance at 78-73 in the fourth, but the Warriors scored 10 straight points. Backup guard Nate Robinson had six points during the run and finished with 10.
The Warriors had six players in double figures. Brandon Rush scored 12 points and Wright contributed 11.
Monroe went scoreless in the final quarter and attempted only one shot.
”I think we’ve done a few things to shorten the moments where we lose our effort and we lose our energy,” Monroe said. ”In the past few games, they’ve been shorter, but we’ve got to get rid of them completely. We’re still getting those times when we aren’t working hard, and it costs us.”
Notes: Detroit was with without G Will Bynum (strained right foot), F-C Charlie Villanueva (sore right ankle) and G-F Damien Wilkins (family matter). … Austin Daye went 0 of 3 from 3-point range for the Pistons and is now 0 of 13 for the season. … Ellis had seven assists.