Warriors 105, Nets 89
The New Jersey Nets were well aware Golden State came in leading
the NBA in points off turnovers and fast-break points.
Then they went out and helped the Warriors pad their stats.
Monta Ellis scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half, and
the Warriors turned 22 New Jersey turnovers into 30 points in a
105-89 victory Wednesday night that snapped a four-game losing
“We made a lot of mental mistakes tonight. We came in and
talked about what they do well. They create turnovers, they score
off their turnovers, they’re a fast-break team,” Nets point guard
Devin Harris said. “We got a little bit careless with the ball and
that led to a lot of uncontested layups and we kind of dug
ourselves a hole.”
Reserve C.J. Watson also scored 18 and former Nets center Mikki
Moore had 16 on a series of dunks for the Warriors, who improved to
1-1 on a five-game trip they are playing without coach Don Nelson,
who is recovering from pneumonia.
“Any time you get a win – home, in a barn, any where you can,
it’s a good thing,” said Keith Smart, coaching the team in
Nelson’s absence. “We thought our guys did a good job with Monta
not having his normal game, but he allowed some other guys to play
well for us and our guys did.”
Brook Lopez had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who were
bidding for wins on consecutive nights after winning just once in
their first 20 games. Harris added 19 points but shot only 4 of 11,
while Courtney Lee scored 15.
In a matchup of the NBA’s worst offensive and defensive teams,
the Nets couldn’t sustain their strong start and managed only 62
points over the final three quarters. Golden State came in with
NBA-best marks of 23.5 fast-break points and 22.5 points off
turnovers per game; they had 28 points on the break Wednesday.
“Tonight was a great show of it from what we really have and
the talent we have,” Ellis said. “If we just stay together, we
can just grind it and keep playing hard and play together, we can
turn this thing around.”
Ellis was only 1 of 10 in the first half, but had a pair of
baskets in a 16-6 run to start the third quarter that extended
Golden State’s 10-point halftime lead to 74-54 with 6 1/2 minutes
left in the period. The Warriors cooled off, allowing the Nets to
chip away and cut it to 81-70 heading to the fourth.
New Jersey was within five midway through the final period
before Ellis knocked down a jumper and made a layup on consecutive
possessions, making it 94-85 and Golden State cruised from
Ellis was 6 of 10 in the second half, with the Nets’ miscues
helping him get untracked.
“He got a rhythm off the turnovers,” guard Chris
Douglas-Roberts said. “Any great player likes to get easy buckets
to get a rhythm and we gave him too many of them.”
Stephen Curry scored 14 points, Corey Maggette 13 and Anthony
Randolph 11 in the Warriors’ balanced effort.
“We can’t just rely on Monta to score 50 points every night.
That’s one thing that’s going to be wear and tear,” Moore said.
“By the time he gets to the All-Star break, he’s going to be
handicapped. I think we’re starting to learn our roles. It’s
helping out everybody.”
Harris was forced to leave early in the first quarter after
being accidentally poked in the left eye by Moore, but returned to
make the signature play in New Jersey’s strong first quarter. He
ran down C.J. Watson to block a shot from behind, then got up to
step in front of Ellis and draw a charge.
The Nets led 27-20 after one but played a sloppy second quarter
– particularly disheartening for them since coach Kiki Vandeweghe
noted Golden State’s strengths before the game. Yet he didn’t think
his team had the energy to avoid the mistakes the Warriors feast
on, playing a night after a 103-101 victory in Chicago.
“Their game is pressuring and fast breaking,” Vandeweghe said,
“and when you don’t have the energy that you would like to have,
to back cut, keep moving and put the pressure back on them, it
becomes a very, very difficult game because the other team senses
New Jersey turned it over seven times in the second, leading to
10 points, and the Warriors outscored the Nets 38-21 to take a
58-48 halftime lead. Watson was 7 of 8 for 15 points in the
NOTES: The Nets invited Tyra Juliette, a former American Idol
contestant, back to sing the national anthem again. She performed
Friday when they snapped their NBA-record, 18-game losing streak to
start the season. … Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. sat
behind one of the baskets. … Nets reserve Bobby Simmons sat out
with a sore neck.