Warriors 114, Wizards 104
Even though it has been a formality for weeks, the Golden State
Warriors were officially eliminated from the playoffs on
Apparently nobody told Monta Ellis.
Ellis had 37 points and a career-high 13 assists in one of his
most complete games of an already spectacular season, leading the
Warriors past the road-weary Washington Wizards, 114-104.
”This is our job. We’re pros. Our season is not over with
yet,” Ellis said. ”We still have eight more games, just go out
there and see how many we could win and finish it off strong.”
The Warriors (32-42) have already won six more games than they
did last season, and Ellis seems intent on making that number climb
even higher. He played the entire game, added seven rebounds and
was 14 for 24 shooting.
David Lee had a season-high 33 points and 12 rebounds, and
Dorell Wright added 19 points to help the Warriors to their second
straight victory. Ellis was three rebounds shy of his first career
triple-double entering the fourth quarter and never came
”I think this young man here is committed to turning this
franchise around,” Golden State coach Keith Smart said. ”I really
believe he is doing everything he can to put us in the right
position with his play, particularly here at home, to move us in
the right direction.”
Washington continued its season-long slide away from the
JaVale McGee had a career-high 28 points and tied his career
best with 18 rebounds, and Maurice Evans scored 23 points for the
Wizards, who have lost four straight and 10 of their last 11 games.
They also dropped to 1-35 on the road this season.
”We’re not good enough,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders said.
”That can be frustrating. But that’s like if I run you in a
race I’m going to probably beat you all 10 times because you’re not
as fast as me,” Saunders joked. ”Same thing right now. We’re just
young and not as talented as the teams we’re playing.”
About the only thing either team is still playing for is
Both are already assured of missing the playoffs – the Warriors
were officially eliminated when Memphis beat San Antonio earlier
Sunday, and the Wizards (17-55) are closer to the league’s worst
record than anything resembling the postseason – so there wouldn’t
seem to be a ton of motivation left.
Not that it showed.
The teams were in a constant sprint from the outset and traded
baskets with little regard for defense. The Wizards, whose only
road victory came at Cleveland on Feb. 13, had a rare night when
they were competitive on the road.
For a half, anyway.
Then everything unraveled – as it always seems to away from home
for the Wizards – after the break, and it didn’t help that starter
Nick Young had to sit out the second half with a sore left knee,
which the team said will sideline Young on Monday night at Utah.
The Warriors started the third quarter on a 19-8 run that was
capped by their most stunning series.
Ekpe Udoh swatted a shot by Othyus Jeffers off the backboard,
and Ellis sprinted up court to lead the fast break. He dished the
ball to Lee for a dunk and the foul over No. 1 overall pick John
Wall, and Saunders added to his team’s misfortunes with a technical
foul for arguing.
A few plays later, Ellis added to his acrobatic night with a
complete back-to-the-basket spin in the air and finished with a
reverse layup over Evans that brought fans to their feet and helped
Golden State go ahead by 11 points.
”I was definitely shocked,” Evans said. ”If I would have
known he was going to do all that, I would have fouled him. But he
made a great athletic play. It was an incredible play.”
Although the Wizards came within a point early in the fourth
quarter, they were never able to tie the score or sustain any type
of momentum. The Warriors quickly went back ahead by double digits
and cruised to the victory.
NOTES: Warriors C Andris Biedrins missed his sixth straight game
with a severely sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out at
least another two games. … Washington F Trevor Booker did not
play after injuring his right foot in a loss at Denver on Friday.
Saunders said he wasn’t sure how long the injury could sideline
Booker but would not rule him out for the season just yet. … The
Warriors recalled G Jeremy Lin from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA
Development League. He will rejoin the team at Oklahoma City on