Warriors 132, Suns 127

Monta Ellis was his normal stellar self and Golden State’s

mercurial point guard finally got some help.

Corey Maggette scored a season-high 33 points and had eight

rebounds, one of six Warriors players in double figures, and Golden

State held Phoenix to four points over the final 2:54 to beat the

Suns 132-127 on Saturday and end a seven-game skid.

“At the end of the day, we’re really just trying to lift Monta

up because he’s the backbone of this team,” said Maggette, who is

averaging 24.4 points in his last seven games. “We’re just trying

to get him some leeway to where he doesn’t have to play 40-plus

minutes a game and get burned out.”

Ellis, the workhorse of the Warriors offense, had 33 points and

10 assists while playing more than 45 minutes. It’s the 10th time

in 18 games Ellis has topped the 30-point mark.

He scored on a driving layup to give Golden State a 121-116 lead

with 5:13 left to play but went scoreless after that. Fortunately

for Ellis, his teammates happily picked up the slack.

Maggette went 13 of 17 from the floor and scored four points in

the final 90 seconds, including a follow-up dunk that gave Golden

State a 127-123 lead after Ellis missed a jumper.

Stephen Curry added 13 points, including two free throws with 3

seconds remaining, as Golden State outlasted Phoenix in a game that

featured little defense from either team.

“We’ve been playing good basketball but we haven’t had good

performances from everybody,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said.

“Monta is always carrying us … but it all worked out and we got

a contribution from everybody.”

Steve Nash had a season-high 36 points and nine assists for

Phoenix, but the veteran point guard missed a 3-pointer with 5.9

seconds that would have tied the game.

The Suns, who have lost seven straight road games, committed 21

turnovers which led to 35 points for the Warriors, not the type of

performance Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry was looking for with his

team preparing to face the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston in

back-to-back games beginning Monday.

“You give up 132 points, you’re not guarding anybody,” Gentry

said. “We had guys that played well … but the bottom line is

that they played harder than we did. We won’t beat anybody in the

Pac-10 if we turn it over for 35 points.”

The Suns were coming off a 124-93 win over the Los Angeles

Clippers on Christmas Day, which might have had an effect late in

the game against Golden State, which had lost 13 of 15 before

ending a four-game losing streak to the Suns.

After Nash scored on a driving layup, Maggette made two free

throws to make it 129-125. Nash, who had 19 points in the third

quarter, scored on another layup but Anthony Morrow made a free

throw before Nash missed the 3-pointer.

Anthony Randolph had 17 points, while Morrow and C.J. Watson had

14 points apiece for Golden State, which hadn’t won since beating

New Jersey 105-89 on Dec. 9.

“All the games we’ve played in the last month, we’ve been

competitive and in them,” Curry said. “We’ve gotten consistent

play out of Monta and Corey. We just need two or three more scorers

to come in and have big games, especially in the fourth quarter.

That’s why we got the win tonight.”

Phoenix’s Jason Richardson had 22 points against his former team

while Amare Stoudemire had just nine points and seven rebounds

before fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

The Suns led 108-104 after three quarters but were outscored

17-8 to start the final period and couldn’t catch up after

that.

“It just shows that our team is really trying to be mature and

do some great things and guys are stepping up,” Maggette said.

“When (the Suns are) full throttle they’re really tough to beat,

so we got lucky tonight, we made some shots and everyone

contributed.”

Phoenix beat Golden State 123-101 when the teams played at US

Airways Center on Oct. 30. Nelson had a full roster to work with in

that first matchup but since then the team has traded disgruntled

forward and former team captain Stephen Jackson to Charlotte, lost

Kelenna Azubuike to a season-ending knee injury and has been

without injured starting center Andris Biedrins.

Surprisingly, the Warriors played better the second time around

with less than a full roster of healthy players.

Neither team played much defense in the first half, a typical

theme when the two Pacific Division rivals meet. The Suns led 71-70

at the break.

The trend continued into the third quarter when Ellis and

Maggette had 12 points apiece for Golden State. But the Warriors

couldn’t stop Nash, who made four 3-pointers, to give Phoenix a

108-104 edge.

NOTES: The 259 combined points were the second-highest in an NBA

game this season. Atlanta and Toronto combined for 261 points on

Dec. 2. … Golden State’s Ronny Turiaf had seven points and five

rebounds in his first game since Nov. 30. … Biedrins (lower back

strain) will try to play Monday when Golden State hosts Boston. …

Phoenix hasn’t won back-to-back games since Nov. 27-29.