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
“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
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
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.