Warriors 109, Nets 100
By protecting the ball the Golden State Warriors made sure they protected the home court once again in this key stretch they hope will turn their season around.
Monta Ellis had 26 points and nine assists, and the Warriors committed a season-low six turnovers to beat the New Jersey Nets for the sixth straight time, 109-100 on Monday.
''If you take care of the ball you give yourself a chance to win,'' coach Keith Smart said. ''It compensates for some other things you don't have, maybe on the offensive glass. But if you are taking care of the basketball, you don't give them opportunities to run out in transition to where you can't get back and defend.''
David Lee added 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors, who have won two of their first three games in a key stretch to the season that features 13 of 14 games at home.
The six turnovers were one off the low in the NBA for any team this season and 10 fewer than New Jersey committed. The 14-point advantage in points off turnovers proved to be key against the Nets.
''It was a slowdown tempo game so you're going to have less possessions and less shots and you want to get a good shot on each possession you have on offense,'' point guard Stephen Curry said. ''You don't want to give them the ball and let them have run-outs and easy baskets and get the momentum.''
The Warriors did not trail for the final 46 minutes of the game to knock off the Nets once again.
Brook Lopez scored 20 points and Devin Harris added 19 for New Jersey, which has have lost six straight and 11 of 12 games.
''We just have to find something we can hang our hat on really go after it. But we're still searching,'' Harris said. ''All these games were winnable for us at some point. We have to find a way to get over the top.''
The Nets are in a tumultuous stretch, with many of their players linked to a possible three-team trade that would bring All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony from Denver to New Jersey.
A possible deal has been hanging over the Nets for weeks, with reports Sunday that the team has been granted permission to meet with Anthony to try to persuade him to accept a three-year, $65 million extension, which could pave the way for the deal to be finalized. Coach Avery Johnson said before the game he had no knowledge of any meeting.
''It's not easy but it's also something that's out there,'' guard Sasha Vujacic said. ''It's the business we're in. We just have to perform to our best level.''
The latest loss completed an 0-4 road trip for the Nets, who stayed close but never were able to seriously threaten the Warriors. Golden State led by eight early in the fourth quarter before Reggie Williams hit a jumper and then made a steal that set up a three-point play for Ellis that made it 95-82 with 7:38 to go.
The Nets responded with seven straight points, but Ellis hit a couple of baskets to help build the lead back up to 10. The Nets closed back within five before Stephen Curry hit a 3-pointer with 1:57 remaining to keep the Warriors in control.
Curry struggled for much of the night offensively as he was limited by foul trouble, shooting just 4 for 10 from the field. But he scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter to help preserve the win. Williams picked up some of Curry's slack by scoring 12 points off the bench.
''We expect that night in and night out from him,'' Curry said. ''He made some big shots. In the fourth quarter, he always comes out and makes a big shot for us, especially when we really need it.''
The Nets trailed by 11 early in the third quarter before Lopez made two baskets during an 8-0 run. The game stayed close for the rest of the quarter with Acie Law's two free throws in the closing seconds giving Golden State a 79-73 lead heading into the fourth.
Lee scored 14 first-half points to help Golden State get off to a solid start against the Nets. Ellis made a pull-up jumper with 25 seconds left in the half to give the Warriors a 54-46 lead at the break. Harris missed a jumper just before the buzzer for New Jersey.
NOTES: The Warriors had a rare afternoon home game as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. ... Lopez has scored 87 points in his last three games. ... New Jersey rookie F Derrick Favors had zero points on 0-for-3 shooting in 19 minutes. ... Golden State had a season-high 10 blocked shots, including three for Andris Biedrins. ... G Anthony Morrow, who was traded from Golden State to New Jersey in July, did not play because of a strained right hamstring.