OAKLAND, Calif. -- Though Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson normally lead the Golden State Warriors through their most dire circumstances, occasionally they enjoy turning over their team to Monta Ellis -- just to show what the kid can do.
Ellis scored 16 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter, including a key jumper with 12.9 seconds left in the Warriors' 105-102 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
Davis and Jackson had to trust their teammates in another physical edition of this Northern California rivalry: Davis battled foul trouble and eventually fouled out, while Jackson limped around the court in the second half after spraining his left ankle.
"I didn't think (Davis) was going to get that sixth foul, but once he got it, I knew what I had to do," Ellis said. "It wasn't just me. It was everybody. We all had to dig down, and we got it."
The burden was no problem for Ellis, who has made 66 percent of his shots over the last seven games. He scored nine consecutive points for Golden State late in the fourth, followed by his gutsy baseline jumper and a free throw with 3.3 seconds left to quell the Kings' last rally.
Add in nine rebounds, five assists and 12-of-15 shooting, and it's easy to see why the Warriors trust their burgeoning young talent.
"It was great to see him pick up the scoring and energy we needed," said Davis, who had 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. "That's why we won. He took the game over and made the defensive and energy plays we needed."
Jackson scored 26 points and hit two free throws with 2.4 seconds to play as the Warriors won for the 10th time in 14 games. Jackson sprained his ankle when he landed awkwardly on Mike Bibby's foot in the second half, but went right back into the game so it wouldn't stiffen.
"He's my cash money, that's what I say," Jackson said of Ellis. "He's definitely the reason we're winning all these games."
After Ellis scored nine straight to keep Golden State ahead during a 3½-minute stretch, the Warriors went up 98-90 on Jackson's layup with 2:19 to play. Sacramento made an 8-2 run, culminating in John Salmons' three-point play with 35 seconds left, but Ellis hit his baseline jumper before Salmons made another layup.
Ellis missed one of his final two free throws to give Sacramento one last chance, but officials didn't call a shooting foul when Brad Miller was held while shooting a 3-pointer moments later. Miller hit two free throws, but Jackson added two more, and Ron Artest missed an open 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"It was a shot I should have made and took it to overtime," Artest said. "It's tough to beat them in this building. We were right there with them at a time where we're peaking as a team. The growth is showing a lot."
Bibby had 24 points and seven assists for the Kings, who beat Utah on Friday night for their fifth win in six games. Artest added 21 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for Sacramento, which dropped to 0-7 against its Pacific Division opponents after missing a chance to thrill the thousands of fans who typically travel down I-80 for games against their closest rivals.
And the clubs' second meeting of the season was typical uptempo entertainment, even with longtime Kings star Chris Webber on the opposite bench. The Warriors' new forward had two points and five rebounds in 15 minutes during his second game back with the club.
Webber spent the best 6½ seasons of his career with the Kings, leading the franchise to two Pacific Division titles and the 2002 Western Conference finals before his onerous contract prompted Sacramento to trade him to Philadelphia in early 2005.
Though Webber initially was reluctant to join the Kings a decade ago, he grew to enjoy the small-town vibe and the Kings fans' unconditional adulation. He even opened a thriving restaurant -- Center Court with C-Webb -- where he spent much of his free time this winter while weighing his comeback options.
- Artest, whose benignly bizarre on-court behavior has ramped up while trade rumors have surrounded him in recent weeks, put on another strange performance against the Warriors. Besides the usual array of low-percentage shots and odd celebrations of minor achievements, he got a technical foul for pounding his chest and staring down the Warriors bench after making a steal and dunking early in the third quarter.
- Golden State has won four of five against Sacramento.