OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors have made a bad habit out of starting slowly and scrambling to get back into games. Brandan Wright helped them play from ahead for a change.
Wright got Golden State off to a quick start by eclipsing his career high in scoring before the end of the first quarter and anchoring a strong defensive effort that helped the Warriors coast to a 119-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
"It was a good first quarter for us because we usually come out sluggish and get down by 10," said Wright, making the third start of his rookie season. "Tonight we came out with a lot of energy."
Wright was a big reason for that, running the break to score on dunks, blocking shots and jumping in the passing lane to help hold the Sixers without a basket for the first 7:46 of the game.
Wright scored 11 of his 12 points -- one more than his previous best scoring game -- in the quarter and the Warriors never trailed on the way to their sixth win in eight games.
"He played terrific tonight," teammate Monta Ellis said. "He ran the floor, blocked shots, got steals, rebounded. He just did everything tonight. We needed that. He was the real reason we got off to the start that we did."
Wright had plenty of help finishing it out on a night when leading scorer Baron Davis was held to four points on 2-for-16 shooting. Mickael Pietrus scored a season-high 23 points off the bench, and Ellis and Stephen Jackson chipped in 21 apiece.
Ellis closed out a remarkable month, becoming the ninth guard ever to shoot at least 60 percent in a month. Ellis made 60.2 percent of his shots in February, averaging 26 points per game. He was honored after the game by assistant coach Sidney Moncrief, one of the eight other players to achieve the feat.
"Monta's on fire. He's one of the hardest players in the league to guard," teammate Matt Barnes said. "If you come up on him, he'll go by you. If you back off, he can hit his shot. Monta's becoming a superstar and is really tough to stop."
Andre Miller and Rodney Carney each scored 18 points for Philadelphia. The Sixers had won eight of 10 to move into playoff contention in the weak Eastern Conference.
Both teams are eighth in their respective conferences' playoff races, but Golden State is 10 games ahead of Philadelphia on the season -- a sign of the quality difference between the two conferences. The Warriors remained a half-game ahead of ninth-place Denver in the West, while the Sixers are a half-game ahead of Atlanta in the East.
The Warriors had everything clicking offensively in the first half, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Al Harrington in the second quarter to a pretty alley-oop to Ellis off an inbounds pass from Jackson late in the half. Golden State shot 60 percent for the half and led 67-52.
Chris Webber scored the first two baskets of the second half to build the lead to 19 and the Warriors were never really threatened after that.
"We had to try to climb up the hill the whole time," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "The way they shoot the ball, if they're making shots it's going to be a hard way to get back in the game."
The Sixers missed their first 14 shots of the game and committed five turnovers before finally making a basket, a jumper by Miller with 4:14 to go in the opening quarter. They found their stroke a bit after that, but because of their inability to stop the Warriors they were never able to close the gap.
"It's tough when you get down," Andre Iguodala said. "You try to speed it up and play right into their hands. I think we struggled to get back in transition and once we couldn't hit a shot we started quick shooting and from there we played into their hands."
The other guards to shoot at least 60 percent in a month are Ricky Pierce and John Stockton, who each did it twice, and Earl Monroe, Jim Paxson, Fred Brown, Brad Davis and Steve Nash. ... The Warriors have won 29 straight games, including the playoffs, when keeping their opponent under 100 points. ... The Sixers waived G Gordan Giricek, acquired in December from Utah for Kyle Korver.