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Portland at Golden State

Ellis leads Warriors in first Christmas home game

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Monta Ellis again carried the Golden State Warriors another comeback victory.

Ellis had 39 points, and the Warriors scored 11 straight to erase a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-102 on Saturday night in their first Christmas home game.

Ellis, who is third in the NBA in scoring at 26 points per game, has netted 119 points the past three games, the best scoring stretch of his career.

"He's our MVP," coach Keith Smart said. "He's doing the job that's necessary for a player like him who can do so many things for a team. He's our MVP and he's moving into that selective group of players in the NBA that play at a high level every single night and that's what he's done."

David Lee added 21 points, and Dorell Wright scored five of his 16 during the decisive spurt to help the Warriors win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.

After losing their first 17 games when trailing after three quarters, the Warriors have overcome late deficits to win the past two games.

They didn't have to dig out of as deep a hole as they did Tuesday night, when they rallied from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings in overtime. But they still needed clutch plays late to snap Portland's three-game winning streak.

"That's really the mark of a good team," Lee said. "We have to find a way to win those games and grind a few of those out. If you can win those gams, that's the difference of being a 35- or 40-win team or winning 50 games."

LaMarcus Aldridge gave the Blazers a 97-91 lead with just over 5 minutes left and it looked as if Portland was in position to win for the second straight time in Oakland following nine losses in a row here.

But Wesley Matthews fouled Ellis on a 3-pointer to start Golden State's run. Ellis made all three free throws, and Wright hit a tying 3-pointer on the Warriors' next possession. Wright then stole a pass from Rudy Fernandez and went the other way for a dunk that gave the Warriors their first lead of the quarter.

More on Blazers at Warriors

Reggie Williams capped the run with another 3-pointer that made it 102-97. Ellis put the game away with a long jumper, followed by a steal and layup that gave the Warriors a 106-99 lead with 1:04 to play.

The Blazers shot 31 percent in the fourth quarter, missing 10 straight shots from the field in one key stretch.

"We got after it," Ellis said. "We played defense, contested every shot, and did whatever we needed to do to get this win because we needed it."

Matthews led Portland with 25 points and Nicolas Batum added 18. Aldridge scored 15, and Andre Miller had 12 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.

"They got momentum on their side and they just ran with it," said Aldridge, who missed a dunk in the fourth quarter. "We got to take care of the ball better. We weren't scoring but we were turning it over and they were running out getting easy shots on us."

The teams met for the second straight Saturday night, following last week's 96-95 win in Portland by the Blazers when Ellis missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer. Portland won that game despite missing injured starters Brandon Roy, Batum and Marcus Camby. Roy was the only one of those three not back for this game, missing his fourth straight with an injured left knee.

The Warriors got point guard Stephen Curry back after he missed six games with a sprained right ankle. Curry was more a facilitator than shooter, with 11 assists and only four points on 2-for-15 shooting.

It was a tight first half with neither team leading by more than five points at any juncture. Ellis single-handedly kept the Warriors close, scoring 18 of his 24 first-half points in the second quarter. He scored on a scintillating left-handed reverse to cut Portland's lead to 49-48 as the fans chanted "M-V-P!" repeatedly late in the half.

He barely missed a half-court shot at the buzzer, shortly after Matthews gave Portland a 57-56 lead with a dunk. This marked the fourth time this season Ellis scored at least 24 points in the opening half - a mark reached only seven other times by everyone else in the NBA.

"He's very aggressive," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "He can flat out score. He's fearless going to the basket. When he has his jump shot going it's very tough to defend him, and he had it going early.'

Notes

  • This is the Warriors' 11th Christmas game since moving West in 1962-63. They last played on Christmas in 1984 at Portland.
  • The Blazers fell to 14-3 on Christmas, including five wins against Golden State from 1977-84.
  • The Warriors wore red shoes with green socks.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Monta Ellis does alright with the Christmas spotlight on him, scoring 39 points in the Warriors come-from-behind win.  (Getty Images)
Monta Ellis does alright with the Christmas spotlight on him, scoring 39 points in the Warriors come-from-behind win. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Portland (15-15)28292322102
Golden State (11-18) «25312231109
POR:W. Matthews 25 Pts
POR:M. Camby 13 Reb
POR:A. Miller 15 Ast
GS:M. Ellis 39 Pts
GS:D. Wright 8 Reb
GS:S. Curry 11 Ast
Players of the Game
PortlandGolden State

Andre Miller

Monta Ellis
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
127153927

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Portland
L. Aldridge, PF407-211-281415
W. Matthews, SG389-196-631425
N. Batum, SF358-140-0104218
A. Miller, PG344-154-6715112
M. Camby, C233-41-113227
R. Fernandez, SG273-81-27218
D. Cunningham, SF254-81-14149
P. Mills, PG143-70-00117
S. Marks, PF40-11-21011
J. Przybilla, CDid Not Play
B. Roy, SGDid Not Play
G. Oden, CDid Not Play
L. Babbitt, SFDid Not Play
E. Williams, SGDid Not Play
A. Johnson, PGDid Not Play
Totals 41-9715-20532720102
 42.3%75.0% 
Golden State
M. Ellis, PG4613-2610-1127339
D. Lee, C458-115-675421
D. Wright, SG316-90-084216
S. Curry, PG292-150-041124
L. Amundson, PF173-50-02106
R. Williams, SF184-90-04019
V. Radmanovic, SF171-42-21115
E. Udoh, PF162-30-01124
R. Carney, SF151-12-23015
A. Law, PG50-00-00100
C. Bell, SGDid Not Play
D. Gadzuric, CDid Not Play
A. Biedrins, CDid Not Play
B. Wright, PFDid Not Play
J. Lin, PGDid Not Play
Totals 40-8319-21323116109
 48.2%90.5% 
Other Games
Chi 95 Final
NY 103
Bos 78 Final
Orl 86
Mia 96 Final
LAL 80
Den 106 Final
OKC 114