Ellis, Curry lead Warriors to upset win at Dallas
November 25, 2009
DALLAS – Golden State was down to eight healthy players – and used only six. Warriors coach Don Nelson wasn’t with the team as he recovers from pneumonia. Still, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry wouldn’t let injuries or sickness become an excuse.
Ellis scored 13 of his season-high 37 points in the fourth quarter, Curry added 11 of his 18 points in the final 4 minutes and the Warriors ended Dallas’ five-game winning streak with a 111-103 victory over the short-handed Mavericks on Tuesday night.
“Coming into this game, we had nothing to lose,” said assistant coach Keith Smart, who filled in for Nelson. “The worst case is they blow us out and we move on to (Wednesday night’s game in San Antonio). But our guys have a lot of character. They played hard together and made the right decisions.”
Smart dedicated the victory to Nelson, watching at home on TV.
“This win went out to our man in charge,” Smart said. “Our guys pulled together for him. He instilled a lot of the qualities in all of us.”
Anthony Morrow added a season-best 27 points, and Vladimir Radmanovic had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who won two in a row for the first time this season.
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Dallas was led by Dirk Nowitzki’s 28 points and 10 rebounds and Jason Terry’s 21 points, but the Mavericks had no defensive answers for Ellis, Morrow and Curry.
“There were too many breakdowns, mental and physical. It was as simple as that,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said after Golden State shot 65 percent (11 for 17) in the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks held a 98-89 lead before the Warriors responded with a 14-2 run capped by seven straight points from Curry, including a 3-pointer with 2:20 left for a 103-100 lead Golden State didn’t relinquish.
“The first quarter, I was thinking too much,” Curry said. “But the coaches kept telling me to shoot the ball and I made a few.”
Ellis’ ability to drive into the middle of the Dallas defense was the biggest difference. He converted 15 of 29 shots and handed out eight assists to offset committing 11 of his team’s 21 turnovers.
“Monta took over the game,” Curry said. “He kept going to the basket and kept us in it.”
Golden State closed with a 24-7 run and won for the second time on the road in eight attempts this season.
“There are bad losses and this was one of them,” Nowitzki said. “We were up nine but we couldn’t get anything going. We were a step slow defensively. (Ellis) got to the basket when he wanted to.”
The Warriors rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit, opening the final quarter with five straight points from Ellis for an 83-82 lead.
Dallas answered with a 10-2 spurt started by 3-pointers from J.J. Barea and Tim Thomas for a 92-85 advantage with 9:14 to play.
The Warriors are without Andris Biedrins (strained groin), Raja Bell (left wrist), Kelenna Azubuike (left knee tendon), C.J. Watson (flu) and Ronny Turiaf (sprained left knee).
The Mavericks are still minus three starters: forwards Shawn Marion (left ankle sprain) and Josh Howard (left ankle surgery) and center Erick Dampier (illness). Quinton Ross started for Dallas but sat out the second half with a tight lower back.
“We’re down three starters, but everybody has to deal with injuries,” Nowitzki said. “They kept pushing and we didn’t have enough left down the stretch.”
NOTES: Smart drew a technical late in the third quarter for protesting a non-call. … There’s no timetable for Nelson’s return. Smart is in daily communication with Nelson on running the team. … Morrow had a career-high six 3-pointers. … Marion was tentatively scheduled to play, but the ankle still bothered him in pregame warmups and he was unable to go for the third straight game. … Watson is expected to rejoin the Warriors Wednesday night in San Antonio.