Ellis scores 29 as Warriors beat Hornets
NEW ORLEANS – Golden State had been here before.
After fading badly in the second half of losses to Miami and Orlando before traveling to New Orleans, the Warriors decided to turn that trend around.
Monta Ellis scored 29 points and Golden State beat the New Orleans Hornets 110-103 on Wednesday night.
“We just pulled together as a team and made plays for each other,” Ellis said. “We needed this win.”
Trailing 82-72 after three quarters, they went on a 27-7 run in the first 7 minutes of the fourth to go ahead 99-89, then hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory after the Hornets got within two.
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Stephen Curry had 21 points for Golden State, and Dorell Wright and David Lee each added 13.
Chris Paul led New Orleans with 24 points, one off his season high, but was scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter. He also had 13 assists, but was on the bench at the start of the fourth when Golden State got back in the game.
The Warriors outscored the Hornets 12-3 while he sat.
“We have to get consistent production out of our bench,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “Too many times our starters are giving us leads and we’re not sustaining.”
David West and Marco Belinelli added 16 points apiece for the Hornets. Trevor Ariza scored 15.
Golden State finished a 2-3 road trip. New Orleans lost for the first time in four games.
Ellis sparked the decisive spurt with consecutive 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter and Wright gave the Warriors their first lead since the second with a 3 that made the score 90-89.
Golden State scored four points on its next trip down the court. Lee scored on a power move, fouling out New Orleans center Emeka Okafor in the process. Okafor argued the call and was given a technical, which Curry converted. Lee hit his free throw, too.
Ekpe Udoh followed with an inside basket and Curry drilled a 3-pointer as Golden State went ahead 99-89 with 4:15 left.
“Teams think that all we want to do is run up and down the floor, but in the end we know where our guys have to be in order to score,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said. “They did a great job of getting to the spots where we can run our offense the right way.”
The Hornets responded with a 12-2 run, getting six points in a row from Ariza. He converted his own four-point play, coming up with a steal and layup despite a hard foul from Curry, then grabbing the rebound of his missed free throw and dunking as the Hornets pulled within 101-95.
Ariza scored again, and Paul fed Willie Green for a transition layup that cut the deficit to 101-99 with 2:34 left after Ellis missed from outside.
New Orleans had three chances to tie or go ahead on its next possession, but Belinelli clanged a 3-pointer, West got blocked inside and Green missed an off-balance shot. The Hornets did not make a field goal the rest of the way, ending their chance of winning four in a row for the first time since they started the season 8-0.
“We made a run, but we put ourselves in a hole,” Paul said. “We just have to close out teams like that. That was a bad loss for us.”
The Warriors hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 1:12 to seal the victory, avoiding the bad finishes that plagued them in the first three quarters. The Hornets outscored them 12-4 to close the first, 18-5 at the end of the second and 10-4 to finish the third.
Notes: Golden State’s 38-point fourth quarter was the highest total by a Hornets opponent this season. … New Orleans is 1-8 when allowing 100 points or more. … Paul missed four of his first five free throws after hitting 91.3 percent entering the game. … Lee started after missing a game with a sore back. The Warriors are 1-8 when he is out of the lineup.
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