Golden State beats Pacers on Ellis’ jumper
OAKLAND – Monta Ellis is having an All-Star season. Whether he plays in the midseason game is irrelevant to him.
Ellis made a jumper with less than a second remaining to give the Golden State Warriors a 110-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
“I wanted that one,” he said. “I was concentrating on knocking it down, too. Coach (Keith Smart) drew the play up and he said he wanted it to be the last shot, so that’s what I did … took the last shot.”
Ellis scored 36 points for the Warriors, who matched a season high with their third straight victory. David Lee and Dorell Wright each added 21 points as Golden State beat the Pacers at home for the fifth straight time.
“He is letting his game speak for itself,” Smart said of Ellis. “Having talked to a lot of coaches, they have noticed how well he is playing. Our All-Star made a play, made two big plays.”
Ellis would rather not discuss his All-Star aspirations.
“I don’t know; who knows,” Ellis said. “I’m going to let the coaches decide what they decide. If they decide not to put me in, we still have the goal to make the playoffs (and) I’m looking forward to that.”
Danny Granger had 32 points and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who lost their third straight overall and their 11th in the last 12 road games. Tyler Hansbrough added 16 points and Jeff Foster matched his season high with 15 rebounds.
Stephen Curry added 11 points and seven assists for the Warriors. Darren Collison and Mike Dunleavy each had 14 for the Pacers.
“We lost the game because we turned the ball over,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “We can’t give up 27 points on turnovers if we want to win. Monta hit a great shot, but we lost because of the turnovers and that’s the bottom line.”
Indiana led 105-103 when Ellis, who was 16 of 28 from the field, took a charge with 2:28 left and hit a short jumper 23 seconds later to tie the game.
“If he’s not an All-Star, there’s something wrong with the process,” Lee said. “He’s doing a great job.”
The Pacers turned the ball over again on their next possession, allowing the Warriors to take a one-point lead when Lee hit one of two free throws.
Another turnover led to Curry’s running bank shot and a three-point lead. Collison tied it when he converted a three-point play with 18 seconds left.
“This is probably one of the toughest ones of the season,” Collison said. “We were on the road and had the lead. We let it slip away by not making smart decisions. Monta Ellis did his thing. It’s tough to guard him.”
After a Warriors timeout, Ellis took the ensuing inbounds pass from Brandan Wright and held the ball against Brandon Rush at the top of the key for 12 seconds. He made a move to his right and pulled up for the game-winning jumper over the 6-6 Rush.
“He hits big shots when time is running down,” Curry said. “You could tell how confident he was from the time he got the ball until the time he released it.”
Hansbrough scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Pacers took the early advantage.
The Pacers used a 17-2 run that bridged the first and second quarters to take an 11-point lead. They eventually settled for a 58-53 advantage at halftime.
Acie Law hit a jumper from just inside the halfcourt stripe to end the third quarter, bringing the Warriors within 83-81 heading into the final quarter.
Notes: Pacers C Roy Hibbert was given the night off with an upper respiratory infection. He was limited to a season-low 12 minutes against the Clippers on Monday. … Dunleavy recorded three assists in the first half to reach 1,500. … The Warriors did not record a second-chance point in the first half, grabbing just two offensive rebounds. … Warriors F Lou Amundson sustained a mild left ankle sprain in the third quarter and did not return. … Ellis has scored more than 30 points in four of his last six games and 12 times overall. … Granger is two field goals shy of 2,500.