Warriors top Kings for fourth straight win
OAKLAND – The usual protocol when a team is trailing by a basket is to leave enough time for a potential rebound. Monta Ellis had other ideas.
Ellis whittled the clock down and let loose a jumper over Tyreke Evans that swished through in the final second of regulation, and the Golden State Warriors held on for a 119-112 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night in the latest comeback against their closest division rival.
“I was thinking the same thing,” Ellis said of leaving time in case he missed. “But coach told me to just do me.”
Ellis, who also had a game-winning basket in the final seconds against Indiana on Wednesday night, finished with 28 points and Stephen Curry had 34 points as the Warriors won four straight for the first time in three seasons. They also beat the Kings in overtime in their previous meeting.
About the only damper on the night was when Ellis had to be helped off the floor late in overtime with a sprained left ankle. The team said Ellis will not need X-rays, and he said the ankle was just a little sore.
The Kings know pain all too well.
Evans had a career-high 35 points and DeMarcus Cousins scored 21 in the latest setback in a miserable season for the Kings. They have lost seven of eight and own the Western Conference’s worst record at 9-32.
“We had some great stretches,” Sacramento coach Paul Westphal said. “It’s just a crying shame that we decided to stop playing together at the worst possible time.”
This one might really sting, too.
Sacramento seemed to have the game in hand until another late collapse. After the Kings went ahead 99-90, Curry made a 3-pointer and then an acrobatic three-point play over Beno Udrih to bring the roaring home fans to their feet.
Dorell Wright followed with a fast-break layup, and Lee’s free throw tied the game at 99 with about 2 minutes left in regulation. Then Evans, who has been slowed much of this season with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, channeled some of that magic from a year ago.
His pull-up jumper gave Sacramento the lead, but some missed free throws cost the Kings dearly.
“Same old, same old,” Udrih said. “We got lackadaisical.”
And Ellis got hot.
He made a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to one, then got another chance after Pooh Jeter missed his second free throw. Ellis whittled the clock down, dribbling before making a jumper just behind the free throw line over Evans with 0.9 seconds remaining to force overtime.
That was all Golden State needed.
Ellis made a pair of layups early in OT to help the Warriors run away with another improbable comeback victory over Sacramento. They also rallied past the Kings in the previous meeting on Vladimir Radmanovic’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Golden State eventually won 117-109 in overtime.
“We had some gigantic plays there late,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said. “Just monumental plays.”
The Warriors are making the most of a huge home stretch.
They have won four of their first five games in a crucial part of their schedule that features 13 of 14 games at home, the latest giving them four consecutive wins for the first time since March 2008.
“We knew they was going to let us back in it,” Ellis said. “The same thing in Sacramento.”
Notes: Evans’ previous best was 34 points at Charlotte on Jan. 18, 2010. … Kings F Francisco Garcia missed his third straight game with a sore left calf. He is expected to miss at least another week. … Warriors F Lou Amundson was inactive with a sprained left ankle. … After the Warriors played a video promotion for Ellis to make the All-Star team during a timeout, teammate David Lee got off the bench and started applauding.