December 26, 2010 by staff
Ellis had 39 points and the Warriors scored 11 straight to erase a deficit of six points in the fourth quarter and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-102 on Saturday night in their first home game for Christmas.
Ellis, who is third in the NBA in scoring at 26 points per game, has offset 119 points the last three games, the best part of the rating of his career.
“He’s our MVP,” Coach Keith Smart said. “He did the work that is necessary for a player like him who can do many things for a team. He’s our MVP and he moves in this select group of NBA players who play at a high level every night and that are what he does. ”
David Lee added 21 points and Dorell Wright scored five of his 16 during the decisive push to help the Warriors win games back-to-back for the first time since November 8 to 10.
After losing their first 17 games when trailing after three quarters, the Warriors overcame late deficits to win the last two games.
They did not have to dig us out of a deep hole as they did Tuesday night when they rallied from 16 points in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings in overtime. But they still needed clutch plays late to snap Portland series of three consecutive victories.
“It’s really the mark of a good team,” said Lee. “We must find a way to win these games and grind some of these if you can win these gams is the difference of being a 35 or 40 -… team-win or win 50 games”
LaMarcus Aldridge gave the Blazers a lead of 97-91 with just over 5 minutes left and it looked like Portland was in position to win for the second consecutive time in Oakland after nine straight losses here.
But Wesley Matthews Ellis fouled on a 3-pointer on Start, Run Golden State. 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.
Reggie Williams ended the run with another 3-pointer that made 102-97. Ellis put the game away with a long jump, followed by theft and layup that gave the Warriors a lead of 106-99 1:04 to play.
The Blazers shot 31 percent in the fourth quarter, missed 10 straight shots on the ground in a key stretch.
“We got after,” said Ellis. “We played defense, contested every shot and did everything he needed to do to get this win because we needed it.”
Matthews led Portland with 25 points and added 18 Nicolas Batum. Aldridge scored 15 and Andre Miller had 12 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.
“They had momentum on their side and they just ran with it,” said Aldridge, who missed a dunk in the fourth quarter. “We have to take care of the ball better. We do not mark but we have been turning more and they were short get easy shots on us. ”
The teams met for the second consecutive year Saturday night, after last week’s 96-95 victory by the Blazers in Portland when Ellis missed a potential game winner at the buzzer. Portland won the game despite the absence of injured starters Brandon Roy, Batum and Marcus Camby. Roy was the only one of these three steps back for this game, missed his fourth consecutive quarter with a left knee injury.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is back after missing six games with a sprained right ankle. Curry was more a host of shooting game, 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 time. Ellis alone kept the Warriors close, scoring 18 of his 24 points in the first half the second quarter. He scored a scintillating backhand of the left hand to cut the lead to 49-48 as the Portland fans chanted “MVP!” repeatedly at the end of the half.
He just missed a half court shot at the buzzer, shortly after Matthews gave a lead of 57-56 with a dunk Portland. This marked the fourth time this season, Ellis has scored at least 24 points in the first half – a mark reached only seven times by everyone in the NBA.
“He’s very aggressive,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “He can flat score. He fears nothing goes to the basket. When he has his shot going, it is very difficult to defend, and he had to start over. ”
Notes: Warriors’ 11th game this Christmas since moving West in 1962-63. They last played at Christmas in 1984 in Portland. … The Blazers fell to 14-3 on Christmas Day, including five victories against Golden State in 1977-84. … The warriors wore shoes with red socks green.
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