In his last game before the All-Star break, Monta Ellis showed why he should be an All-Star.
Ellis scored 23 of his 35 points in the second half to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 107-100 victory over the reeling Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Ellis shot 16 of 25 from the field, with seven assists and three steals. Dorell Wright hit four 3-pointers to finish with 22. Reggie Williams came off the bench and scored 15.
Three players for the Jazz scored 20 points or more, led by Al Jefferson’s 23. Paul Millsap had 22 and CJ Miles scored 20. All-Star Deron Williams had 18 points and 11 assists. The Jazz remains winless in three games under new coach Ty Corbin, who took over after the abrupt resignation of former coach Jerry Sloan last Thursday. The Jazz are 4-13 in their last 17 games.
The game was tied at 48 at halftime. The Jazz were able to open up a nine-point lead, but the Warriors battled back as they picked up their 3-point shooting. After going just 1 of 6 in the first half from behind the arc, the Warriors made 4 of 5 in the third quarter, including a quarter-ending buzzer-beater from Ellis that tie the game at 76.
After trading leads in the early part of the fourth quarter, the Warriors finally took the lead for good on a driving layup by Ellis with 6:38 to go. The Warriors would increase the lead to seven with 2:51 to go.
A 3 by Deron Williams bought the Jazz to within three under 53 seconds to go. The Warriors would get a reverse layup from Stephen Curry, his only field goal of the game, to upped the lead back to five. Deron Williams missed a 3-pointer at the other end and Wright secured the rebound and the win for the Warriors.
Curry was in foul trouble the entire game and finished with four points and four assists in just over 21 minutes of play.
The Warriors finished the game shooting 55 percent from the field, including 62 percent in the second half. The Warriors shot 7 of 13 on 3s in the second half. The Warriors’ bench outscored their counterparts 31-12 and contributed four steals, two by rookie Jeremy Lin.
The Jazz shot 46 percent from the field, but was 27 of 30 (90 percent) from the free throw line. The Jazz were playing without Andrei Kirilenko, Raja Bell and Ronnie Price.
The Warriors won the season series against the Jazz, going 3-1.
The Warriors have won three straight and seven of their last nine games and will head into the All-Star break just three games under .500.
The Warriors will be home for the first two games after the All-Star break. The games will be tough with the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks coming to town. The Celtics are 40-14 and the Hawks are 34-21.