2010 NBA Season Opener: Monta Ellis Ties Career High With 46 Points, Warriors Beat Rockets, 132-128

Warriors opening night is finally here! Check in to get the latest news, updates, and hype leading up to the game. Also, check Golden State of Mind for more chatter on the first game of the season.

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Monta Ellis And Stephen Curry Combine For 71 Points, Pace Golden State To Opening Night Victory Over Houston

In a game of "my guards are better than your guards", the Warriors ended a nine game losing streak to the Rockets. Ellis was the show most of the night as he tied his career high by pouring in 46 points with an unbelievable 18 for 24 shooting display. He managed 27 in the first half, and Stephen Curry added 25 points and 11 assists. In their debuts with the Warriors, David Lee chipped in 17 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists, and Dorrell Wright added 15 points and three triples.

This was a game without defense. The Rockets looked spent after going toe-to-toe with the defending champs, and Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee had no real answer for Ellis. Kevin Martin had 28 points, but was only 5 of 14 from the field. Curry held down Aaron Brooks, who only shot 4 for 15 from the field. Despite Luis Scola being pretty much unstoppable down low, besting Lee one-on-one with an incredible 36 points and 16 rebounds, and Chuck Hayes notching up a "whoa that’s Chuck Hayes’s statline?" 16 points-8 rebounds-6 assists. The Rockets backcourt was no match for the Warriors, and that ended up being the big difference.

Golden State’s next game is this Friday versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Monta Ellis With 27 First Half Points, But Warriors GIve Up 68 Before Halftime

So much for the new look, defensive-minded Warriors. Golden State just put up points, and more points, and more points…and gave up points, and more points, and more points. The Warriors shot 50% from the field and a perfect 13 for 13 at the line, but the Rockets responded with 57% shooting and 17 free throw makes.

Monta Ellis was completely unstoppable against Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee, shooting 10-13 from the field and a perfect 6-6 from the line. Unfortunately, the balance of the Rockets cancelled out his monumental first half. Luis Scola put up 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting and 5-6 from the line. Kevin Martin and Aaron Brooks combined for 20 total points. The usually offensively-limited Chuck Hayes got ten points, mostly from layups. Thanks to plenty of backdoor cuts by Brooks and Hayes, and the inside post moves of Scola, the Rockets compiled up 36 first half points in the paint and edged the Warriors by one point.

New coach, same story for the Warriors one half into 2010.

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Yao Ming Not Playing Against Warriors Tonight

Yao Ming is being eased back into the Rockets rotation, but is on a strict minute count that’ll limit his participation through most of the regular season (24 minutes, no more than that). Was it much of a coincidence that he played 23 minutes and fouled out only seconds before he'd have been pulled out on opening night against the Los Angeles Lakers?

Another limit on his return his unavailability for back-to-back games. Which means he will probably be in street clothes on Wednesday. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.

With the Rockets set to open the season with a back-to-back, coach Rick Adelman laid to rest any doubts about Yao Ming’s availability, saying he expects his center to play opening night against the Lakers. Yao, available for just one game in back-to-backs, would then sit out Wednesday’s game at Golden State.

He probably won’t be missed, since Golden State is still a very small team and Brad Miller, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes should give Andris Biedrins and David Lee plenty of trouble on both sides of the ball. It’s too bad because of the Bay Area’s huge Asian demographic, which will now have to turn their eyes longingly to the end of the Warrior bench and hope Keith Smart calls Jeremy Lin’s number. Hint: Don’t expect to see him.

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