Monta Ellis Outperforms Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors Beat Oklahoma City Thunder

A weekly Warriors stream of all the news on games, player development and any other juicy gossip. We begin each week with a re-wind of the past week's drama.

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Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee, Golden State Warriors Hold Off Durant, Westbrook And Thunder

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Monta Ellis scored 33 points and handed out seven assists, while Stephen Curry and David Lee each had terrific second-half performances to help guide the Warriors to a 100-94 win over Oklahoma City.

Curry finished with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting and recorded 13 assists with no turnovers for Golden State, which has won five of its last seven games.

Lee totaled 14 of his 23 points in the second half and grabbed 19 rebounds to highlight a lopsided 47-33 advantage on the glass for the victors.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook once again paced the Thunder with 29 and 21 points, respectively.

Oklahoma City fell for the second time in three games despite outscoring the Warriors at the foul line, 24-7.

The Warriors countered Oklahoma City’s ability to get to the foul line with a plethora of offensive rebounds. They grabbed 15 more than their opponent in the first half en route to a 23-20 lead after the opening quarter and a 47-43 edge at the break.

Ellis scored 18 points in the first 24 minutes, then gave way to Curry and Lee, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the third to increase Golden State’s advantage to 74-66 heading to the fourth.

Golden State was never able to pull away in the final stanza but also never trailed.

A Jeff Green three-pointer pulled the Thunder within 93-92 with 1:07 on the clock, but Reggie Williams answered with a deep make of his own to rebuild the four-point margin.

Durant got two free throws to fall with 42.2 seconds left before Curry dribbled down the shot clock, got into the lane and dished off to Lee for an easy slam.

The Warriors were able to hang on from there.

The Warriors had 20 offensive boards to Oklahoma City’s two…Green ended with 12 points for Oklahoma City, which committed 20 turnovers and only forced nine from Golden State…Dorell Wright added 10 points for the Warriors.

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Monta Ellis And Warriors Win Offensive Shootout With Carmelo Anthony & Nuggets

For more on the game, head over to Golden State of Mind.

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Monta Ellis finished with 37 points and hit a big three-pointer late in the game, helping the Golden State Warriors snap a seven-game skid against the Denver Nuggets with a 116-114 victory.

Dorell Wright added 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, while David Lee also filled the stat sheet with 16, 12 and six for Golden State, which has won four of five overall following a four-game slide.

Carmelo Anthony posted 29 points in Denver’s fifth loss in seven games.

The star forward, mired in trade rumors all season, did not get an opportunity to touch the ball on the game’s final possession. Instead it was Nene, who missed a 17-foot baseline jumper as the buzzer sounded. Nene had hit all six of his previous field goal attempts, ending with 17 points in defeat.

The Nuggets, playing without point guard Chauncey Billups (knee), never led in the second half, though they pulled within one point on two occasions late in the game, the last coming when Anthony’s driving layup made it 113-112 with 1:11 showing.

Ellis countered with a three-pointer from the right wing, though J.R. Smith pulled up from 20 feet to make it a one-possession game with 32.8 ticks left.

Ellis missed from long range the next time down, and Denver, trailing by two, opted not to call a timeout. The ball was swung to Nene in the corner, and the center’s shot was short to end the game.

“You don’t know what they can possibly do in that setting,” Warriors head coach Keith Smart said of Denver’s final possession. “Sometimes you call a timeout and maybe the team can lock into what you may run, and I think sometimes you can get something better when you push the ball.”

Nuggets head coach George Karl thought his team missed an opportunity when Ty Lawson dished to Nene.

“I thought he had a great opportunity to attack the rim, and just kind of deferred to Nene,” Karl said. “Got a good shot, but didn’t get a great shot.”

The score remained close through most of the opening half, with the Nuggets leading 35-34 at the end of 12 minutes and the Warriors inching past for a 70-68 edge at the break.

Ellis had 22 points in the first half, while Anthony paced the Denver with 17.

Reggie Williams hit three of the Warriors’ five three-pointers in the third quarter. They led by as many as 13, 97-84, but Denver went on an 8-3 run in the final minute to cut its deficit to 100-92 heading to the fourth.

Smith and fellow reserve Al Harrington chipped in 16 and 18 points, respectively, for the Nuggets. who were done in by 18 turnovers…Williams tallied 18 points for Golden State, which got 13 points from Stephen Curry.

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Warriors vs. Nuggets: Golden State Hosts Denver As Trade Rumors Swirl Around Carmelo Anthony, Nene

(Sports Network) – With trade rumors again swirling around star forward Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets aim for their eighth straight win over the Golden State Warriors tonight. Anthony has turned down at least two extension offers from Denver and looked like he might be headed to New Jersey last month before the Nets bowed out of trade talks. Now, with only six games left before the trade deadline, New York and the LA Lakers seem to be amping up pursuit of the All-Star.

All the speculation hasn’t hurt Anthony’s game, however, and the Syracuse product went off for 50 points in the Nuggets’ 108-103 setback to Houston on Monday. Anthony shot 16-of-24 in the game, matched his career-high with the 50 points and also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for Denver, which has lost two of three overall.

“The jump shot is strong and it opens up for drives to the rack,” Anthony said. “Fifty don’t mean nothing tonight.”

Ty Lawson contributed 19 points, six rebounds and five assists in a reserve role and Al Harrington supplied 10 points and seven boards in the loss. Starting point guard Chauncey Billups left the game after tweaking his knee in the first quarter, but an MRI Tuesday revealed no serious damage. The veteran is listed as day-to-day and did travel to Oakland with the team. Meanwhile, center Nene, who missed the loss to the Rockets with a sinus infection, will be a game-time decision tonight.

The Warriors, who will finish up an eight-game homestand tonight, are coming off a 104-92 loss to Phoenix on Monday. Monta Ellis had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Warriors, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 3-4 overall on the season-long residency.

“It was disappointing from the start that they came out better than we did,” said Warriors forward David Lee, who had 16 points. “Most nights our shooting is able to save us, but we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well.”

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Dorell Wright and David Lee Hampering Warriors?

In my mind, the Golden State Warriors are much more athletic and skilled team than ever before. The starting five, aside from Biedrins, has relatively balanced skills of scoring, passing, and, above all, the ever elusive outside shooting (that was even spotty with the “We-Believe” era). But with all this offensive power, the Warriors have not played well. The defensive problems are obvious with Lee, as Tim Kawakami points out about Channing Frye’s destruction of him on Monday night.

But Wages of Wins calculates that while Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, and Vladimir Radmanovic have actually improved their wins generated by playing more efficiently on offense. But, the new additions, Wright and Lee, have played so inefficiently that they have wiped out these improvements:

David Lee is playing the worst basketball of his pro career (5.2 fewer wins). His shooting percentage and defensive rebounding are at career lows. According to Hoopdata.com he is taking far fewer shots at the rim and his jump-shot has fallen apart. Why? Likely injury. Lee suffered a freak accident in New York getting Wilson Chandler’s tooth lodged in his elbow. He was hospitalized for days and continues to wear a large bandage

Dorell Wright is also having the worst season of his pro career (2.5 fewer wins). After signing a $12 million contract proclaiming the Warriors would be "a great situation for me to showcase my talent and show everybody what else I bring to the table other than being a spot-up shooter and defender," Wright has wobbled. He’s continued to improve his three-point shooting, but his mid-range shooting has been terrible (44 of 162 from ten to 23 feet), his rebounding is at a career low, and his turnover rate ties a career high.

With his statistical evidence, Wright and Lee have produced nearly 8 LESS wins to date compared to last season. Lee’s slump isn’t surprising considering the injuries. And he’s playing about as good as I would expect in a new offense versus the free wheeling times of the Mike D’Antoni era. But Wright’s offense problems between 10 and 23 feet is surprising, especially since I can barely remember a time when he even took a shot from that distance.

Wright’s game has steadily improved as has his shooting percentages. But it is surprising that Wright, our team’s lone swingman, is that bad in the mid-range. He clearly has the skills to do it as we’ve seen him on dribble penetrations as of late. But the numbers that WoW provides is jarring.

With that said, is Dorell Wright’s $2.5 million dollar contract still a steal? And perhaps there’s a reason why he wasn’t chosen to be in the Taco Bell’s Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend.

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