With 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter and the Warriors up 5, I was waiting for the Warriors signature meltdown. Even after the Warriors got 3 consecutive solid defensive stops in a row — the first time possibly all season — with the Warriors up 7 with a minute left, I still felt that mini-Dwyane Wade, Marquette alum Wesley Matthews, was going to will his team to victory as he almost did (25 points, 9-18 shooting). But in non-Warriors fashion, the Warriors actually won the game. It truly was a “Christmas Miracle,” yelled my sister 3 times in a row sitting next to me on the couch.
Monta Ellis finished with 39 points on an array of dazzling layups and dunks, which San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Rusty Chronicle Tweeted:
Rusty_SFChron Rusty Simmons
That Monta Ellis dunk had some “This game is on national TV” lift to it.
With the Warriors surging to an 11-0 run late in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis hit a deep two from the top of the key and then picked off Rudy Fernandez pass to Wesley Matthews for a swooping layup on the other end. Ellis limped his way to the bench after putting the Warriors up by 7.
You could probably hear a collective sigh of relief across the bay area when Ellis told ESPN commentator and overly-tanned-in-the-winter Ric Bucher that his ankle was just ‘tweaked.’
The Warriors collectively racked up 31 assists with Stephen Curry and Ellis accounting for 18. Another amazing stat? The Warriors only missed 2 free throws for 90.5%.
Who are these Warriors? Are we watching a legitimate NBA team?
No. Not really. The Warriors were still out-rebounded 53-32. Ekpe Udoh didn’t contribute much in the rebounding department for the second game in a row. But, more importantly, Udoh offered some interior presence, collecting 3 blocks for the third straight game.
David Lee finally found his stroke, having one of his best shooting games all season, netting 21 points on 8-11 of shooting. He also chipped in 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
Shooting 6-9 and connecting 4-4 from 3-point territory, Dorell Wright finished with 16 points along with 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Reggie Williams came off the bench to score 9 points, hitting a key 3-pointer during the Warriors decisive 11-0 fourth quarter run.
The Warriors wore red shoes and green socks to celebrate Christmas…LaMarcus Aldridge had a sore right wrist from “dunking” so much his last 4 games. Lee managed to hold Aldridge to 15 points.