Ellis' 37 points help Warriors edge SunsFeb 14, 2008 - 6:23 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) - The Golden State Warriors faced off against the Phoenix Suns, and the league's top two offenses didn't disappoint.
Monta Ellis scored 37 points and Baron Davis added 27 and 13 assists as the Warriors outlasted the Suns, 120-118, on Wednesday night.
"A team like this, we knew it was going to come down to the wire - and the way we play, it was going to be a game full of runs," Davis said. "I think both teams wanted to stay as close as possible and they wanted to keep the game close. They were just fighting and they played a great game."
Amare Stoudemire had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Grant Hill registered 26 and 15 boards for the Suns, who have lost their last three games against the Warriors at Oracle Arena.
"The main thing is trying to get a win," Hill said. "They went small and we tried to match them and go small. It would have been better to score no points and get the win - but we'll see them again."
Ellis single-handedly kept the Warriors in the game by scoring 10 of his points in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter, including a personal 8-2 run which put Golden State on top, 107-106, with 4:58 remaining in the game.
"I just tried to be aggressive, that's what coach wanted me to do," Ellis said. "Come out, be aggressive, try to get the team going and that's what I did tonight. I'm not trying to think too much, just let the game come to me and play within the game plan and feed off my teammates."
After Stoudemire converted a three-point play to put Phoenix back on top, 109-107, Stephen Jackson came up with a big 3-pointer with 4:28 remaining to give the Warriors a one-point lead.
Seldom-used reserve Kelenna Azubuike drained a 3-pointer from the baseline and pushed the lead to 113-109 with 3:19 to play.
Phoenix's Steve Nash made it a two-point game with a layup, and the Warriors turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, allowing Hill to tie the game on a reverse layup with 2:31 to play.
Davis scored six straight points to give the Warriors a 119-113 lead with 1:14 left.
"I was able to let the flow of the game come to me," Davis said. "I was being aggressive and I got to my shooting spots and was able to hit the shots as well as find teammates. Monta was phenomenal for us and he's tough to guard in the halfcourt and that's what we need him to do."
Stoudemire had a chance to tie the game again with 3.5 seconds left, but the All-Star center converted only 1-of-2 from the line. Ellis split a pair of free throws to with 2.7 seconds left, and Leandro Barbosa missed a 3-point attempt for Phoenix at the buzzer.
"We wanted to win the game because we've got a game tomorrow night and that's a play that I know we can get," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He's hit a couple of 3s. He was pretty hot and he had a pretty good look at it, it just didn't go in."
Although the Warriors (32-20) are playing their best basketball in years and are 12 games over .500, they are tied with the Houston Rockets (32-20) and Denver Nuggets (32-20) for the seventh spot in the Western Conference.
"We can just keep trucking as best we can," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We certainly can't complain about our record. There's no complaints at this point at all but the toughest is yet to come. When we get back from the All-Star Game, for the next 30 games, I don't know that there's many easy ones, but nobody's easy for us anyway."
Shaquille O'Neal once again was on the bench for the Suns.
Since he was acquired from the Miami Heat in a trade for forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks on February 6, O'Neal has practiced but missed the last four games with left hip inflammation.
GOLDEN STATE 120 FINAL
Feb 13 11:39 PM
GOLDEN STATE 87 END, 3RD QTR
Feb 13 11:00 PM
GOLDEN STATE 59 HALFTIME
Feb 13 10:13 PM
GOLDEN STATE 38 END, 1ST QTR
Feb 13 9:39 PM
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