Ellis, Davis power Warriors past RaptorsMar 13, 2008 - 7:14 AM By Ryan Leong PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- A day after the Golden State Warriors picked up the contract option on Don Nelson for next season, the team rewarded their coach with a win.
Monta Ellis poured in 33 points as all five starters scored in double figures for the Warriors en route to a 117-106 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Baron Davis added 23 points and 15 assists as the Warriors kept pace in the Western Conference playoff race, remaining in eighth place (40-23) - one game behind the Dallas Mavericks (42-23).
"It feels great, but we've got to keep going," Davis said. "I think 50 wins will definitely get us in, so out of these 19 (left), we've got to win 10.
"It's a tough race, but that's what NBA basketball is all about. I've never been involved in something this tight, this type of race in my career. This is an opportunity for us to gain some ground. Every game is an opportunity to move up and see where we can finish."
Golden State held a 88-79 lead entering the fourth quarter before the Raptors narrowed the deficit to four points on Andrea Bargnani's baseline jumper with 10:12 remaining.
Carlos Delfino made a pair of free throws with 7:45 remaining, tying the score, 90-90, erasing Toronto's 20-point second-quarter deficit.
The Raptors only took their second lead of the game, 94-93, after a running jumper by T.J. Ford with 6:39 remaining.
"That last six minutes we weren't able to capitalize on opportunities with shots, but we dug ourselves a big hole, and we fought so hard, and I think that happens a lot in the NBA," Ford said. "You work so hard, and we finally get right there, and they go on another (run). We got the lead by one point and then we just went into a drought."
The Warriors then got back to running the floor and went on a 8-2 run to claim a five-point lead on Mickael Pietrus' layup with 5:01 left.
Golden State got a big 3-pointer by Stephen Jackson to forge a 110-101 lead with 2:51 to play before Davis sealed the victory with 11 points over the final two minutes.
"We didn't want the game to be close at all," Davis said. "But they started hitting shots and they're a team that's known for making jump shots. T.J. Ford started creating havoc, and we hit a bad spot when we were taking a lot of jumpers and couldn't get anything going.
"Anytime, you play against a tough team like that, you know there's a run coming. You just want to be that team that makes the last run, and we were able to do that."
Despite making only 1-of-12 shots from the arc in the first half, the Warriors maintained a lead on the Raptors in the third quarter but the Raptors would close to within six points.
"I didn't think this was going to be an easy game, and it wasn't," Nelson said. "Seems like, in the NBA, whenever you get a really good start there will be a period of time where they come back, and we had to fight way too hard for this game so that was a concern. But we had to make sure we won this game and did what we had to do."
Golden State started the game with an 18-4 run, running the floor early and often with an assortment of fast-break layups and dunks with the occasional 3-pointer and mid-range jumper to forge a 35-17 lead after the first quarter.
"We came out with a lot of intensity and a lot of energy but they came back," Ellis said. "We knew they were going to do that. We knew they weren't going to go away but we kept our poise, kept doing what we were doing and we won the ballgame."
The Raptors spent the second quarter fighting an uphill battle. Golden State would lead by as many as 20 points early in the quarter, but Toronto would cut the deficit to 10 points with 4:17 remaining in the half.
Despite scoring only 17 points in the first quarter, the Raptors trailed 58-48 at intermission.
Ford scored 23 points off the bench and Anthony Parker added 22 and nine assists for the Raptors (34-30), who are one of only five teams in the Eastern Conference with a winning record and remain 2 1/2 games ahead of the Washington Wizards (31-32) in the standings.
"The first quarter just killed us," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "To get down, especially coming off (back-to-back games), against a team like the Lakers (Tuesday) and how hard you have to play, to get back. We played hard and gave ourselves a chance to get back in the basketball game, but the first quarter we just came out flat."
GOLDEN STATE 117 FINAL
Mar 13 12:48 AM
GOLDEN STATE 88 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 13 12:16 AM
GOLDEN STATE 58 HALFTIME
Mar 12 11:40 PM
GOLDEN STATE 35 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 12 11:12 PM
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