7:00 PM ET, March 8, 2011
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH
CLEVELAND -- When Monta Ellis gets hot and the shots start falling fast, his Golden State teammates know exactly what to do.
"Get out of his way," said Warriors forward David Lee, "or set him a screen."
Ellis found his shooting stroke in the second half, making a career-high six 3-pointers, to finish with 24 points, and backcourt mate Stephen Curry added 23 points, sending Golden State to a 95-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
Ellis made all 5 of his 3-point attempts and scored 17 in the third quarter as the Warriors won for the second time in eight games. He and Curry combined for 25 of Golden State's 29 points in the third and the duo teamed for 47 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists.
"I'm fortunate to be coaching a team that has two players in the backcourt that can shoot the ball from deep, put it on the floor, get to the mid-area and also get to the rim," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "That doesn't happen that often."
Lee added 14 points and 14 rebounds as Golden State improved to 2-4 on a seven-game road trip.
Baron Davis came off the bench and scored 19 in his second home game for the Cavs, who were powerless to stop Ellis once he warmed up from outside.
Cleveland's J.J. Hickson dislocated his left little finger in the fourth, but the Cavs were actually relieved it wasn't worse.
Hickson got hurt when the ball smashed into his finger as he tried to catch a pass. Hickson grabbed and clutched his left hand in pain, and after play was stopped, he sprinted past Cleveland's trainer and ran directly to the Cavs' locker room.
"I saw his finger pointing east and west," said Cavs coach Byron Scott, whose first season in Cleveland has been overloaded with injuries. "I didn't want to start crying in front of 17,000 people."
The Cavs have already lost leading scorer Antawn Jamison to a broken little finger that required surgery, so Scott was thrilled to see Hickson return to the bench with his fingers taped.
"It scared me," Scott said. "When he first ran off the court, I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me, another one goes down?' Luckily, he was OK."
By the time Hickson returned to the bench, Ellis and Curry had already shot the Warriors to a double-digit lead.
Golden State's backcourt was too much for Cleveland's guards to handle. When the Cavs did prevent Ellis from getting off a shot, the Warriors simply swung the ball to Curry, who has scored more than 20 points in five of his past six games.
Held to 4 points in the first half, Ellis came out firing in the third.
He made his five 3s from a variety of spots -- his other bucket in the period was a layup -- as the Warriors, who trailed by 12 in the first quarter, opened a 76-65 lead entering the fourth. It didn't matter if the Cavs were up in his face, Ellis was in one of those shooter's zones when the basket seems a mile wide.
Ellis dropped four 3s in the final 4:45 and scored Golden State's last 14 points of the third.
"I was just feeling it," said Ellis, who scored 41 in a tough loss at Boston last week. "I just had the confidence to knock them down."
The Warriors are used to seeing Ellis score in bunches.
"We're not surprised," Curry said. "He takes his show on the road a lot. It's usually acrobatics at the rim, but tonight he was knocking down three's. He took over the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth. He was knocking down a lot of shots. He's tough to guard."
Curry started slowly. He missed his only shot in the first quarter, but banged down a pair of 3s and scored 10 in the second, when the Warriors outscored the Cavs 29-16 to take a 47-46 halftime lead.
Cleveland's fans have quickly adopted Davis as a favorite.
The bearded guard got a rousing ovation when he checked in with 5:32 left in the first quarter and made a quick impact. He scored four points and added two assists, the second coming on a lob pass across the lane to Hickson, whose dunk gave the Cavaliers a 30-18 lead.
Davis hasn't started since joining the Cavs. ... Warriors assistant coach Mark Price, one of the most popular players in Cavs history, received a loud ovation when he was shown on the arena's scoreboard during a timeout in the first quarter. Price's No. 25 is one of six retired jerseys hanging from the rafters at the Q. ... Scott was relieved that Hornets star Chris Paul wasn't more seriously hurt when he sustained a concussion on Sunday night. Scott coached Paul in New Orleans for four seasons. "I was glad to hear he was OK," Scott said. "I'm going to give him a call again and see how he's doing." ... Newly acquired Cavs big men F Luke Harangody (hip pointer) and C Semih Erden (groin) didn't play. Scott said he may rest both players the rest of this week.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||39-86 (.453)||31-85 (.365)|
|3PM-3PA||8-18 (.444)||4-18 (.222)|
|FTM-FTA||9-10 (.900)||19-23 (.826)|
|Fast Break Points||10||15|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||16 (1/0)|