Warriors Grab Big Xmas Win

Golden State downs Portland 109-102

By NBC Bay Area Sports
|  Sunday, Dec 26, 2010  |  Updated 7:36 AM PDT
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Warriors Grab Big Xmas Win

AP

Golden State Warriors center David Lee, center, battles for a loose ball against Portland Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller, left, and forward LaMarcus Aldridge, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010. Warriors won 109-102. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

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Monta Ellis scored 39 points and the Golden State Warriors scored 11 straight points to erase a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter and beat the Portland Trail Blazers 109-102 on Saturday night in their first Christmas home game.

David Lee added 21 points, and Dorell Wright scored five of his 16 during the decisive spurt to help the Warriors win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.
 
They didn't have to dig out of as deep a hole as they did Tuesday night, when they rallied from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings in overtime. But they still needed clutch plays late to snap Portland's three-game winning streak.
 
LaMarcus Aldridge gave the Blazers a 97-91 lead with just over 5 minutes left and it looked as if Portland was in position to win for the second straight time in Oakland following nine losses in a row here.
 
But Wesley Matthews fouled Ellis on a 3-pointer to start Golden State's run. Ellis made all three free throws, and Wright hit a tying 3-pointer on the Warriors' next possession. Wright then stole a pass from Rudy Fernandez and went the other way for a dunk that gave the Warriors their first lead of the quarter.
 
Reggie Williams capped the run with another 3-pointer that made it 102-97. Ellis put the game away with a long jumper, followed by a steal and layup that gave the Warriors a 106-99 lead with 1:04 to play.
 
Matthews led Portland with 25 points and Nicolas Batum added 18. Aldridge scored 15, and Andre Miller had 12 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.
 
The teams met for the second straight Saturday night, following last week's 96-95 win in Portland by the Blazers when Ellis missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer. Portland won that game despite missing injured starters Brandon Roy, Batum and Marcus Camby. Roy was the only one of those three not back for this game, missing his fourth straight with an injured left knee.
 
The Warriors got point guard Stephen Curry back after he missed six games with a sprained right ankle. Curry was more a facilitator than shooter, with 11 assists and only four points on 2-for-15 shooting.
 
The Warriors went on an 11-1 run early in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead. Portland went more than five minutes without a basket during the run, turning the ball over five times in the span.
 
The Blazers recovered and ended the quarter on a 12-3 run, with the final three points coming on free throws by Matthews after being fouled on a 3-pointer by Ellis, to take an 80-78 lead into the fourth.
 
It was a tight first half with neither team leading by more than five points at any juncture. Ellis single-handedly kept the Warriors close, scoring 18 of his 24 first-half points in the second quarter. He scored on a scintillating left-handed reverse to cut Portland's lead to 49-48 as the fans chanted "M-V-P!" repeatedly late in the half.
 
He barely missed a half-court shot at the buzzer, shortly after Matthews gave Portland a 57-56 lead with a dunk. This marked the fourth time this season Ellis scored at least 24 points in the opening half -- a mark reached only seven other times by everyone else in the NBA.
 

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