Don’t look now, but the Golden State Warriors are near the top of the Western Conference at the first few weeks of the 2010-2011 season.
The month of November has gotten off to the right foot, with Golden State winning four of their five games. It began with a 115-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Monta Ellis continued his league-leading scoring average with 39 points, and Dorell Wright contributed a career-high seven three point field goals in the second game without Stephen Curry.
The Warriors have won their first three home games for the first time since 1990. The next night the streak went to four with an 85-78 win over the Utah Jazz. Stephen Curry made his return to the lineup, and contributed with nine points in limited time. Ellis had a team high 23 points, and David Lee (14 points, 15 rebounds) had his fifth double-double of the season.
Golden State then began an East Coast road trip with their second loss of the season, 102-97 to the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons had it going on from beyond the arc (9-21) while the Warriors struggled to keep up. Golden State did have a fourth quarter lead, but Richard Hamilton led the way back for Detroit with a game high 27, while Rodney Stuckey had 21 points and nine assists.
The next night in Toronto saw Stephen Curry return to his old form, with a season-high 34 points as the Warriors defeated the Raptors 109-102. The team got a scare when Monta Ellis (25 points) took a bad fall in the fourth quarter and needed to take x-rays. However, coach Keith Smart said that they were only precautionary x-rays and assured that he would ready to go the next game.
Last night, it was familiar territory for David Lee.
The forward returned to Madison Square Garden, where he played his first four seasons as a Knick and lit his old team up for 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 122-117 victory. A video tribute played for Lee, a fan favorite, during a first quarter timeout and got a rousing standing ovation. He also gave Wilson Chandler an inadvertent elbow late in the game that knocked his tooth out and gave Lee a gash on his elbow.
Amare Stoudemire, who essentially replaced Lee in New York, had 33 points and 10 rebounds but missed crucial free throws in the last minute that could have gotten the Knicks the victory.
Golden State led as much as 19 points in the third quarter, but New York kept cutting into the lead and even got the lead with three minutes left. When the Warriors needed an answer, not only Lee but Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry were there to bring the team back. Curry had 25 points, six rebounds, and eight assists, while Ellis had 22 points, six assists and four steals.
The Warriors, now 6-2 and sitting only behind the undefeated Lakers in the Pacific Division, wrap up their road stand with games tonight against the Chicago Bulls and the tough Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday before returning home for a rematch against the Pistons.
About the Author
Written by Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan is a Staten Island, NY native who recently graduated SUNY-Cortland majoring in sport management. At Cortland, he was the sports editor of the student-run newspaper The Dragon Chronicle for both his junior and senior year. He interned for the sports producer and sports anchor Bruce Beck at WNBC-4 Sports in New York City for their 6:00 and 11:00 news programs. Also, he interned this summer for the New York Jets as a sports writer for their website during their training camp which was shown on HBO's Hard Knocks program. Assignments included writing feature stories that were included on both newyorkjets.com and the Jets Playbook given out to the fans at the game. Chris is a Yankees, Giants, Knicks and Rangers fan.