Coach Keith Smart said all throughout the Warriors seven-game losing streak that his team was giving him the right effort to win games, they just weren’t winning. Last night, they gave him the right effort and just came up short in Portland. 96-95.
Both teams were shorthanded, as the Blazers were without Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Camby while G’State didn’t have Stephen Curry or Andris Biedrins in the lineup. So whose reserves would step up and provide the difference?
The answer was both. Portland got a big boost from St Mary’s grad Patty Mills, who scored a career high 12 points off the bench. Dante Cunningham chipped in 13 of his own in his first start. Mills and Cunningham were two of the six Blazers who scored in double figures in a balanced attack for the home squad.
Golden State fell behind 69-54 in the 3rd quarter before they started to mount their comeback. Rodney Carney had missed six straight games due to an injury, but came off the Warriors bench to spark the team with 10 points in the 4th quarter. Down a point with under 10 seconds to play, Golden State designed a play to get the ball to Monta Ellis. Ellis threw up an desperation off balance 20-footer at the buzzer but it was long and Portland escaped with the one-point victory.
Ellis led all scorers with 26 points, but also committed 7 turnovers and was in foul trouble for much of the game. Still, had Ellis made that last shot, none of that would have mattered. David Lee contributed 13 points and 11 boards in the losing effort. The Warriors fell for the 15th time in their past 18 games.
Golden State now comes home to face Houston before bussing to Sacramento to play the Kings. They’ll get a chance to avenge last night’s loss on Christmas Night when they host these same Blazers in front of a national TV audience.
About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!