Any more questions? When the coaches go and decide who is an All-Star, and who is not, they had better have a tape of last night’s thrilling 110-108 Warriors win over the Pacers, because Monta Ellis answered every question that was thrown at him. If it was an SAT, he would have gotten a 2,400.
After a slow start, Ellis turned it up a notch, and then, when it mattered most, added a game winning shot to his credentials. Ellis scored only two points in the first quarter, but torched Indiana for 16 in the 2nd, including 10 in the final 90 seconds on two 3-pointers, and two jumpers to keep Golden State within five at the break, 58-53.
After scoring 18 in the first half, Monta matched that with 18 more in the 2nd half, with a brilliant display of his mid-range game, that is undoubtedly as good as anyone’s in the NBA. Time and time again, Indiana would pull away to a 6-8 point lead, and Monta would will the Warriors back. And it wasn’t all done on the offensive end.
Down 105-103 with 2:28 to play, Ellis got the call on a Jeff Foster charge, giving the Warriors back the ball with a chance to tie. After Ellis missed, Brandan Wright, who played some important and productive minutes in the 4th quarter, hauled down the offensive rebound. Given a second chance, Ellis didn’t miss. The 17-foot jumper tied things at 105.
The Warriors ‘D’ stiffened and after Stephen Curry made a tough, running bank shot with 21 ticks left on the clock, Golden State had a 3-point lead. The lead lasted four seconds. After a timeout, Darrel Collison quickly got past Curry, who compounded that mistake by fouling the former UCLA guard who converted the 3-point play to tie the game at 108.
Now it was time for Ellis to put the stamp on what has been a stellar first half of the season. He had an opportunity to win a game in Portland earlier in the year and missed.
He wouldn’t miss this time.
With time winding down, and Brandon Rush defending him tightly, Ellis made another of his trademark, ankle-breaking moves, getting separation from Rush, just enough, to go left, and, from 17 feet away…swish…. Beautiful.
With 0.6 seconds left on the clock, it was all over but the shouting. Or should I say voting.
So let me shout to the coaches who vote.
MONTA ELLIS IS AN ALL-STAR!
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!