Monta Ellis was not having a good game. With time running down, he had 19 points in what was looking like a home loss to the woeful Sacramento Kings. But All-Stars can awaken at any given moment, and Monta Ellis is an All-Star.
Off an inbounds pass, he buried a three with 23.7 seconds left to cut the Kings lead to one. He was hardly done. In fact, he was just getting started. After the Kings Pooh Jeter hit only 1 of 2 free throws, the Warriors were down two with 15 seconds left. What to do? Easy. Get the ball into Monta’s hands.
After his game winning shot against Indiana earlier in the week, Monta did it again on Friday night. Whittling the clock down to take the last shot and try and force overtime, Ellis once again faked right, went left, and calmly sank a 17-foot jumper despite being tightly guarded by Tyreke Evans. With less than a second on the clock, Ellis had done it again.
In overtime, he scored the Warriors first two baskets, including a breathtaking full speed layup that was so fast the Kings didn’t have time to notice who was wearing the uniform. It was number eight for those with the luxury of instant replay. It was the last basket of the night for Ellis who finished with 28 points in Golden State’s 119-112 OT win over Sacto.
With the game in hand, the Warriors did get a major scare when Evans and Ellis went for a loose ball and Evans landed on Monta, who then had to be helped off the court. Unable to put any weight on his left leg, it looked bad. Preliminary reports say it’s just a tweak of the ankle, and he should be fine, but for a moment, this improbable win was being overshadowed by the possibility of a serious injury to the Warriors best player.
Before Ellis’ heroics, the Warriors had played a lackluster 4th quarter, turning an 82-74 lead after 3 quarters into a 99-90 deficit with just over 3 minutes to play. But after scoring just 8 points in the first 9 minutes of the quarter, G’State responded with a quick 9-0 run in the next minute and 48 seconds to knot things up and set up Monta for his latest All-Star resume building game.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points to lead Golden State, while David Lee added his 3rd straight 20 point game, scoring 22 points, and hauling down 10 rebounds as the Warriors won their 4th straight for the first time since March 2008. The Warriors are now 19-23 on the season, and 10-5 over their last 15, a stretch that has seen a good helping of health and home games.
And a whole lot of Monta Ellis.
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!