IT’S NOT VERY OFTEN A GUY WHO SHOOTS 4-16 FROM THE FIELD MAKES THE BIGGEST SHOT OF THE NIGHT, BUT THAT’S JUST WHAT HAPPENED IN TONIGHTS 100-94 WIN BY GOLDEN STATE OVER OKLAHOMA CITY. WITH THE SCORE 83-81 AND ABOUT 5 MINUTES TO PLAY, THE SHOT CLOCK WAS WINDING DOWN… MONTA ELLIS HAD THE BALL AND COULD HAVE FORCED THE SHOT, BUT INSTEAD HE DISHED IT TO A STRUGGLING DORELL WRIGHT, WHO DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO THINK… CATCH AND SHOOT… HE DID, IT WENT. WARRIORS LED BY FIVE…
IT WASN’T SO MUCH THAT WRIGHT MADE THE SHOT. OF COURSE THAT HELPED, BUT THAT ELLIS HAD THE CONFIDENCE THT HE WOULD MAKE IT. MOST SCORERS OF MONTA’S STATURE WOULD HAVE TAKEN IT UPON THEMSELF TO MAKE THE SHOT, BUT NOT ELLIS. THAT WOKE WRIGHT UP, AND FROM THERE, GOLDEN STATE’S OFFENSE DID ENOUGH TO HOLD OFF THE THUNDER.
THAT’S BECAUSE AFTER WRIGHT’S BIG SHOT, RUSSELL WESTBROOK HIT A THREE TO CUT THE LEAD TO ONE. ELLIS ANSWERED WITH A THREE OF HIS OWN, AND THEN HAD A NIFTY FEED TO WRIGHT ON THE BREAK, ANDTHE LEAD WAS SIX. THUNDER CAME RIGHT BACK. THABO SEFOLOSHA GOT OKLAHOMA’S FIRST OFFENSIVE BOARD SINCE THE FIRST QUARTER ON A TIP IN, AND JEFF GREEN THEN HIT A THREE OF HIS OWN AND THE LEAD WAS ONCE AGAIN DOWN TO ONE.
NOT A PROBLEM. STEPHEN CURRY HAD HIS BEST GAME OF THE YEAR WITH 23 POINTS 13 ASSISTS AND NO TURNOVERS. I’LL REPEAT THAT. 13 ASSISTS AND NO TURNOVERS. SHALL I SAY IT AGAIN? OUT OF A TIMEOUT, COACH KEITH SMART DESIGNED A PLAY FOR REGGIE WILLIAMS, FACILITATED BY CURRY.
AFTER TWO FREE THROWS BY KEVIN DURANT CUT THE LEAD BACK TO TWO, CURRY DID IT AGAIN. HE BROKE DOWN THE DEFENSE AND FED AN OPEN DAVID LEE FOR AN EASY LAYUP, AND THE LEAD WAS AGAIN FOUR. LEE ALSO HAD A BIG GAME WITH 23 POINTS AND 19 REBOUNDS.
BEHIND A GAME HIGH 33 POINTS FROM MONTA ELLIS, THE WARRIORS WON THEIR 24TH GAME OF THE SEASON, TWO FEWER THAN THEY HAD ALL OF LAST SEASON. TO BEAT A TEAM LIKE OKLAHOMA CITY EVERYONE NEEDED TO STEP UP AND WHILE MANY WOULD POINT TO THE GAMES OF ELLIS, LEE AND CURRY AS TO WHY THE WARRIORS WON, THE SHOT OF THE NIGHT TO ME WAS BY WRIGHT. HE WAS ONLY 1 OF 8 FROM DOWNTOWN, BUT IT WAS A BIG ONE.
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!