Monta Ellis had 39 points and six assists, Anthony Morrow made a critical 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Golden State Warriors came back from an 18-point deficit in the second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 108-101 on Friday night.
Corey Maggette added 24 points and eight rebounds, including two free throws with 18.1 seconds left, as the Warriors won their second straight after going just 3-12 in December.
Tyreke Evans had 25 points and six assists before fouling out late in the fourth quarter for Sacramento, which led nearly the entire game before collapsing down the stretch. The Kings led 99-94 with 4:38 remaining but managed only one basket the rest of the way, that coming on Sergio Rodriguez's uncontested layup with six seconds left.
Ellis dominated his matchup against Evans most of the night but really took it to the front-runner for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award in the fourth quarter. Ellis scored the first seven points of the period then added four more down the stretch, including a driving layup that gave the Warriors a 100-99 lead with 2:51 remaining.
After Jason Thompson was called for a charging foul with 1:05 left, Morrow made a 3-pointer to extend Golden State's lead. The Kings then committed two turnovers in the final 40 seconds, and Maggette made two free throws to seal it for the Warriors.
Golden State suffered a significant blow at the end of the first quarter when starting forward Anthony Randolph went down with an injury to his left ankle. Randolph collapsed to the floor after Evans missed a driving layup at the buzzer and lay prone for several moments before teammates helped him off the court.
Randolph, who averaged 13 points and 7.2 rebounds in his previous five games, was taken to the Warriors' locker room for further examination. He didn't return, finishing with six points and four rebounds.
With Andris Biedrins still working his way back into shape after groin and back injuries sidelined him for 25 games, Golden State's bench was stretched thin following the loss of Randolph, and Warriors coach Don Nelson was once again forced to play his starters longer than he preferred.
Ellis, who has played in all 48 minutes of regulation seven times this season, was the workhorse with 46 minutes _ and Golden State needed him the entire way. He finished 15 of 29 from the floor while topping the 30-point mark for the 14th time in his last 24 games.
That was a big boost for the Warriors, who were coming off a 107-101 win at Minnesota on Wednesday after losing to the Lakers, Portland and Denver.
Early on it looked like Evans and the Kings would get the last laugh.
Despite Ellis scoring 18 in the first half, Sacramento built a 61-46 lead at the break behind 14 points from Evans and 10 apiece from Thompson and Ime Udoka.
The Kings upped the margin to 76-58 following a 3-pointer by Beno Udrih with 6:35 left in the third quarter before the Warriors slowly began to trim away at the lead.
With Maggette scoring eight of his points and Ellis adding four as part of a 18-10 run, Golden State pulled to 86-78 heading into the third quarter _ then rode Ellis to the win.
Stephen Curry had 12 points and four assists for Golden State.
Udoka scored 19 points for Sacramento, while Udrih added 14 points and four assists.
NOTES: The game was the first on a seven-game homestand for Golden State, which has already played 21 road games this season, second-most in the NBA. ... The all-time series between the two teams is even at 178-178. Sacramento beat Golden State 120-107 on Nov. 8. ... The Kings return home for games against Denver and Orlando before embarking on a six-game, nine-day road trip, Sacramento's longest of the season.