Ellis scores 29, Warriors beat Hornets 110-103
NEW ORLEANS – Monta Ellis scored 29 points and the Golden State Warriors rallied to beat the New Orleans Hornets 110-103 on Wednesday night.
The Warriors, who faded badly in the second half of losses to Miami and Orlando before traveling to New Orleans, turned that trend around.
Trailing 82-72 after three quarters, they went on a 27-7 run in the first 7 minutes of the fourth to go ahead 99-89, then hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory after the Hornets got within two.
Stephen Curry had 21 points for Golden State, and Dorell Wright and David Lee each added 13.
Chris Paul led New Orleans with 24 points, one off his season high, but was scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter. He also had 13 assists, but was on the bench at the start of the fourth when Golden State got back in the game.
David West and Marco Belinelli added 16 points apiece for the Hornets. Trevor Ariza scored 15.
Golden State finished a 2-3 road trip. New Orleans lost for the first time in four games.
Ellis sparked the decisive spurt with consecutive 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter and Wright gave the Warriors their first lead since the second with a 3 that made the score 90-89.
Golden State scored four points on its next trip down the court. Lee scored on a power move, fouling out New Orleans center Emeka Okafor in the process. Okafor argued the call and was given a technical, which Curry converted. Lee hit his free throw, too.
Ekpe Udoh followed with an inside basket and Curry drilled a 3-pointer as Golden State went ahead 99-89 with 4:15 left.
The Hornets responded with a 12-2 run, getting six points in a row from Ariza. He converted his own four-point play, coming up with a steal and layup despite a hard foul from Curry, then grabbing the rebound of his missed free throw and dunking as the Hornets pulled within 101-95.
Ariza scored again, and Paul fed Willie Green for a transition layup that cut the deficit to 101-99 with 2:34 left after Ellis missed from outside.
New Orleans had three chances to tie or go ahead on its next possession, but Belinelli clanged a 3-pointer, West got blocked inside and Green missed an off-balance shot. The Hornets did not make a field goal the rest of the way.
The Warriors hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 1:12 to seal the victory, avoiding the bad finishes that plagued them in the first three quarters. The Hornets outscored them 12-4 to close the first, 18-5 at the end of the second and 10-4 to finish the third.
Irritated Hornets coach Monty Williams called a 20-second timeout after Ellis drove the baseline for an easy layup to give the Warriors a 25-22 lead with 3:07 left in the first quarter. New Orleans played better defense for the rest of the half, limiting the Warriors to 7-of-25 shooting in the second, but Golden State heated up again in the fourth.
New Orleans shot 65 percent in the first quarter, with West going 5 of 7 and Belinelli 4 of 5. Paul encountered little early resistance driving the lane as the Hornets led by as many as 13 in the third quarter, but the Warriors clamped down on him in the fourth.
NOTES: Golden State's 38-point fourth quarter was the highest total by a Hornets opponent this season. ... New Orleans is 1-8 when allowing 100 points or more. ... Paul missed four of his first five free throws after hitting 91.3 percent entering the game. ... Lee started after missing a game with a sore back. The Warriors are 1-8 when he is out of the lineup.