The Golden State Warriors are off to their best home start in 20 years, with Monta Ellis’(notes) league-best scoring average setting the pace for an up-tempo team that’s most comfortable inside Oracle Arena.
In the Utah Jazz’s last two visits to Oakland, Ellis and the Warriors often found themselves at their worst.
Utah forced Ellis into two dreadful performances while each time holding Golden State under 100 points last season, a pattern it’ll look to repeat as it seeks a third straight victory Friday night.
Golden State (3-1) hasn’t had a winning record through four games since also starting 3-1 in 2005-06, and Ellis has led the way to three consecutive home victories.
He started with 46 points on opening night against Houston, had 11 assists in a blowout against the Los Angeles Clippers, then did it all Wednesday against Memphis.
With Stephen Curry(notes) (sprained ankle) out for a second straight game, Ellis had 39 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals in a 115-109 win. He leads the NBA with 30.0 points per game.
“That’s why he’s one of the elite players,” said teammate Dorell Wright(notes), who hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and is shooting 54.5 percent (18 for 33) from beyond the arc. “He’s the face of this organization because he can get going any time he wants to. He reminds me of Dwyane Wade(notes). It was impeccable.”
Golden State is 3-0 at home for the first time since winning its first six games in 1990-91.
The Warriors have averaged 118.7 points in their three games in Oakland, an impressive but not unusual figure considering they scored 112.0 per game at home last season.
That average would have been higher had it not been for two visits from the Jazz (2-2). Golden State was held under 100 points eight times at Oracle Arena in 2009-10 but couldn’t even get to 95 in either loss to Utah.
The Warriors shot 37.7 percent, with no one more responsible for that number than Ellis, who went 6 for 36 (.167) while averaging 10.0 points and 4.5 turnovers.
Williams didn’t do much in a pair of blowout losses as the Jazz opened this season, averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 assists, but he’s been back in All-Star form since. Williams had 16 points and 15 assists in a 120-99 win at Oklahoma City on Sunday, then contributed 22 points, 14 assists and eight boards in a 125-108 victory over Toronto on Wednesday.
Guard C.J. Miles(notes) has averaged 20.0 points off the bench during the two wins, but perhaps no player has been more essential early on than Paul Millsap(notes). Carlos Boozer’s(notes) replacement at power forward has averaged 23.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists during his last three games.
Millsap left the game against the Raptors briefly with a mild ankle sprain but is listed as probable. He will be facing a Golden State team against which he pulled down a career-high 24 rebounds in a 103-94 road win April 13.