OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Monta Ellis heeded advice from his coach and it led to one of his more memorable performances.
“Coach thought instead of going to the basket all the time I should get the floater going,” Ellis said. “It was dropping from the beginning. I had to stay focused and keep going at it, get everybody involved, keep the pressure on.”
“They had a tough loss last night and we jumped on them early,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “We were coming off a bad performance and I expected the team to come back and play. For the most part we did. (Davis) was brilliant the whole game. We have to single Baron out; 19 assists and 1 turnover.”
Even Davis seemed impressed at his effort, two days after scoring four points and recording a single assist in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Damn, I’m impressed. I mean, what can I say man?” Davis said. “Coach challenged me to move that ball and I’m trying to make a conscious effort of being more on the ball and let Monta play off the ball, especially early in the game to get him going. I’m just want to be more of a passer, especially on this team.”
Pau Gasol scored a season-high 43 points, one shy of his career best, and had 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost their third straight and dropped to 4-14 in road contests. Juan Carlos Navarro added 20 points and Hakim Warrick and Rudy Gay each scored 10.
“We just wished we could have done a better job defensively,” said Gasol, who recorded the third highest single-game effort in franchise history. “We know they feel comfortable here and we definitely got in a big hole early.”
The game was never in doubt after the Warriors, who led all the way, opened a 20-point advantage late in the second quarter.
Gasol and Navarro helped keep it close, combining for 63 points on 25-of-38 shooting (.658) and the Grizzlies drew within 105-99 with 5 minutes left.
“We survived an extraordinary performance by Gasol,” Nelson said. “We didn’t have an answer for him. Thank goodness our offense was clicking, the ball movement was good and we had a nice cushion.”
Ellis missed his first shot attempt 3 minutes into the fourth quarter, a short jumper.
“When he’s got that in between jumper going, he’s very difficult to guard.”
Bobby Jones, signed by the Grizzlies on Thursday, made his debut with his new team, hitting a pair of free throws in limited playing time. CJ Watson scored six points in 15 minutes in his Warriors’ home debut.
Davis’ 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third quarter sent Golden State into the home stretch with a 99-79 edge.
Gasol scored 23 of his points in the first half, matching Gay for the most points by a Grizzlies player in a half this season.
Harrington’s long 2-pointer put Golden State up 57-37 with 4:47 left in the second quarter. Gasol re-entered the game for the Grizzlies soon after and scored 10 points the rest of the way as Memphis pulled to 67-54 by halftime.
The Warriors scored the game’s first 10 points and built an 18-point advantage with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter after Ellis hit a 20-foot jumper.
“We did not come out with energy and you can not compete with this team in this building unless you have all five energized,” Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. “We didn’t wilt but we get on a roller coaster when we make it tough on ourselves.”
The Grizzlies rallied over the next 2 minutes, making eight of their next nine shots, scoring 12 consecutive points to draw within 27-21.
Warriors rookie G Troy Hudson had surgery to repair his left hip on Thursday and will miss the remainder of the season. … The Grizzlies won eight of nine games against the Warriors prior to their current losing streak to them. … Gasol’s 43 points were the most scored by a Warriors opponent. … The Grizzlies have recorded one winning streak of any kind this season. … Grizzlies G Mike Conley failed to improve on his career high in points for the first time in five games. … The Warriors’ 34 second-quarter points matched a season high.