Warriors 105, Nets 89
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
The New Jersey Nets were well aware Golden State came in leading the NBA in points off turnovers and fast-break points.
Then they went out and helped the Warriors pad their stats.
Monta Ellis scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half, and the Warriors turned 22 New Jersey turnovers into 30 points in a 105-89 victory Wednesday night that snapped a four-game losing streak.
``We made a lot of mental mistakes tonight. We came in and talked about what they do well. They create turnovers, they score off their turnovers, they're a fast-break team,'' Nets point guard Devin Harris said. ``We got a little bit careless with the ball and that led to a lot of uncontested layups and we kind of dug ourselves a hole.''
Reserve C.J. Watson also scored 18 and former Nets center Mikki Moore had 16 on a series of dunks for the Warriors, who improved to 1-1 on a five-game trip they are playing without coach Don Nelson, who is recovering from pneumonia.
``Any time you get a win - home, in a barn, any where you can, it's a good thing,'' said Keith Smart, coaching the team in Nelson's absence. ``We thought our guys did a good job with Monta not having his normal game, but he allowed some other guys to play well for us and our guys did.''
Brook Lopez had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who were bidding for wins on consecutive nights after winning just once in their first 20 games. Harris added 19 points but shot only 4 of 11, while Courtney Lee scored 15.
In a matchup of the NBA's worst offensive and defensive teams, the Nets couldn't sustain their strong start and managed only 62 points over the final three quarters. Golden State came in with NBA-best marks of 23.5 fast-break points and 22.5 points off turnovers per game; they had 28 points on the break Wednesday.
``Tonight was a great show of it from what we really have and the talent we have,'' Ellis said. ``If we just stay together, we can just grind it and keep playing hard and play together, we can turn this thing around.''
Ellis was only 1 of 10 in the first half, but had a pair of baskets in a 16-6 run to start the third quarter that extended Golden State's 10-point halftime lead to 74-54 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the period. The Warriors cooled off, allowing the Nets to chip away and cut it to 81-70 heading to the fourth.
New Jersey was within five midway through the final period before Ellis knocked down a jumper and made a layup on consecutive possessions, making it 94-85 and Golden State cruised from there.
Ellis was 6 of 10 in the second half, with the Nets' miscues helping him get untracked.
``He got a rhythm off the turnovers,'' guard Chris Douglas-Roberts said. ``Any great player likes to get easy buckets to get a rhythm and we gave him too many of them.''
Stephen Curry scored 14 points, Corey Maggette 13 and Anthony Randolph 11 in the Warriors' balanced effort.
``We can't just rely on Monta to score 50 points every night. That's one thing that's going to be wear and tear,'' Moore said. ``By the time he gets to the All-Star break, he's going to be handicapped. I think we're starting to learn our roles. It's helping out everybody.''
Harris was forced to leave early in the first quarter after being accidentally poked in the left eye by Moore, but returned to make the signature play in New Jersey's strong first quarter. He ran down C.J. Watson to block a shot from behind, then got up to step in front of Ellis and draw a charge.
The Nets led 27-20 after one but played a sloppy second quarter - particularly disheartening for them since coach Kiki Vandeweghe noted Golden State's strengths before the game. Yet he didn't think his team had the energy to avoid the mistakes the Warriors feast on, playing a night after a 103-101 victory in Chicago.
``Their game is pressuring and fast breaking,'' Vandeweghe said, ``and when you don't have the energy that you would like to have, to back cut, keep moving and put the pressure back on them, it becomes a very, very difficult game because the other team senses that.''
New Jersey turned it over seven times in the second, leading to 10 points, and the Warriors outscored the Nets 38-21 to take a 58-48 halftime lead. Watson was 7 of 8 for 15 points in the quarter.
NOTES: The Nets invited Tyra Juliette, a former American Idol contestant, back to sing the national anthem again. She performed Friday when they snapped their NBA-record, 18-game losing streak to start the season. ... Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. sat behind one of the baskets. ... Nets reserve Bobby Simmons sat out with a sore neck.