Curry's 32 helps W's back on track, past Blazers

January 26, 2012, 5:51 am
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OAKLAND Stephen Curry had 32 points, Monta Ellis had 12 assists and David Lee had 26 points as the Warriors held off the Portland Trail Blazers and got their first win on a six-game road trip after starting with consecutive losses.Warriors 101, Blazers 93Star of the game: Stephen Curry scored a season-high 32 points, including 6-for-8 from 3-point range, to help the Warriors snap a three-game losing streak.He took what the defense gave him, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. He picked them apart in pick-and-roll situations. When they didnt play him he came off as a scorer, when they doubled him he put David in position to make shots and trust that David would make the right decisions so others would get involved.
Unsung star: Ekpe Udoh finished with four points, seven rebounds and two blocks, but it was his defense on Portlands LaMarcus Aldridge down the stretch that proved big.Aldridge, one of the games premier power forwards, had just two points in the fourth quarter and it was largely because of Udoh.During a big stretch late, with the game still in the balance, Udoh forced Aldridge into a miss and turnover on consecutive possessions, which allowed Golden State some breathing room.When Ekpe Udoh plays like that he leaves me no choice but to leave him in the game and trust hes going to get the job done, Jackson said. Outstanding defense against one of the best if not the best power forward in the game. Not that he wont score, but he made (Aldridge) work for everything.Aldridge finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.Key stretch: With the Warriors clinging to a three-point lead with just under five minutes remaining, they got four consecutive stops and a couple buckets of their own to take a 95-88 lead with 2:55 remaining. From that point, the Warriors brought it home.Currys big third quarter: The Warriors turned a 53-48 halftime deficit into a 79-73 lead after three quarters, and it was largely because of Stephen Curry.Curry had 16 points in the period, which included four 3-pointers. Through three quarters, Curry had 28 points on 11-for-17 shooting, including 6-for-8 from beyond the arc.For the game, the Warriors went 11-for-20 from 3-point range.I cant (explain it), Portland coach Nate McMillan said. We know what Curry is capable of doing. I know that they came out red hot. We lost (Brandon) Rush a couple of times in the first half and carrying it into the second half. These guys can shoot the 3-ball.Ellis the non-scorer: Ellis had an uncharacteristically low field goal attempt total on Wednesday, taking just nine shots and making two. Ellis didn't attempt a field goal in the third quarter and certainly wasn't his aggressive self -- at least as far as aggressive taking shots.He finished with a season-high 12 assists and three steals."You could tell s of late that teams are keyingin on him especially when he has the ball, waiting for the pick and roll," Curry said. "They were loading the defense to his side. He still did a great job of attacking and making plays on the weak side where we had shooters spacing. That's what leaders do."Going small: For the final four minutes of the second quarter, Jackson went small very small. He had Nate Robinson, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis all playing together.No doubt four minutes was a small sample size for that threesome but the game was tied 42-42 when Jackson went in that direction. At halftime, Portland led 53-48.Tyler sighting: Rookie Jeremy Tyler got some playing time in the first half a rarity. In fact, Tyler logged seven minutes in the first and second quarters, and he had logged just eight minutes the entire season up to that point. Tyler didnt do badly while he was in there, and neither did the Warriors. When Tyler entered the game with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Warriors were down 26-24.When Tyler checked out midway through the second period, the Warriors were hanging in there, tied with Portland 38-38.Tyler was spoon-fed a dunk and a layup and wound up with five points and a rebound during that stint.Thompson making strides: Its no secret that one of the best things about the Warriors this early season has been their bench. And rookie Klay Thompson has certainly gotten better since the beginning of the season.After starting slowly and tentatively, Thompson has become more aggressive and is looking for his shot more. The upshot is Thompson is now shooting 44.7 percent from 3-point range.Hes much more confident, for whatever reason, Jackson said before the game. I thought early on in the season he turned down shots. Who knows what the explanation was. After talking with him, I forgot which game it was, at halftime I told him Reggie Miller would never shake his head after missing a shot.Hes a shooter and I did not want him turning down shots. I promised him I would never take him out of the game for missing a shot, and thats a fact. Hes been everything we thought he would be when we drafted him and hes only going to get better.