Monta, Warriors seek a way through Phoenix

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Monta, Warriors seek a way through Phoenix

March 18, 2011WARRIORS (30-38) vs.
PHOENIX (33-33)
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area(AP) -- After an impressive stretch brought them back into the playoff picture, the Phoenix Suns suddenly find themselves on the verge of their longest losing streak of the season.A matchup against the Golden State Warriors could help them regroup.Hoping to avoid a fifth consecutive loss, the Suns will try for a 12th straight home win over the Warriors, who begin a four-game trip Friday night.Phoenix (33-33), which lost 21 of its first 36 games and sat in 11th place in the Western Conference on Jan. 11, had moved up to ninth last week following an 18-8 run.The Suns, though, have since averaged just 93.3 points on 42.2 percent shooting en route to a season-worst-tying four consecutive defeats.
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After missing his second straight contest with pelvic instability in a 95-93 loss Monday at Houston, Steve Nash returned to the lineup and registered eight points and 10 assists in Wednesday's 100-95 loss at New Orleans.NEWS: Paul leads Hornets over Suns 100-95
"He tried, but he's not the same guy," coach Alvin Gentry said. "I didn't expect him to be. Just to have him out there was good for us. He's not going to be at 100 percent, and with him that's important that he has the zip."The loss dropped Phoenix back into 11th in the conference, and with only 16 games remaining, its playoff hopes seem to be quickly fading."Every loss hurts and definitely every loss is going to make a difference for this run towards the playoffs," said reserve center Marcin Gortat, averaging 14.3 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last 12 games.The Suns and Warriors (30-38) are two of the highest-scoring teams in the league, averaging 104.7 and 103.2 points, respectively.Phoenix, though, has held Golden State to an average of 90.0 points on 41.6 percent shooting in the last two meetings to extend its winning streak in the series to five games.The Warriors last won at Phoenix 110-100 on March 18, 2005, and have since been outscored by an average of 12.6 points over 11 consecutive losses at US Airways Center.Golden State, which sits in 12th place in the West - four games behind Phoenix - fell 112-106 to Dallas on Wednesday night despite leading by as many as 18 in the second quarter.
REWIND: Mavericks' late run takes down Warriors
"It was tough. We should have had that game," said Monta Ellis, who had 26 points and 11 assists. "I take the blame. I made some mistakes at the end, turned the ball over and didn't hit the shots I needed to. I also waited too long to get everybody involved at the end of the game."Ellis, among the league's top 10 with 24.8 points per game, was held to eight on 4-of-13 shooting in a 112-88 loss at Phoenix on Feb. 10. He is averaging 15.5 points on 34.2 percent shooting in his last two road contests.
REWIND: Flat Warriors buried by Nash, Suns 112-88
Guard Stephen Curry has also struggled against the Suns of late, averaging 12.0 points - 6.6 below his season mark - in three losses in 2010-11.The Warriors, losers of nine of 13 overall and nine of 12 on the road, haven't been swept by Phoenix since 2001-02.The Suns, however, have been outscored by an average of 21.0 points in their last two home games. They haven't lost three straight at home since Jan. 16-31, 2009.

Injured Casspi waived by Pelicans after one game

Injured Casspi waived by Pelicans after one game

Omri Casspi's tenure with the New Orleans Pelicans lasted just one game.

The team announced Saturday that they have waived the former Kings forward.

In his Pelicans' debut on Thursday, Casspi broke his right thumb. He was expected to miss at least four weeks. In 24 minutes of action against Houston, Casspi scored 12 points and grabbed two rebounds.

The move by the Pelicans was made in order for the team to sign former Warriors guard Reggie Williams to a 10-day contract.

Casspi, an eighth-year veteran, was traded by the Kings to the Pelicans as part of the DeMarcus Cousins deal last Sunday. He played in just 22 games for Sacramento this season, averaging 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest.

 

Warriors' Durant out vs Nets due to left hand injury

Warriors' Durant out vs Nets due to left hand injury

OAKLAND -- Scratch Kevin Durant from the all-82 list, as the forward will miss his first game of the season Saturday night, when the Warriors play host to Brooklyn.

A left hand contusion, sustained in Thursday’s win over the Clippers, will keep Durant on the sideline, mostly for precautionary reasons. He likely will return to the lineup Monday night in Philadelphia, where the Warriors face the 76ers.

Durant injured his pinky finger after falling hard in the opening minutes against LA. He remained in the game for another nine minutes, leaving with 1:33 left in the quarter and retreating to the locker room with a member of the training staff.

X-rays were negative, and Durant returned to the game. He played 34 minutes, piling up 25 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, one block and a steal.

With Durant’s absence, every member of the Warriors has missed at least one game this season.