It was far from a perfect win for the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. They led by as many as 21 points in the first half, before giving all of the lead away to trail by one with under two and a half minutes left in the game. But Monta Ellis made sure they’d go home with the win, hitting the tough, spinning fadeaway in the face of Grant Hill with one second left to lift his team to a 106-104 road victory.
“It felt good,” Ellis said afterward. “It was a tough shot, but I was locked in and focused on it, and it went down for us.”
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said that it went down exactly the way it was supposed to.
“We set it up that way,” he said. “I thought he had an angle; Grant Hill actually said he was looking to foul him because he thought he had an angle. But Monta did a great job of stopping on a dime and pulling up. The great players make big-time plays, and certainly it was a huge shot by him and a great way to send us off on the break.”
Stephen Curry, who played only 10 minutes due to a first quarter injury to his right foot, saw the final shot this way:
“It looked like he kind of ran out of room on the baseline, then made a reverse pivot and knocked it down,” Curry said. “He was due for one of those.”
Hill defended about as well as one could in that situation, and with the height advantage, he certainly made it as tough as possible on Ellis. But Curry was spot-on in his post-game analysis.
“Good O beats good D,” he said. “That’s the rule of basketball.”