OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - The two skinny scoring guards on Northern
California's two downtrodden NBA teams both had the biggest games
of their careers on the same crazy night.
Although the Kings and the Warriors don't have a fierce rivalry, they've got a knack for entertainment when they get together - and Monta Ellis shot Golden State to victory in the latest meeting.
Ellis scored a career-high 42 points for the Warriors to overcome Kevin Martin's career-best 50 for the Kings, and the Warriors snapped a five-game losing streak with a 143-141 overtime victory over Sacramento on Wednesday night.
The game wasn't decided until Martin and Beno Udrih missed shots in the final 6 seconds, which seemed entirely appropriate as a way to decide a meeting between the NBA's two worst defensive teams.
Although turnovers, bad fouls and awful defense abounded, the
Warriors gained revenge for an equally exhausting 135-133 triple-overtime loss to the Kings back in January.
These clubs might not be going anywhere for the postseason, but they could probably put on quite a show in a seven-game series against each other.
"Like Game 7 of the playoffs," said Jamal Crawford, who had 15 points and seven assists for the Warriors. "It felt good. We've been on the short end of that stick a few times - one time with them, Miami here, Oklahoma City here, Memphis here, so it feels good to come out on this end. We're short-handed, but we're going to keep fighting. We've not going to quit."
Ronny Turiaf made the go-ahead free throw with 12.2 seconds left for the Warriors, who blew a four-point lead late in regulation and then missed two free throws in the final moments of overtime to keep the Kings in it.
Udrih scored 18 points and tied it for Sacramento late in regulation with a length-of-the-court drive for a layup. But after Martin missed a potential go-ahead jumper in the lane with 6 seconds left in overtime, Udrih couldn't make a bank shot right before the buzzer for the Kings, who missed their final seven shots in their ninth loss in 11 games.
"Once it went to overtime, we were laughing about it - that we couldn't finish a game here without overtime," Udrih said. "It's a rivalry game, so both teams play hard. We have to execute better at the end of games."
Kelenna Azubuike had 27 points and 13 rebounds, hitting another free throw with 4.8 seconds left in OT, and Anthony Randolph added 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors rallied to beat their local rivals despite having just eight healthy players.
"We played great basketball, and that's why we won the game," said Ellis, who injured his Achilles' tendon in the final seconds, but stayed in the game. "It wasn't because of what I did. It's because of what we did as a team."
The game was an odd achievement for Martin, who made a career-high 23 free throws, but just four after the third quarter. He was held scoreless in a 7½-minute stretch of the fourth quarter, and he got his only points in overtime on an early 3-pointer.
One night after a heartbreaking 111-110 loss to New Orleans on Rasual Butler's 3-pointer at the buzzer, Sacramento again couldn't
make a final big play.
"We were able to get shots, even in the overtime," interim coach Kenny Natt said. "Fatigue wasn't a factor, more so the fact that they got more breaks than we did."
Udrih, whose off-balance jumper with 1.7 seconds left looked to be the winner against the Hornets, tied this game at 132 on a long drive for an inexplicably uncontested layup with 2.9 seconds left in regulation, erasing Golden State's four-point lead with 14 seconds left.
Udrih then hit two free throws and a jumper in overtime to put Sacramento up 141-138, but Ellis' three-point play tied it with 42
seconds left. After both teams missed shots, Kings rookie Jason
Thompson fouled out while trying to grab his own miss away from
Turiaf, who made one of two free throws.
Francisco Garcia had 22 points for Sacramento, which set season
highs for points in the first quarter (40) and the first half (76).
Golden State reclaimed the lead while both teams surpassed 100
points with a few minutes left in the third quarter.
Even with the dramatics, several hundred fans streamed out of Oracle Arena before overtime began.