Stephen Curry had 27 points and seven assists and the Golden State Warriors overcame scoring leader Monta Ellis' horrendous shooting performance to beat the undermanned Utah Jazz 96-81 on Sunday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Dorell Wright scored 16 points, and Reggie Williams added 15 to help the Warriors build an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter while Ellis was on the bench. Ellis, averaging more than 25 points, was held to a season-low two points on 1-for-9 shooting.
Al Jefferson had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Andre Kirilenko had 14 points and nine rebounds for a Jazz team that has lost six straight road games. Utah never seriously challenged in this one with star point guard Deron Williams out with a hyperextended right wrist and center Mehmet Okur sidelined by a strained back.
The Warriors had to find new ways to win.
They did some of their best work early even with Ellis held scoreless for the first half. Wright made a pair of 3-pointers, and Curry followed with another to lead an 11-2 run late in the first quarter.
Golden State pushed its lead to 14 points in the second behind mostly reserves, although it struggled to keep the pace — at first, anyway — without the starters, and the lack of production from Ellis showed.
The Jazz regained their rhythm after the break and got within three points, smothering the Warriors defensively. They kept Ellis without a point until his only basket with 7:39 remaining in the third quarter, and even that took some work: Ellis spun into the lane and made a floating layup over Utah's outstretched front line.
The Warriors managed just fine without him.
They slowly went ahead 85-67 in the fourth quarter against team that was simply exhausted playing short-handed. The only thing that was perhaps more surprising than Ellis' low output was that the Warriors still managed to win without him.
The All-Star hopeful's previous low this season was five points in a 117-89 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 21 that he hardly even play in the second half because it was such a blowout. The last time Ellis scored only two points came against Phoenix on Feb. 4, 2009, when he also scored only two points on 0 for 7 shooting.
NOTES: The Warriors improved to 2-1 against the Jazz this season. The home team has won each game. They wrap up their season series Feb. 16 in Utah. ... Jazz reserve C Kyrylo Fesenko played the final 8 minutes after missing the previous game with a sinus infection. ... The Jazz swept Golden State 3-0 last season.