OAKLAND (AP) — With the new owners in attendance, Warriors coach Keith Smart knew his team had to figure out a way to hang on for a much-needed victory on an important day in Golden State Warriors history.
Monta Ellis scored 24 of his 27 points in the first half and the Warriors remained undefeated at home despite losing nearly all of a 32-point, first-half lead, beating the Detroit Pistons 101-97 on Monday night.
“Maybe we’ll all get raises now,” Smart said. “It just tops off everything with the new change today and then players trying to get a win.”
Stephen Curry added 21 points as the Warriors improved to 5-0 at home, their best start since winning their first six of the 1990-91 season. Dorell Wright had 16 points, Reggie Williams 14 and Dan Gadzuric had 11 rebounds.
“It took all 48 minutes,” Ellis said. “That’s what we did. We got a win. It was an ugly win but, hey, we’ll take it. We got a win, move on.”
Charlie Villanueva scored 18 points, one of six Pistons to reach double figures, as Detroit rushed back from the large deficit to draw within two and had possession with 14 seconds remaining.
“The passing we showed in the second half is the way we kept this thing within striking distance,” Pistons coach John Kuester said in front of an upbeat locker room. “The guys worked hard and showed a lot of grit. It was a heck of a comeback.”
Wright knocked the ball out of Ben Gordon’s hands with 9 seconds left, but Ellis could only make one of two free throws to give the Pistons a chance to tie with 5.2 seconds left.
“I just know what type of player Ben Gordon is,” Wright said. “I’ve been in the east so I know a lot of those guys better than the guys in here. I knew he wasn’t looking to pass. I knew he wanted to hit the big shot.”
Gordon was left shaking his head.
“I was happy that we got it close,” he said. “We just made some simple mistakes at the end. I had some bad turnovers.”
Curry, who sat for much of the second half with foul trouble, fouled Villanueva on the ensuing inbound play and he missed his first foul shot.
Tayshaun Prince added 15 points for the Pistons, Austin Daye had 14, Richard Hamilton 13 and Rodney Stuckey 11.
“We pretty much let them get anything they wanted in the first half,” Prince said. “We didn’t play any defense at all. They picked us apart.”
It was a feel-good night for Warriors fans, as the formal introduction of new ownership took place earlier in the day at a San Francisco restaurant. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber headed the group of investors who assumed full control.
It almost turned into a nightmare for the new owners. Curry’s 3-pointer gave the Warriors a 65-33 edge with 1:56 remaining to play in the first half, but it was all Pistons the rest of the way.
Detroit scored the final nine points of the second quarter and trailed 65-42 at the half.
The Warriors still held an 87-69 lead heading into the final quarter. Gordon, who finished with 14 points, sank a reverse layup to bring the Pistons to 94-86 with 6:34 left to play, highlighting a 17-7 rally to open the period.
Notes: The Warriors scored 72 points in Saturday’s game at Milwaukee. They reached 72 with 8:43 left in the third quarter against the Pistons. … The new owners addressed the crowd between the first and second quarters and received a prolonged standing ovation. “You are the best fans in the NBA,” Lacob said, which brought another standing ovation. Concessions were half-price for the night as part of the takeover. … The Pistons won four of five games entering the contest after starting the season 0-5. … Pistons F Austin Daye missed a 3-pointer at 6:25 of the third quarter, ending the third-longest consecutive streak of 3-pointers at 10. … Prince and Kuester got into a heated verbal exchange during the game. They both shrugged it off afterward.
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