Outstanding Play

Monta Ellis is developing into a major force for the surging Golden State Warriors. They hope he can continue his outstanding play Monday night when they host the reeling Washington Wizards.

Ellis has made 30 of 37 shots (81.1 percent) and averaged 26.7 points over the last three games. The 22-year-old guard was terrific again Saturday, going 12-for-15 and scoring 16 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Warriors (30-20) to a 105-102 win over Sacramento.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Golden State –10.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 212.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Golden State –10.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

"It was great to see him pick up the scoring and energy we needed," said Warriors point guard Baron Davis, who had 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists before fouling out. "That's why we won. He took the game over and made the defensive and energy plays we needed."

Ellis' performance helped Golden State to its 10th win in 14 games, and kept it in a tie with Houston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"It's just going down," said Ellis, who added nine rebounds and five assists Saturday. "I'm just attacking the basket more and getting myself going and just taking the right shots and they're going down for me."

Ellis, the Warriors' second-round pick out of high school in the 2005 NBA draft, is averaging a career-high 18.2 points. He had 24 and eight boards in the last home meeting with the Wizards (24-26) on March 23, a 135-128 win.

In the first of two matchups between the clubs, he scored 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting in a 123-115 win at Washington on Nov. 23.

Davis, who leads the team with 21.7 points and 8.0 assists per game, keyed that victory by totaling 33 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds for the first of his two triple-doubles on the season.

The two guards will try to help Golden State complete its first sweep of the Wizards since the 2002-03 season.

Washington, meanwhile, is hoping to avoid its first eight-game slide since Nov. 4-22, 2001.

The Wizards moved one game closer to that dubious mark Sunday, falling 108-107 at Phoenix, and are 0-2 on their current four-game road trip. Despite the losing streak, they are still second in the Southeast Division and sixth in the Eastern Conference, and looking to get healthy soon.

Caron Butler's return is uncertain after being sidelined for the sixth time in the last eight games with a hip flexor injury. The small forward, who was named to the East All-Star team with Antawn Jamison, is averaging a career-high 21.4 points.

Washington might have Antonio Daniels back after he missed Sunday's loss with a sore right ankle. The veteran point guard is averaging 8.7 points and 5.0 assists, and has been filling in for Gilbert Arenas, who hasn't played since Nov. 16 because of knee surgery.

"We're a little undermanned, we've got guys playing that are banged up and we're missing two All-Stars out of our lineup and our backup point guard started for Antonio Daniels," said Wizards center Brendan Haywood, who had a season-high 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Suns. "So we're banged up but everybody played hard. This is just one of those games you chalk up to not having enough troops."

Jamison looks to build on his performance Sunday, getting 28 points and 10 rebounds. The forward had 30 and 12 in the previous game against the Warriors, whom he played for from 1998-2003.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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