Ellis turnovers down with less time at the point

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. — Warriors guard Monta Ellis played all 48 minutes of Saturday's 104-95 loss to the Detroit Pistons, finishing with one turnover — and that one was questionable.

Ellis entered the game with a league-high 4.5 turnovers per game. In the nine games he played 45 minutes or more, that number jumped to 5.8 per game.

But a little tweak has helped Ellis cut down on the miscues. The Warriors have been using guard C.J. Watson and Stephen Curry as point guards more, moving Ellis over to shooting guard or small forward.

Plus, Ellis is getting the ball on the "weak side" — the opposite part of the court from where the play begins — more often. That leaves him attacking against a shifting defense instead of one that is set and waiting for him as he does his thing from the top.

"As opposed to being the point of attack for the defense," assistant coach Keith Smart said, "now he's getting it when the defense has to move and rotate. (ellipses) Anytime the ball moves three times in the NBA, the percentage goes up. So I think that's what he's good at."

As a result, Ellis has four turnovers total in his last two games (he's had at least four turnovers 14 times this season). He's also went the entire game without a turnover. But with four-plus minutes left, Ellis was pushing the ball down the court and collided with a couple Pistons defenders. No foul was called and the Pistons wound up with a fast-break basket on the other end.

It was the fourth time Ellis finished a game with one turnover. The last coming in 32 minutes in a loss at Milwaukee on Nov. 14.

  • Warriors guard Anthony Morrow's slump continued. He was 0-for-3 from the field Saturday. It was his first scoreless game of the season. He's averaging 6.0 points on 6-for-25 shooting since returning from a two-game absence to attend a family funeral.

    The 18 minutes he played Saturday was the fewest he's played all season.

  • Warriors center Mikki Moore has a gas on his right eye lid after catching an elbow from Pistons forward Jason Maxiell in the first quarter. Moore said the blow was accidental. Play had to be stopped as Moore had a thin stream of blood trailing from his eye. He continued playing.

  • Forward Vladimir Radmanovic continued his shooting slump with seven points on 2-for-11 shooting. He hasn't scored double-figures since totaling 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting in the Dec. 3 loss to Houston. In the five games since then, Radmanovic is 14-for-49 (28.6 percent) shooting.

  • Pistons guard Richard Hamilton made a surprise return. He was listed as out because of a sprained left ankle, which he sustained in the season opener. Hamilton had missed 21 straight games before starting Saturday. He played 37 minutes, finishing with 18 points on 6-for-15 shooting with three steals. He also notched his 10,000th point as a Piston.

    — MARCUS THOMPSON II