With 1:38 left in the game Friday, Warriors center Ronny Turiaf emerged from a timeout feeling tired, and his left knee ached. His team was up one point after being down nearly 20. But he and the Warriors needed just a bit more to get across the finish line. He knew just where to turn.
He walked onto the court and gestured for the crowd to increase the noise, sending an already loud Oracle Arena into a frenzy.
It worked. The Warriors beat NorCal rival Sacramento 108-101.
"They give you that extra breath of air," Turiaf said of the Oakland crowd. "You just feel lifted."
Golden State (11-24) needed a lift after watching forward Anthony Randolph suffer a left ankle injury that is likely to keep him out for some time. But using the energy of the crowd — and guard Monta Ellis — Golden State rebounded from a lackluster start to record its second straight win.
Ellis scored 13 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, outshining Kings star rookie guard Tyreke Evans, who finished with 25 points and six assists before fouling out.
"The force was with us, and it was one of Monta Ellis' best performances," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "It just wasn't his scoring, but he willed and helped our team win. He just kept focused and trucking like the Energizer bunny."
Ellis helped deliver a rare treat. Only New Jersey, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Washington have fewer home victories than Golden State. But the Warriors are now 7-7 at Oracle after winning three straight at home. Friday's come-from-behind victory kicks off a seven-game homestand and a stretch in which the Warriors play 18 of 24 in the East Bay.
Golden State hasn't had a losing season at home since 2004-05, barely keeping that streak alive by going 21-20 last season.
It wasn't the usual type of Warriors crowd that showed up, as Kings fans had a noticeable presence. But the Warriors rode the energy of the fans — and the skills of Ellis — to a dramatic comeback.
The Warriors trailed by 18 in the second half but chipped it down to 10 by the end of the third quarter. Then Ellis did the rest.
He converted a fast-break dunk and a pull-up 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, cutting the Kings' lead to 86-83 early in the fourth.
Later, Ellis drove on Evans and found Corey Maggette for an open 19-footer to close the Warriors within 90-89.
After the Kings rebuilt their cushion, a steal and layup by Ellis cut the Kings' lead to one. After a 24-second violation, Ellis gave the Warriors a 100-99 lead with a finger roll at the 2:51 mark.
The Kings would not score again until the final seconds. With about a minute left, Ellis was isolated on Evans at the top, drove into the lane and passed it back out to wide-open guard Anthony Morrow, who nailed the 3-pointer to put the Warriors up 103-99 with 49.2 seconds left.
"I think when we were down 18, they were still into the game," Ellis said of the crowd. "Still into the game. Still rooting every time. We just thought about it and got to the sidelines and we were like, 'We can still win this. We're at home.'"