DALLAS — Lately, Warriors games have been like that song on the radio that you get tired of hearing.
Guard Monta Ellis goes out and dominates. The rest of his teammates struggle to score and, eventually, the opponent double-teams Ellis. Warriors wind up losing.
It happened again in Wednesday's 110-101 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Ellis had his best scoring night as a pro, totaling a career-high 46 points on 17-for-23 shooting. He would've topped 50 had he not missed five free throws.
"A remarkable performance by Monta," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "Didn't have a great supporting cast, but he fought and kept us in the game, gave us a chance to win."
But, again, Ellis couldn't get the Warriors over the hump. He couldn't manage enough offense to overcome the Warriors' charitable defense. As a result, the Warriors now have dropped 11 of their past 13 games.
"It doesn't mean anything to me, this being my career game," said Ellis, who had 37 points and eight assists his last trip to American Airlines Center. "I just want to win. We've lost seven straight now, so I'm not looking at the career high. I look at that we've got to find a way to turn it around."
Once again, the Warriors got down big, rallied back and didn't have enough to pull it out.
Dallas point guard Jason Kidd had a season-high tying 16 assists as the Mavericks attacked the Warriors defense from all angles. Forwards Josh Howard and Drew Gooden combined for 35 points off the bench, and forward Shawn Marion had 18 points and nine rebounds.
The Warriors offense couldn't keep up thanks to 20 turnovers and cold shooting by everyone but Ellis (which led to just 13 assists — seven shy of their average). Corey Maggette had 20 points on 8-for-19 shooting, and rookie guard Stephen Curry was 1-for-6 from the field with six points.
"Our problem is we let teams go out front by too many points," center Andris Biedrins said. "It's just hard to come back. ... We need to find a way to not let teams run away from us so far. Because 15-, 20-point (deficits) are just too much."
The Warriors trailed 62-48 at the half. Ellis had 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting. The rest of the Warriors had 28 on 10-for-31 shooting.
But midway through the third quarter, after Ellis had turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes, it was clear he was feeling it. He knocked down back-to-back 21-footers, over guard Jason Terry then over Marion, forcing the Mavericks to call a timeout. The Warriors deficit was down to 75-65.
Then Maggette, who missed his first five shots, finally got going. He scored seven points over the final three minutes of the third quarter, the last basket being a 3-pointer from the top that sent the Warriors into the fourth quarter down 81-75.
But the closest the Warriors got was 95-92 at the 5:11 mark. Because though Ellis — who started the fourth on the bench thanks to having five fouls — scored 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting in the fourth quarter, the rest of the team managed 12 points on 4-for-12.
Dallas keyed on denying Ellis the ball and brought help defense his way. So despite his being in a ridiculous groove, Ellis managed just five shots over the first 9:35 of the fourth quarter, making the first four and getting to the line on the fifth.
No one else picked up the slack.
"He does it to everybody," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Ellis. "That's why I'm not discouraged. He lines you up one-on-one, jumps over you and shoots bombs. That happens, we adjusted, we went and trapped him. Switched defenders on him, trapped pick-and-rolls. ... Fortunately we survived it."