Warriors guard Anthony Morrow, one of the team's best shooters, was itching to get in the 3-point party.
He sat most of the second quarter, all of the third, and the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. He was forced to sit and watch as his teammates got hot behind the arc and turned a 21-point third-quarter deficit into a 131-121 win over the visiting New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday. It was the largest deficit they've overcome since erasing a 23-point lead vs. the Washington Wizards on Feb. 11, 2008.
Warriors coach Don Nelson is now five wins shy of surpassing Lenny Wilkens the NBA's all-time winningest coach.
"Everybody got hot at the same time," Morrow said after totaling five points in 17 minutes. "Put the ball in Monta Ellis' hands, he got in the paint and just started finding guys."
Ellis finished with 28 points and a season-high 13 assists as the Warriors, for the fourth time this season, overcame a deficit of at least 18 points. Golden State knocked down 13 of 27 from 3-point range.
And they did it without the services of their starting point guard, who is also one of their better 3-point shooters.
Rookie guard Stephen Curry, who was the only Warrior to play in each of the first 66 games, sprained his left ankle in pregame warm-ups. He has an MRI scheduled for today to determine the extent of the injury. He wore a walking boot as he sat on the bench, in assistant coach Russell Turner's jacket.
"My ankle locked up on me," Curry said. "At shootaround today, I was fine. Even got a dunk. And then I went home and got back to the gym and just didn't feel right."
Still, the Warriors made a franchise-record 11 3-pointers in the second half. It was the NBA Development League products that keyed the big comeback, with a little help from an old head.
Forwards Anthony Tolliver and Reggie Williams knocked down four 3-pointers each. Tolliver set a career high with 30 points to go with six rebounds. Williams came off the bench with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists.
And forward Devean George knocked down two momentous 3-pointers, both in the fourth quarter.
"I thought George turned the game around when I inserted him in the lineup (late in the third quarter)," Nelson said. "He gave us what we were lacking and everybody caught and boomed it up 10 notches in the fourth quarter."
The Warriors were down 87-66 after an alley-oop from Hornets guard Darren Collison — who finished with 20 points, 14 assists and eight turnovers — to Julian Wright at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter. Suddenly, things changed. Drastically.
By the end of the third quarter, the Warriors had the lead down to 96-88. The Warriors were up 105-104 when Williams caught fire. He knocked down four consecutive 3-pointers, the last coming with 4:53 left to put the Warriors up 117-111.
"It's great when you hit a shot and you see all the fans standing up," Williams said. "And you look at the bench and they are cheering. It's a good feeling."
Finally, at the 5:49 mark of the fourth, with Warriors up 111-108, Morrow got to join the party. Minutes later, he found himself wide open in the left corner, courtesy of the extra pass from Williams.
Morrow nailed the 3-pointer, putting the Warriors up by nine and all but sealing the victory.
Notes: For the first time in his career, Ellis recorded a double-double in consecutive games. ... The Warriors have made at least 10 3-pointers in 14 of their past 17 games. During that stretch, they are shooting 42.9 percent from deep. ... Hunter finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes. ... The Warriors set a season high for points in a quarter with 43 in the fourth. ... With Tolliver's 30 points, the Warriors have now had seven players score 30, a league high.