NEWARK, N.J. -- In the Warriors' grasp was the winning trip they desperately needed. Confidence, momentum, a chance to creep closer to .500 -- it was all within their reach.
But Golden State allowed an Eastern Conference doormat to snatch it away. Wednesday's 107-100 loss to the New Jersey Nets sent the Warriors home with a 2-2 trip and a bitter taste. Including Saturday's loss to Charlotte, Golden State's two losses were against teams that are now a combined 16 games under .500.
"We had the game," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "This is a win that we fully expected coming in. ... They wanted it more."
It appeared as if Golden State (5-9) was primed to keep the Nets (4-11) winless at home. An alley-oop from Nate Robinson to Monta Ellis put the Warriors up 92-87 with 7:39 left. The Warriors, it seemed, would win their third straight and head home having won three of four on the trip.
Instead of seizing the opportunity, Golden State crumbled. With point guard Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) in street clothes for the eighth straight game, the Warriors managed just eight points the rest of the way -- going 3 for 9 from the field and 2 for 5 from the free-throw line -- and turned the ball over three times.
Over the next four-plus minutes, New Jersey ran off an 18-4 run. Nets point guard Deron Williams -- who finished with 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds -- scored 11 during the run. He capped the spurt with a 3-pointer
Warriors guard Monta Ellis finished with 30 points, five assists and six steals. He played with a swollen face after being elbowed in the nose at Cleveland on Tuesday. Yet, he managed to break out of his slump. The first three games on the trip, Ellis was 15 for 52 shooting (28.8 percent). But Wednesday against the Nets, he made 11 of 20 shots.
But he didn't get much help, especially late.
Dorell Wright scored one of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. Forward David Lee, who had scored 20 points or more in five straight, totaled 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting with 10 rebounds.
Lee, plagued by foul trouble much of the game, was outdueled by Nets forward Kris Humphries, who finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.
"Kris Humphries was an animal out there," Ellis said. "That just sums him up. ... They outworked us."
Humphries was a big reason New Jersey outrebounded Golden State by 20 (45-25). Warriors not named Lee combined for 15 rebounds. By comparison, Williams and Nets rookie shooting guard MarShon Brooks combined for 16 boards.
The Warriors head home for a six-game homestand. Instead of using this coming stretch to push above .500, they are still trying to break even.
The good news for the Warriors is that five of the six teams currently have winning records. Golden State has come to play against the good teams on its schedule. The Warriors beat East powers Chicago and Miami. They narrowly lost to Utah and Orlando at home and San Antonio and Los Angeles Lakers on the road.
"Our goal when we left was to be 4-0," Wright said of the trip. "This is definitely a setback for us."
Morrow had just two points on 0-for-2 shooting in 17 minutes on Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers. Then Wednesday against the Warriors, he went scoreless on three shots in the first half. But he got going late in the third. His buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the quarter cut Golden State's lead to 83-80.
Morrow made four of his last six shots and finished with 13 points. The buzzer beater was his only made 3-pointer.
"He is a guy who was struggling all game long," Jackson said. "It gives him life, and it gives the Nets life."
Morrow is 1 for 6 from 3-point range his last two games. Before that, he was on fire, knocking down 24 of 45 from 3-point range (53.3 percent) over a six-game stretch.
"I had to get adjusted to this cold weather," Jenkins said. "I don't miss that at all."
Jenkins played 11 minutes, totaling two points and two assists.