Ellis returns from three-game absence

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Monta Ellis returned to the Golden State Warriors' lineup in Friday night's loss to the Utah Jazz after sitting out three games with a mild left knee sprain.

The NBA's fifth-leading scorer at 26.2 points a game, Ellis had not played since injuring himself late in the fourth quarter against Dallas on Feb. 8. He was examined Tuesday in Alabama by Dr. James Andrews, who confirmed the original diagnosis of a mild left knee sprain. Ellis originally hurt the knee Feb. 8 against Dallas.

Ellis finished with six points and six assists in 28 minutes of play before making a quick exit out of the Warriors' locker room without speaking to the media.

"I don't know if I expected more than that, but it's understandable," Golden State coach Don Nelson said after the game. "Anyone coming back from an injury is not going to be sharp. Whatever it takes, we'll just have to deal with it."

The Warriors went 2-1 in the three games Ellis sat out and averaged 118.6 points, nearly 11 points higher than their season average.

Also, guard Raja Bell made a rare appearance in the Warriors' locker room and said he's still hopeful of playing this season. Bell, who underwent left wrist surgery on Dec. 3, is expected to stay in the Bay Area during the remainder of his rehab.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report