Photo credit: nba.com/warriors
By Jerry Feitelberg
Wow, what a game! The Golden State Warriors, having played last night in Denver and returned home to the Bay Area in the wee hours of the morning, defeated the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night at Oracle Arena by a score of 147-140. It was not easy as the Pelicans played one of their best games of the year. They scored 140 points and had five players in double-digits. They led for most of the game, but the Warriors came to life late in the third quarter and took the lead 110 -109 when Andre Iguodala hit a shot at the buzzer and made a free throw as he was fouled on the play.
The Pelicans, not known for three-point shooting, rained down ten 3-pointers in the first half. They won the first quarter 39-31. With the score 21-14 in favor of Golden State, the Pelicans went on a 17-5 run to lead 31-26. They finished the quarter, leading 39-31. The Pelicans increased the lead to sixteen, 61-45. The Warriors then went on a 17-4 run to close the gap to 65-62. The Pelicans responded and went ahead by eight 70-62. The first half ended with New Orleans in the lead 71-66.
Nikola Mirotic led the Pelicans with 21 points coming off the bench. He made four three and the Warriors had no answer for him. Anthony Davis had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jrue Holiday had 11. The Warriors’ Big Three of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson finished with 15, 12, and 17, respectively. Shaun Livingston, coming off the bench scored 11. The Pelicans made ten 3s, and the Warriors made 11. Steph Curry committed his two fouls early in the first quarter and missed over sat on the bench for most of the period. He committed his third foul early in the second quarter and sat until late in the period.
The Pelicans looked as if they were in command, and were going to win the game as the Warriors could not get the offense going. The Warriors came to life late in the period when they went on a 25-8 run in the last 3 minutes and 43 seconds left in the period. They had not led since early in the first quarter. The Warriors, behind Curry’s 23 points in the quarter and Iguodala’s steal and bucket, as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter with the Warriors in the lead 110-109. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 44-38 in the quarter.
The Warriors continued to play well on offense, and their defense was able to stop the Pelican attack. The Pelicans went up by three 118-115, but Iguodala hit a 3 to tie the game. The teams tied again at 120. New Orleans went ahead 124-123. It would be their last lead of the night. Shaun Livingston made a bucket, and that was followed by Kevon Looney’s basket to make it 127-124. Draymond Green made a three to give the Dubs the lead 132-126. Looney and Curry mad buckets to put the Warriors ahead by eight, 134-126, with 2:28 left to play. Mirotoc connected on his sixth 3 of the night, but Green countered with his fourth 3-pointer. The Warriors’ defense made the stops, and the Warriors finished with their sixth win a row by a score of 147-140.
Game Notes and Stats: After the big win in Denver Tuesday night, it looked like the Warriors were not in sync early in the game. The Pelicans finished the night with five players in double figures, and they made 19 three-point shots and scored 140 points and still lost. The Warriors found their mojo late in the third quarter and showed the Pelicans why they are the reigning NBA champions. Steph Curry had another out of this world performance as he finished with 41 points and made nine threes in 17 attempts. Kevin Durant had a double-double with 30 points and 15 rebounds, Durant made five threes Wednesday night. Klay Thompson had 19, and he made four threes. Draymond Green probably had his best game of the year. Green, who had not been scoring much this season, tallied 17 points. He had six rebounds and 14 assists for another double-double. He had to guard the Pelicans’ two big men Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic scored 21 in the first half but was held to just eight in the second. Kevon Looney also played well. Looney had seven significant points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala each had 13 points for Golden State.
Golden State made 24 three-point shots to tie a franchise record. The Pelicans made 19 threes. Each time shot 48% from the floor. The Warriors outrebounded the Pelicans 57-49, and Kevon Looney was a force on the offensive boards as the Warriors outrebounded the Pelicans 10-7 in that department.
The Warriors improve to 31-14 while the Pelicans drop to 21-24.
Up Next: The Warriors embark on a five-game road trip starting Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in LA. The game will feature the debut of DeMarcus Cousins as a Warrior. Game time is at 7:30 pm.