by Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors won their first game of the new season as they routed the Pelicans 134-123. Head coach Steve Kerr made a couple of changes to the starting lineup. Kerr had Draymond Green start at the center position, and three guards, Jordan Poole, Steph Curry, and D’Angelo Russell, filled the other three slots. The changes worked as the Warriors led for the entire game.
The Warriors needed to get a win. They had been blown out in the first two games of the year by the LA Clippers and the OKC Thunder. Kerr had stated it would take a while for the team to come together. Many fans were beginning to think that the W’s were in for a tough season. While one game does not make a season, it shows that the reworked Warrior roster does have the talent to win games. People have to keep in mind that they won with two of their big men, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kevon Looney, unable to play.
Third-year player, Damion Lee, had the best night of his young career as he helped the W’s to the win. Lee had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. He made four threes in six tries. Glenn Robinson III just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 boards. Draymond Green had a triple-triple. Green was everywhere. His energy put a spark into the W’s offense. He recorded 16 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. It was Green’s 23rd career triple-double. When that happens, the Warriors are 23-0. Steph Curry led the club with 26 points, 3 boards, and 11 assists. D’Angelo Russell contributed 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall played well. Spellman had 8 points and 8 rebounds. Paschall had 8 points, 2 boards, and 3 assists.
The Warriors raced out to 27-23 lead after the first quarter of play. Jordan Poole knocked down three threes in the period. They scored the first 11 points to start the second quarter. The Warriors were running on offense and had a twenty-point lead 50-30 about halfway through the period. The Pelicans had a 9-0 run to make it 58-47. The W’s responded behind Green, Russell, Curry, and Lee to finish the first half leading 72-53. They scored 45 points in the period.
The Warriors continued to play well in the third period. Steph Curry committed his fourth foul of the game with 6:09 left to play. The Warriors were leading 84-64 at the time. Damion Lee and D’Angelo Russell did not let the Pelicans get back in the game. The W’s finished the third quarter with a 24-point lead 103-79. It was more of the same in the last quarter. The Dubs led by 29 126-97 when the Pelicans went on a late 24-4 run to make it 132-123. Time was not on the Pelicans’ side when the clock ran out. The W’s win 134-123.
The Warriors are now 1-2 for the year. New Orleans remains winless at 0-4. The Warriors return home to face the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night at the Chase Center. The Suns are 2-1 for the season. They beat the LA Clippers last Saturday night. They are playing the Utah Jazz Monday night. They were leading in the third quarter. The game time will be played starting at 7:30 pm.