Warriors come back from 20-point deficit beat Pelicans 120-109; Golden State wins six of last ten games

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones, far left, and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, far right, are separated after a scuffle during the second quarter at Chase Center in San Francisco on Tue Mar 28, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Golden State Warriors (40-37) hosted the New Orleans Pelicans (38-38) at the Chase Center Tuesday night. The Pelicans came into town riding a five-game winning streak. The Warriors were still upset after losing to Minnesota Sunday Night. The Warriors needed a win to get the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings. The Pelicans needed a win to stay in sixth place. The Warriors stepped it up for a 20 point comeback win 120-109.

Both teams played as if it were a playoff game. The Pelicans’ defense in the first half had the Warriors’ offense out of rhythm. The Warriors’ defense in the second half shut down the Pelican offense in the second half. For the 12th time this season, the Warriors overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to win. The Warriors beat the Pelicans 120-109.

The teams exchanged the lead three or four times in the first quarter. The Warriors led 23-20 when the Pelicans went on an 11-0 run to lead 31-23. The Pelicans led 33-25 when the Warriors fouled Brandon Ingram making a desperation three-point shot with 0.8 seconds left. Steve Kerr shook his head in disbelief as Ingram made all three free throws to give the Pelicans the lead, 36-25. 

The Pelicans continued to dominate play in the second quarter. The Pelicans increased the lead to 20 points, 63-43. Stephen Curry connected on a three to finish the first half with the Warriors trailing, 63-46. New Orleans had three players in double figures. Curry was the only Warrior in double figures. Curry had 17 and made three threes. The Warriors turned the ball over 14 times in the first half. If they hoped to win, the Warriors would have to find a way to turn things around.

The Warriors needed someone to provide the spark to get them back in the game. That spark came from Donte DiVincenzo and Klay Thompson as the Warriors went on an 8-0 run to start the third period. DiVincezo scored the first five points, and Thompson knocked down a three.

The Pelicans held off the Warriors attack for a while. The Pelicans led by 13, 73-60 when C J McCollum was charged with a flagrant foul as he ran over DiVincenzo. DiVincezo made both free throws, and the Warriors had possession. Thompson made a three, and the Warriors now trailed by eight.

The Warriors now had momentum on their side. Late in the quarter, Pelicans led 89-80. Kevon Looney made two offensive rebounds, allowing Curry to make a three. On the ensuing play, Jordan Poole stole the ball and made a layup to make it 89-85 at the end of the third quarter. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 39-26. 

The Warriors kept attacking the rim. Curry made it a two-point game, 89-87, after a steal and a bucket. The Pelicans fought back. They led 94-91. Poole made two consecutive baskets to give the Warriors their first lead, 95-94. The Warriors never relinquished the lead. Poole, Curry, and Thompson all made threes. The Warriors led 118-103 with one minute left in the game.

Game Notes: With the win, the Warriors are 40-37. The Warriors are 31-8 at home. The Pelicans fell to 39-38. The Pelicans are 14-26 on the road. The Warriors are in sixth place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans are one and 1/2 games behind the Warriors. 

The Warriors split the season series with the Pelicans 2-2. The Warriors had 14 turnovers in the first half and five in the second half. 

Draymond Green and Ingram got into a tussle in the second quarter. Green pushed Ingram out of bounds as Ingram was driving for a layup. Ingram took exception to Green’s foul, and the players got into a shoving match. Each player was charged with a technical foul. Green’s foul was upgraded to a flagrant foul. 

Curry had another phenomenal performance Tuesday night. Curry’s line was 39 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, eight threes, and three steals. Poole had 21, Thompson 17 points, DiVincenzo 13, and Jonathan Kuminga 13. 

Ingram led the Pelicans with 26, McCollum had 15, Trey Murphy 21, Herbert Jones 13, and Jonas Valanciunas 11. 

The Warriors have five games left in the regular season. They face the San Antonio Spurs at the Chase Center Friday night. The game will start at 7 pm.

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