Warriors Outlast New Orleans in Slugfest, Win 131-121
After obliterating the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, the Golden State Warriors (7-1) returned home to take on the New Orleans Pelicans (4-2). The Warriors were coming off of an undefeated road trip that saw some of the most explosive offensive performances in the league this season, and the Pelicans were getting an added boost with the return of Anthony Davis, who missed the last two games. This game was looking like it could be one of the best in the NBA so far this season, and it lived up to the hype. The Golden State Warriors went on to win the game 131-121.
Anthony Davis got the first quarter started with a tough and-1 alley-oop layup, and the Warriors got their first points on a Kevin Durant free-throw line jumper on the second possession before Klay Thompson drilled a three. The Warriors got out to a quick 7-3 lead, but the Pelicans stormed back to tie the game at 10 before the two teams went back-and-forth for several minutes. That was to be expected with the two highest-scoring offenses in the NBA. Jrue Holiday had 10 quick points, Klay had a quick eight, and Stephen Curry drilled a three from damn-near half court. Steve Kerr called timeout with the Pelicans leading 21-17 with 6:52 remaining in the quarter. Steph got a circus-layup to fall after the timeout to get the scoring going again, and the Warriors went on a 13-8 run between the stoppages to get Oracle Arena rocking. They did it with ball movement and great plays from Kevon Looney and Jonas Jerebko. Looney was a machine on the offensive glass and Jerebko hit two threes and had a monster block. Steph and Klay were leading the team in scoring with 10 points apiece, and when timeout was called with 2:42 left in the quarter the Warriors had a 34-29 lead. The last two minutes of the quarter saw the offenses slow down with numerous fouls, but the Warriors still had a lead when the quarter ended after a buzzer-beating three from Andre Iguodala. Steph and Klay both had 10 points for the Warriors, but Jonas Jerebko added eight off the bench. Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 12 points and Nikola Mirotic added 10 as well. After the first quarter, the Warriors led 43-37.
Klay Thompson drilled a three to open the second quarter, E'Twaun Moore hit one in response for the Pelicans, but Draymond Green made his first three of the night after Moore’s three. The next few minutes happened in 15-second increments in between fouls, it just became incredibly choppy and frustrating for two of the most proficient offenses in the league. E’Twaun Moore hit threes on two-straight possessions though, and that forced Steve Kerr to call timeout with 8:26 left in the half and the Pelicans had a 51-48 lead. The game was still pretty choppy after the timeout, but the Warriors were beginning to roll again on offense. They went on a 16-5 run between stoppages and that run was capped off by a Kevin Durant wing three. The run included several fantastic plays, and one of those was an incredible deep three from Steph while he was in the middle of traffic. Alvin Gentry called timeout to try and stop the bleeding with 3:09 left in the half and the Warriors leading 64-56. The Pelicans went on a quick 7-0 run after the stoppage to get back into the game before Kevin Durant got a layup to fall to end the run. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green then both made layups, and Draymond’s layup was incredible as he got it to fall after shaking off Anthony Davis. The Pelicans did not score after their 7-0 run, and the Warriors led 70-63 at halftime.
Stephen Curry was leading the Warriors in scoring with 15 points on 5/8 shooting with six assists, Klay Thompson had 14 on 6/12 shooting, and Kevin Durant had 13 points on 5/9 shooting. Draymond Green had an incredible half with seven points, seven rebounds, and four assists. As a team the Warriors combined to shoot 53.1% (26/49) from the floor and 56.2% (9/16) from three. The Pelicans were led by Nikola Mirotic with 15 points on 6/8 shooting, E’Twaun Moore had 13 points on 5/8 shooting, and Jrue Holiday had 11 on 3/6 shooting. Anthony Davis didn’t have a great half, only scoring seven points on 2/7 shooting. The Pelicans combined to shoot 46.8% (22/47) from the floor and 42.1% (8/19) from three. The teams also combined to commit 20 turnovers in the first half (11 for GSW and 9 for NO).
Kevin Durant threw down a dunk to get the third quarter started and it got the Warriors their largest lead of the night to that point. Tim Frazier knocked down a three for the Pelicans on their first possession, but KD hit a three of his own in response. Stephen Curry nailed a three and a tough layup to force a timeout from Alvin Gentry and the Pelicans, who just couldn’t get anything going on offense. The timeout was called with 8:57 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 80-70. Stephen Curry drilled a corner three to get the scoring started after the stoppage, and Draymond Green followed that up with a three of his own (his second of the night!). Damian Jones threw down two powerful dunks and the Warriors looked they were starting to run away with it, but the Pelicans had some more tricks up their sleeves. Nikola Mirotic canned a three and they made two more shots to cut the lead in half, forcing a timeout from Steve Kerr. He called timeout with 4:01 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 92-85. Stephen Curry drilled a wide-open three to open the scoring after the stoppage, and Kevin Durant threw down a powerful dunk off of a Jerebko steal to get their lead from seven points up to 12 points. That 5-0 run in 26 seconds forced a timeout from the Pelicans with 3:35 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 97-85. The two teams went back-and-forth to end the quarter with both teams doing some impressive things on both ends of the floor. Stephen Curry nailed his sixth three of the night, but that was the lone highlight play from the final stretch of the third quarter. The lead basically remained the same, with the Warriors ending with a 15-point lead. Stephen Curry was leading the game with 31 points (he had 16 in the third quarter) on 11/19 shooting while Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic had 22 apiece for the Pelicans. The Warriors were shooting a combined 54.8% (40/73) from the floor and 51.7% (15/29) from three, while the Pelicans shot a combined 47% (31/66) from the floor and 40.7% (11/27) from three. After the third quarter, the Warriors led the Pelicans 107-92.
Kevin Durant got an incredibly tough floater to fall to start the scoring in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors had their largest lead to that point with a 17-point lead. New Orleans then went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead back down to 10 points. That run included a three from Ian Clark, Julius Randle kneeing Draymond in his testicles, and it was clear that the Pelicans were not just going to lay down and go away, they were here to fight unitl the bitter end. Steve Kerr called timeour after the 7-0 run with 8:47 left in the game and the Warriors leading 111-101. Draymond Green got a shot to fall to get the scoring started after hte stoppage, Kevin Durant made a turnaround fadeaway to get the lead back up to 14 points. Jrue Holiday made a tough shot to get the lead back down to 12, but Stephen Curry drilled his seventh three of the game on the other end. The Warriors appeared to be ready to put this game away, and they were showing it with their play. Kevon Looney continued his spectacular game and threw down a reverse dunk, and Andre Iguodala nailed two free throws. The Warriors were keeping the Pelicans at bay until Alvin Gentry called timeout with 3:22 left in the game with the Warriors leading 122-111. Klay THompson got a reverse layup to fall to get the scoring started again after the timeout, the Pelicans weren’t dead yet though, and they went on a run to get the lead back down to single digits before Draymond Green got a layup to fall and get the lead back to 10 points with 1:03 left to play. His layup forced a timeout from Alvin Gentry with the Warriors leading 127-117 and this game was basically over. The game ended with the Warriors retaining their 10-point lead and securing a 131-121 win over the Pelicans.
Stephen Curry finished as the game’s leading scorer with 37 points on 12/20 shooting while also dishing out six assists. He continued to just be on an absolute tear to start the season, and he is the league’s leading scorer right now. Kevin Durant added 24 points on 10/17 shooting with eight assists and five boards. Klay Thompson had 18 points, Jonas Jerebko had 10 points, and Andre Iguodala had nine points. Draymond Green had his best game of the season, scoring 16 points, grabbing 15 boards, and dishing out eight assists. He was all over the place tonight and made an impact on nearly every play. The Warriors finished the game shooting a combined 52.8% (47/89) from the field and 50% (16/32) from three. They had a season high 39-assists, which is also the record for a single-game this NBA season, but they did commit 17 turnovers.
Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 28 points on 9/19 shooting, but did most of his damage in the first half. Nikola Mirotic had 25 points on 10/15 shooting, and it seriously felt like he couldn’t miss tonight. E’Twaun Moore added 21 points, Anthony Davis only had 17 on 6/16 shooting, and Julius Randle had 11. The Pelicans finished the game shooting a combined 47.8% (44/92) from the floor and 34.1% (12/35) from three.
The Warriors won their sixth-straight game, and they did it against one of the better teams in the NBA, a team who many analysts consider to be one of the top four teams in the West. The Warriors are still playing with intensity and energy that was missing for all of last season, and it is a joy to watch them play the game of basketball better than anyone has ever done it before.
The Golden State Warriors play next on Friday, November 2, at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.