Warriors complete Exhilarating Comeback, Win 125-115, but at what cost?
In the second game of a back-to-back, the Golden State Warriors (18-6) traveled to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans (12-11). The Warriors were coming off of a great game in Miami, where the beat the heat 123-95. The Pelicans would be without one of their star big-men, Anthony Davis, who hurt his groin, but that would be evened out because Zaza Pachulia would be out resting, and we all know that Zaza and Davis are basically the same player. Shaun Livingston would also be out after being suspended for his altercation with a ref against the Heat. This would be the third time the Warriors and Pelicans met this season, and going into this game, the Warriors had won all the matchups. The Warriors would go on to win the game 125-115.
In the first quarter, the Pelicans managed to grab a lead by forcing the Warriors to commit seven turnovers in the quarter, The Pelicans capitalized and had 13 points off of those turnovers. On top of the turnovers, the Pelicans shot the ball really well, at 54.3%, they outshot the Warriors by 15%. The Pelicans were led in scoring by Jrue Holiday, who had 11 points, while Cousins and Dante Cunningham followed close behind with eight points apiece. Stephen Curry led the Warriors in scoring with nine points. The Warriors also picked up two technical fouls in the quarter, when Kevin Durant and Draymond Green were arguing with the refs about fouls. After the first, the Pelicans led 33-26.
The second quarter was a continuation of the superb shooting for the Pelicans, and the terrible turnovers for the Warriors. At the half, the Warriors had 10 turnovers, and they were not shooting the ball well enough to make up for the turnovers. The Warriors shot the ball at a 44.2% clip in the first half, compared to the Pelicans’ 58.7%. Jrue Holiday continued to torch the Warriors, finishing the half with 23 points on 9-11 shooting. The Pelicans also shot 50% from three, while the Warriors were abysmal from three, shooting 3-12 at 25%. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant both did not have great halves, they finished with 21 points between them, but they got those 21 points on 6-17 shooting. The Pelicans torched the Warriors by scoring on nearly all the turnovers, but they also outrebounded the Warriors 28-16, so they had a lot more second chance opportunities. At the half, the Pelicans led the Warriors 69-49.
The Warriors stormed back in the third quarter to cut the 20-point lead down to three. Stephen Curry started heating up and had 27 points as the buzzer sounded to end the third. Steph basically took over the game in the last couple minutes of the quarter, and there were a couple sequences that were so absurd that it felt like Steph wanted to remind everyone that he is the best basketball player to have ever lived. Jrue Holiday continued to shoot the lights out, going 12-19 with 32 points, but the Warriors were able to keep up with him in the third. Heading to the fourth quarter, the Pelicans led 91-88.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors took over. Stephen Curry led the team with 31 points to help put away the Pelicans, but would go on to roll his ankle pretty badly with less than a minute in the game, which was pretty concerning. Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins got into a scuffle late into the fourth quarter and both of them picked up their second technical foul, resulting in ejections. Klay Thompson stayed hot down the stretch and finished with 22 points. Draymond Green hit two big threes in the fourth quarter to help ice the Pelicans. The Warriors won the game 125-115.
Jrue Holiday had an incredible game for the Pelicans, finishing with 34 points on 61.9% shooting. The next highest scorer on the Pelicans was E’Twaun Moore, who had 27 points. DeMarcus Cousins did not have a great game like he normally does against the Warriors, and the Pelicans were worse when he was on the floor, as his +/- was -32.
Kevin Durant finished with 19 points for the Warriors, but he did not have a good game. He went 8-21, and missed several of his shots badly, including an early three that got wedged between the hoop and the backboard. He also committed six turnovers before being ejected, and also picked up several sloppy fouls throughout the night. On the flipside though, Draymond Green had a pretty good game, finishing with 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks.
The comeback win was incredible, and the second half was exhilarating until about a minute left in the game. With less than a minute left, Steph attempted to steal a pass and stretched a little too far and rolled his ankle pretty bad. So the win became far less important as the game went on. The injury brought with it several flashbacks to pre-2015 Steph, and while all Warriors fans hold their breath, they can at least look back on the incredible comeback the team had.
The Warriors play next on Wednesday, December 6, in Charlotte against the Hornets, at 5 p.m.