OAKLAND — On a night when Kevin Durant never emerged from the locker room, Stephen Curry began 1-for-11 and Draymond Green was embroiled in foul trouble, the Golden State Warriors handled the New Orleans Pelicans, 110-95, on Saturday at Oracle Arena.
“That’s just who we are,” Curry said when asked to explain the unorthodox win. “I think tonight we only had nine turnovers, which is key for us to withstand the down shooting night. And then defensively, after the first five minutes, we were really solid.”
Curry went for a game high 27 points, ending the evening 9-for-25 after his frigid start.
“I never tell somebody to keep shooting,” explained Klay Thompson, who chipped in 24. “I think that’s pretty cliche. Guys will shoot — no matter what.”
“I think he’s the safest bet in the entire world to not even tell to keep shooting,” Thompson added. “That’s proven time and time again for the last nine years.”
Even as Green spent the final 8:25 of the third anchored to the bench, the Warriors opened up an 84-75 lead entering the final quarter. After Green picked up his fifth foul just over three-and-a-half minutes into the half, Curry seized the reins, pouring in 14 points.
Green, who ended to the fray with 8:48 to go, ended up recording 8 assists, 7 rebounds and six points, two steals and one block.
The Warriors and Pelicans had headed into the locker room knotted at 53 after the hosts delivered a spirited second-quarter showing.
Behind a quartet of triples from Thompson, the Warriors rallied from down 14 to even at the half, outscoring the Pelicans 36-22. The Dubs even briefly secured a one-point advantage when Thompson drilled a corner 3 — right in front of the Golden State bench — with 26.8 seconds left on the clock.
A 17-point 1st
The Warriors couldn’t buy a basket in the opening stanza — shooting 7-for-27 from the field (25.9 percent) and 1-for-11 from 3-point range (9.1 percent).
The 17-point output marked the club’s lowest in any quarter in 2017.
The Splash Brother were especially icy, combining to go 1-for-13 and on field goals and 0-for-7 from beyond the arc. Curry didn’t hit his first 3-pointer until the 3:52 mark in the third, having previously missed his first eight attempts.
In the absence of Durant, Andre Iguodala played 31 minutes, matching his second-highest total of 2017.
“This is a weird week. It’s been a weirder schedule,” Iguodala said after scoring 14 off the bench. “We’re going back on the road. So, honestly, I didn’t know where I was before the game.”
The veteran forward finished +18, tied for the team lead.
“I got here with like 60 [minutes] on the clock,” Iguodala continued. “That’s like the latest I’ve ever been to a game. I didn’t even shoot. So, I think it’s all feel.”
‘Come get your ring’
Just before tipoff, Ian Clark, back at Oracle Arena for the first time since last June’s Finals, received his championship ring at center court.
“Come get your ring,” said Curry, who emceed the ceremony.
A standing O for ‘Mr. 3.5’
A night after Jordan Bell delivered six blocks and introduced himself to Oracle Arena as “Mr. 3.5,” the rookie drew a standing ovation when he first entered the game late in the second quarter.
Even with Durant still out and Green in foul trouble, Bell only saw seven minutes of action, struggling mightily in his efforts to corral Pelicans giant Anthony Davis.