OAKLAND — Midway through the second quarter of the Warriors’ Game 1 barrage on Saturday night, Draymond Green found himself unattended on the wing.
The vociferous All-Star proceeded to drill the 3-pointer, then, as he barreled down the court in transition, Green directed his attention at New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry and the visitor’s bench.
“Bring his ass out here,” Green barked at Gentry, the ex-Warriors assistant.
As Stephen Curry watched from the second row, Green spearheaded the Warriors’ 123-101 rout of the Pelicans, who had entered the night winners of nine in a row.
The Warriors poured on a 76 first-half points, a postseason first-half record for the team. Of those 76, 41 came in the second quarter, also good for a new high.
Before the win, head coach Steve Kerr had flashed his trademark wit when explaining that Curry wouldn’t take part.
“I hadn’t anticipated that question,” Kerr quipped.
After practice on Friday, Curry had pleaded his case. The troika of Kerr, club president Bob Myers and head performance therapist Chelsea Lane decided otherwise.
“It’s a great sign,” Kerr said of Curry’s protests.
“It’s a much better answer than, ‘My knee still hurts,’” Kerr added with a smile.
The two-time All-Star will scrimmage Sunday then practice on Monday before a determination for his Game 2 status is made, but Kerr said it’s highly likely Curry will be a go.
After the Curry-less Warriors had slept walked through the first-round win over the San Antonio Spurs, the opener of the Western Conference semifinals was far more becoming of a postseason showdown. The Warriors were crisper. The crowd noisier.
“That was probably the loudest I’ve heard Oracle all year,” Kerr said. “It was kind of a weird regular season. But the playoffs are here and our guys feel that. Our fans feel that and that second quarter reflected what’s at stake and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Feet from where Green sank his unguarded triple, Jay-Z and Beyoncé watched from their courtside perch.
During a first-half timeout, the arena big screens showed Beyoncé bobbing to the beat as her music blared through the speakers. Amid a third-quarter timeout, Jay Z bantered with Curry from across the floor.
Green and Co. put on a virtuoso performance for the music industry’s first couple. Green was on triple-double alert in the second quarter, hitting that milestone early in the third and ending his evening with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and two blocks.
After Klay Thompson wobbled to a 2-for-8 start from the field, the Splash Brother continued his sensational postseason run. Thompson accounted for game highs in points (27) and 3-pointers (four). The guard is now shooting 51.3 percent from the field and an even 50 percent from beyond the arc in the first six games of the playoffs.
After the Warriors dispatched the Pelicans in resounding fashion, Thompson credited Green for setting the tone.
“It’s just like if me or Steph hit four or five 3[-pointers] in a row,” Thompson said. “It’s the same thing when he gets a couple of stops in a row, takes a ball off the rim, leads the break. It’s the same exact kind of momentum we can build.”Alvin GentryDraymond GreenGolden State WarriorsKlay ThompsonNBANBA PlayoffsNew Orleans PelicansStephen CurrySteve Kerr