Curry scores 39 points as the Warriors return from a 20-point deficit to defeat the Pelicans.
Draymond Green raged at the other bench, his team, and even his coach; those powerful emotions made all the difference this time.
That was a hit with Steve Kerr.
“We need his passion,” Golden Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
“That was great, proper, completely accomplished,” Green smiled.
Jordan Poole added 21 points with consecutive layups that gave Golden State the lead early in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors rallied beat the New Orleans Pelicans 120-109 on Tuesday night in a testy, playoff-like game in late March.
Klay Thompson scored 17 points and nailed five three-pointers to set a new single-season career high of 278, leading the NBA.
The Warriors climbed to sixth place in the tight Western Conference rankings, a half-game ahead of Minnesota and one and a half games ahead of New Orleans. Golden State fell to the Timberwolves 99-96 at home on Sunday, so coming back from 20 points down to win this one was critical as the reigning champs aim to escape the play-in round. The top six clubs are assured of playoff spots.
“The other night, we lost a heartbreaker. “We knew we had to come back,” Kerr explained.
For the Pelicans, who came in on a five-game winning run, Brandon Ingram had 26 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, Trey Murphy III had 21 points, and CJ McCollum had 15.
Green chirped and pushed the emotions and intensity throughout the game, then tossed an alley-oop to Jonathan Kuminga for a dunk with 7:09 remaining for one of his 13 assists and a 101-98 lead.
Kerr stated, “Draymond willed us to victory tonight.” “He was frustrated with the way we were playing at first. I’m fed up with the world. Yelling at everyone, including their bench, our bench, and myself, and frankly, we all deserved it.”
Green was called for a double technical foul late in the second quarter following a scuffle with Ingram — and Green’s foul was escalated to a Flagrant 1. He has earned a one-game suspension for his 16th technical foul on March 17 at Atlanta.
Green then committed an offensive foul, and players from both teams collided, Green’s foot colliding with Herbert Jones’ head. A review revealed no more fouls, but Kerr momentarily removed Green from the game due to his “extreme enthusiasm” at the time.
“We looked lifeless in the first 18 minutes of the game.” “Kerr said. “We needed to get energy someplace. I knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight.”
Curry hit three consecutive three-pointers late in the third quarter to pull Golden State within 89-83. Poole then stole the ball from Ingram and dunked on the opposite end, leaving the Warriors behind 89-85 with 12 minutes remaining.
Golden State opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run headed by Donte DiVincenzo. He scored on a putback slam over Ingram early in the second half, then converted a three-point play before Thompson’s three-pointer at 10:44 made it 63-54.
McCollum’s three-pointer with 1:40 remaining before halftime put the Pelicans up 60-43, and Ingram’s three-pointer on New Orleans’ following possession made it a 20-point advantage.
With a 124-90 romp over Portland on Monday night, the Pelicans, coached by former Warriors assistant Willie Green and veteran Golden State assistant Jarron Collins on his staff, had won five consecutive.
The Warriors’ win denied the Sacramento Kings, coached by former top assistant Mike Brown, its first postseason appearance since 2006, which would have ended the NBA’s longest skid at 16 years.
McCollum got called for a Flagrant one at the 6:43 mark of the third quarter for the Pelicans. The Pelicans split the season series 2-2 and have dropped 17 of the last 19 games at Oracle Arena. New Orleans scored 9 of 14 3-pointers in the first half, forcing 14 mistakes that led to 11 points, and finished 12 for 27 from deep. The Pelicans are 14-25 on the road, including a 9-15 record against the Western Conference.
Warriors: Thompson made 276 three-pointers in 2015-16. The Warriors still hope that Andrew Wiggins will return this season, but there is yet to be a timeframe. He missed his 20th game because of a family situation… The Warriors have won 14 of their last 16 games in San Francisco. Golden State honored the state champion Oakland High School boy’s basketball team on the court before the game, led by Damian Lillard’s previous coach, Orlando Watkins.