Curry lifts Warriors over Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stephen Curry buried his typical share of momentum-swinging shots from deep and blew by defenders for some driving layups as well.
He also made a point of crediting Andrew Bogut and David Lee for helping the Warriors make their sixth straight triumphant exit from New Orleans Arena.
Curry scored 28 points, Lee added 22 and Golden State sent the Pelicans to their eighth straight loss, 97-87 on Saturday night.
Bogut had 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots for Golden State, which had 11 blocks in all, including two by Lee.
"We forced them into tough jump shots and even when they got into the paint, you’ve got your rim protectors — plural," Curry said, glancing sideways at Lee in the locker to his right. "When you get a couple blocks, they think about it the next time they come into the paint."
Anthony Davis had 31 points and 17 rebounds in his seventh straight game with more than 20 points, but that was only enough to keep the short-handed Pelicans competitive into the final minutes.
Jordan Crawford, playing in his second game since being acquired from Boston, added 10 points as the Warriors, playing one night after losing in Oklahoma City, overcame an 11-point, first-half deficit and snapped a two-game skid.
"On back-to-backs, you’ve got to get your blood flowing and find that second wind," Curry said. "They came out firing on all cylinders. There was no momentum on our side early, so we really had to fight and find out where we could get an edge to get over the hump."
Tyreke Evans scored 14 points in his return to the Pelicans after missing three games with a left ankle sprain. Al-Farouq Aminu added 12 points, but the Pelicans were doomed by 13-of-39 shooting in the second half, during which they scored only 33 points.
"We fought tonight and played hard and I’m proud of the guys," Davis said. "It’s adversity. We have to learn how to deal with it."
New Orleans shot 38.6 percent (32 of 83), including 2 of 11 from 3-point range, marking the 16th time this season Golden State had held a team under 40 percent shooting.
The Warriors shot 44 percent (37 of 84) and turned the ball over only eight times, one short of a season low.
Curry gave Golden State its first lead since early in the first quarter with a reverse layup in the middle of the third that made it 60-58. One possession earlier, Curry had head-faked Brian Roberts into the air to set up an explosive driving layup to tie it.
Later in the quarter, Curry hit a 26-foot 3-pointer and driving layup in succession to push the Warriors’ lead to 78-66.
After that, New Orleans scored 10 straight points, capped by Davis’ turnaround jumper, but Crawford responded with a turnaround jumper and 3-pointer, and Golden State went back up by nine on Andre Iguodala’s reverse layup with 4:47 to go.
Crawford’s clutch play caught his teammates’ attention.
"He’s a scorer, he’s a playmaker," Curry said. "He’ll get more comfortable as we go along, but he’s shown why that was such a good trade for us. So I’m excited that he’s here."
The closest New Orleans got down the stretch was 89-84 on Roberts’ 3 as he was fouled for a four-point play, but Bogut responded with a putback, Lee added a clutch 9-foot turnaround and Curry sealed it with four free throws.
Pelicans coach Monty Williams said his team’s slide is "on me."
"I’ve got to do a better job of knowing when to call a timeout or get the right rotation in," Williams said. "Our guys are battling. They compete every night. They fight. They’re not looking for excuses and that’s all you can ask for."
As in recent games, the Pelicans started fast, trailing for only 16 seconds in the first half.
Davis scored 24 points before halftime, hitting mid-range jumpers, making seven foul shots and even converting an off-balance, alley-oop on a fast-break feed from Roberts before crashing over the baseline.
But Curry buried a 3 from 26 feet, sparking a 9-0 spurt that he capped with a driving layup to cut New Orleans’ lead to 50-48, and the Pelicans took only a tenuous 54-52 lead into halftime.
NOTES: The Warriors have played 25 road games, most of any team going 14-11 in those games. Golden State returns home for five games, starting Monday against Indiana. … With C Jason Smith sidelined indefinitely by cartilage damage in his right knee, rookie Jeff Withey played 14 minutes. He had 3 points, 2 rebounds and a block. … This was the third and final meeting between the teams, with Golden State winning all three.