This wasn’t a particularly offensively-minded game. The Golden State Warriors came into New Orleans on the back end of a back-to-back to face the Pelicans, who are a great team, but have been mired in an 8-game slump. The Warriors played impenetrable defense and saw themselves pull ahead for the 97-87 victory to start the second half of their season.
This win, in fact, couldn’t have come at a better time. The Los Angeles Clippers just suffered a brutal loss to the once again streaking Indiana Pacers, who the Warriors are going to face Monday in Oracle. Instead of giving into fatigue, they played their hearts out, defended the ball, and won the basketball game.
Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson were all fantastic in the Warriors hard-fought victory. Even David Lee made an impact on his man. Bogut finished with 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Thompson finished with 8 points and 2 steals, holding Eric Gordon to a 3/17 night. Curry swiped away 4 steals and scored a team-high 28 points to follow up his 37-point night in OKC. Iguodala had 2 blocks and a steal.
Jordan Crawford, who saw a minute increase from Friday’s game in OKC, scored 10 points to follow up his 8. He seems like he’s going to be an solid scorer off the bench, and he will continue to see his minutes go up as he fits into the rotation.
Tyreke Evans, who has built a reputation for himself driving the ball to the rim, did not finish one shot when Bogut was in the game. This was just the type of impact he had. He also logged a heavy 34 minutes to deal with Anthony Davis who once again made his case for the All-Star Game with 31 points and 17 rebounds.
In the first half of the game, the Warriors found themselves down by as many as 11 points, and their defense was once again poor. Second chance points, offensive rebounds, and some cold shooting helped the Pelicans gain a 2-point lead at 54-52. The Warriors had a little run at the end of the quarter to make up some of the deficit.
They owned the second half, however. From great defense, to even some excellent offensive play, the Warriors dominated the Pelicans, who scored 18 points in the 3rd quarter and 15 points in the fourth. The defensive intensity was back.
Now the Dubs head back to Oracle in their first meeting against the Indiana Pacers. It’s not going to be an easy win, of course, but it would instill confidence and drive into the Warriors, who have been “struggling” lately.