Panzura postgame wrap: Pelicans 108, Warriors 103
A night after struggling through one of the roughest shooting nights of his four-year NBA career, Lonzo Ball’s shooting was the decisive factor Tuesday in one of New Orleans’ biggest wins of the season. Ball not only led the Pelicans for much of the first four quarters by hitting seven three-pointers, but he also sank a go-ahead stepback jumper with 25 seconds left.
Whether it was defensive intensity, the starting point guard’s three-point shooting or a reduction in turnovers, New Orleans was vastly improved in a variety of areas compared to 24 hours earlier. Facing the same Golden State team for a second consecutive night, the result was a 20-point turnaround compared to a 15-point loss Monday.
New Orleans kept its play-in hopes alive, now behind Golden State, Memphis and San Antonio by either a three- or two-game margin.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Golden State was whistled for a costly clear-path foul in the final 20 seconds, setting up Zion Williamson to make two free throws, then Ball to tack on two more, putting New Orleans up 106-100 with 14 ticks to go. Steph Curry missed a subsequent difficult three-point attempt, giving Ball two more foul shots at 9.9. Ball gave the Pelicans a three-possession advantage at the stripe.
Ball’s fellow starting guard, Eric Bledsoe, dropped in a crucial floater with 1:30 left to give the Pelicans a two-point lead, before Draymond Green’s and-one tied it, but Green missed the free throw.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ball bounced back in a big way from his 3/18 shooting performance a night earlier, this time going 11/23, including 7/13 from three-point distance. He tied his career high of 33 points, reaching that number for the second time in three games, having done so Saturday at Minnesota (while draining eight treys).
“Lonzo texted me last night after the game and (said) he was going to show up today, and his apologies on (Monday),” Williamson said during his radio walk-off interview. “Those were big words. He showed today what he's all about.”
BY THE NUMBERS
2: Games behind San Antonio for New Orleans in the race for 10th place and the final play-in spot. However, the Spurs own the tiebreaker on the Pelicans, so for New Orleans to surpass San Antonio in the standings, the Spurs must lose at least four more games than the Pelicans over the remainder of the schedule. On paper, it helps that San Antonio has eight games remaining, while New Orleans only has six. The Spurs play at Utah on Wednesday.
5/7: Golden State foul shooting. New Orleans only committed nine fouls, which would’ve been a season low except the Pelicans committed just eight fouls vs. the Warriors on Monday. The seven attempts tied the lowest amount by a New Orleans opponent all season.
20: Warriors three-point makes in 53 attempts. It was the first time since Feb. 6 at Indiana that New Orleans allowed 20-plus treys and still won. The Pelicans are 0-6 in the other instances this season, including Chicago and Dallas connecting for 25 apiece.
REVISITING THREE KEYS TO VICTORY PRESENTED BY FANDUEL
It was night and day for New Orleans, which trailed by 18 points through a quarter Monday, but played some inspired basketball Tuesday and was down just 34-32 after a period.
DETAILS ON DEFENSE
New Orleans cleaned up many of the mistakes that plagued it 24 hours earlier. Golden State finished at just 42 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers.
Much better. New Orleans only had five turnovers at halftime and totaled 12. Golden State went from 23 fast-break points Monday to only nine Tuesday.