Zion Williamson tries to drive around Juan Toscano-Anderson

Panzura postgame wrap: Warriors 123, Pelicans 108

Warriors (33-32), Pelicans (29-36)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

With time running low Monday on New Orleans’ chances to qualify for a Western Conference play-in spot, Golden State looked a lot like a team whose stars possess vast postseason experience.

The Warriors, who’ve captured three NBA championships since 2015 behind a core of Steph Curry, Draymond Green and the currently-injured Klay Thompson, put the Pelicans on their heels immediately by going on a 14-3 run and building a 25-point first-half lead. After New Orleans made a push to eventually cut the gap to just six points, the visitors regained command in the fourth quarter, going back up by a comfortable margin.

As a result of the loss, New Orleans dropped to four games behind Golden State and three back of No. 10 San Antonio, pending the result of the Spurs’ game at Utah later Monday. The Pelicans host the Warriors again Tuesday in a back-to-back.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Curry went over the 40-point mark with four-plus minutes remaining, giving Golden State a 112-94 lead. The Warriors successfully quelled any notion the Pelicans may have had of mounting a second straight fourth-quarter comeback by getting plenty of defensive stops early in the period. Green joined Curry in spearheading Golden State, notching a triple-double of 10 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Zion Williamson was needed to carry the offense in the first half and delivered 18 points, working hard for nearly all of that while Golden State ran defenders at him in the paint. The second-year pro added 14 points in the latter half to finish with 32 on 12/24 shooting, an inefficient game only by his lofty standards of regularly making 60 percent of his attempts.

BY THE NUMBERS

17/43: Golden State three-point shooting, topped by Curry’s 8/18 outing. New Orleans went 5/25, one factor in not being able to keep up on the scoreboard.

53.4: Golden State shooting percentage from the field. The Warriors are 14-0 this season when shooting at least 50 percent and dishing out 30-plus assists.

43.3: New Orleans shooting percentage from the field. The Pelicans are 3-11 when shooting under 44 percent this season.

REVISITING THREE KEYS TO VICTORY PRESENTED BY FANDUEL

CONTROL THE BOARDS

New Orleans won the rebounding battle, but didn’t dominate it, which was probably needed in a matchup between the NBA’s best board team and its third-worst. The Pelicans’ edge was 47-38.

MINIMIZE MISTAKES

A bad tone was set in the first half, when New Orleans committed nine turnovers that led to 17 points by Golden State. The Pelicans totaled 17 turnovers, needing to be closer to a dozen or so.

SEIZE THE MOMENT

Golden State delivered the first punch coming out of the locker room and didn’t waver much from there. New Orleans fought back but didn’t have enough to cut its deficit to under six points after intermission.

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2020-21 Game #65: Pelicans vs. Warriors

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