Defensive woes, turnovers doom Warriors in home finale
STREAK OF 60-WIN SEASONS ENDS
The Warriors spent Saturday night at Oracle Arena searching for their defense, never found it, and it cost them any chance to reach the 60-win mark for a fourth consecutive season.
Allowing New Orleans to shoot 56.3 percent from the field, the Warriors came away with a 126-120 loss in their regular-season home finale.
All five starters scored in double figures, with Kevin Durant pouring in 41 points to lead the way. Quinn Cook totaled 21 points, Klay Thompson 18, Draymond Green 11 and Kevon Looney 10.
The Warriors (57-23) wiped out an 11-point New Orleans lead, going up as much as seven in the third quarter before giving it back in a flurry of turnovers.
Durant and Cook, the Prince George’s County comrades, did most of the heavy lifting.
Durant’s line: 41 points (16-of-26 shooting from the field, including 4-of-7 beyond the arc, 5-of-7 from the line), 10 rebounds and five assists. He played 36 minutes and finished plus-1.
Cook’s line: 21 points (8-of13 from the field, 5-of-6 from deep), seven assists and three rebounds. He played 37 minutes and finished minus-2.
After the Warriors took a 108-105 lead on a Durant 3-pointer with 6:40 remaining, the Pelicans responded with a 14-3 run, going up 119-111 on a triple by Nikola Mirotic with 3:54 remaining.
The Warriors committed four turnovers during that pivotal stretch and 17, giving New Orleans 26 points, for the game.
They got as close as two (121-119, 1:01 left) before the Pelicans closed it out.
Warriors: F/G Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) and G/F Nick Young (flu-like symptoms) were listed as probable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. G Shaun Livingston (R knee soreness) was listed as doubtful and downgraded to out. F Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (L MCL sprain) and G Pat McCaw (lumbosacral bone bruise) were listed as out.
Pelicans in-game: F Nikola Mirotic sustained a sprain of his right ankle in the closing seconds of the first half. He returned in the second half, scoring 10 of his 28 points.
Pelicans pregame: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee surgery), G Ian Clark (R ankle sprain) C/F DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles rupture), G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) were listed as out.
The Warriors left the Bay Area immediately after the game for a trip to Phoenix, where on Sunday they face the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 6:05.