OAKLAND -- In winning their sixth consecutive game, a 131-121 overcoming of the New Orleans Pelicans, the Warriors reminded themselves of their greatness and their vulnerability at once.
Here are two positives and two negatives culled from the game Wednesday night:
The Curry Machine shows no sign of weakening
Stephen Curry’s torrid start continues. The point guard, now in his 10th season, hung a game-high 37 points on the Pelicans.
It was how he did it, though, that is drawing raves. Curry shot 12 of 20 (60 percent) from the field, including 7 of 11 (63.6 percent) from deep and 6 of 7 (85.7 percent) from the line. The efficiency was remarkable.
But barely more remarkable than it has been all season. Through nine games, Curry is shooting 54.9 percent from the field, 52.9 percent from beyond the arc and 91.3 percent from the line.
He has made at least five 3-pointers in all but one game, and scored at least 30 points in six games. It’s early, or course, but he’s on pace to make 500 triples.
“I’ve always said I want to continue to try and improve my shooting and get more efficient,” Curry said. “It’s a good start to that. I’ve got to sustain it and stick to the program of what I’ve been doing. It’s not just me. I have a good team around me, on and off the court. They get me in the right frame of mind and get my body right too.”
The sharing continues
They are long past the now-many-balls-will-they-need concerns that were beneath the surface when Kevin Durant arrived 28 months ago. One ball is enough when is properly shared.
It was on Wednesday. The Warriors racked up 39 assists, the most in any game this season. Seven different players had at least three, with Stephen Curry (nine), Kevin Durant (eight) and Draymond Green (eight) leading the way.
Beginning with the 2016-17 season, the Warriors have recorded at least 30 assists 94 times. They are 88-6 in those games.
Another soft finish
The Warriors led by 17 points with 10:22 to play. They had the game in hand and decided to play like it. They eased up.
But the Pelicans kept coming. They took 95 seconds to cut the deficit to 10. And when the Warriors pushed it back to 13 with 3:15 to play, New Orleans forced a couple misses and cut it to eight with 1:55 to play, sending a ripple of anxiety within the crowd.
What was going on? The Warriors were outrebounded 16-7 in the fourth. New Orleans put in 26 shots, the Warriors 16.
The Pelicans got no closer, but they declined to submit.
“There’s a lot of things that we can clean up,” Green said. “When you can win those games, that’s the most important thing.”
Trying to do too much
Name the pass, and the Warriors threw it. Blind passes? Check. Smart passes? Check. Forced passes? Check. Bounce passes? Yep. Chest passes? Uh-huh. Crazy passes into thickets of arms and hands? Got a few of those, too.
The Warriors always high on their ambition, and sometimes it pays off. Such daredevil plays provide look-at-us highlights that further gloss up the team’s insanely high profile.
Sometimes, though, it simply keeps opponents in the game. That was the case Wednesday. The Warriors totaled 17 turnovers, off which the Pelicans scored 24 points. It was particularly wretched in the first quarter, when the Warriors committed eight turnovers that led directly to 13 New Orleans points.
Make the simple pass. The players say it. The coaches preach it. But sometimes, the spectacular seems irresistible.