SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors haven't done much winning this season inside their plush new basketball palace. They didn't bother changing their fortunes at Chase Center on Sunday night, losing 115-101 to Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans (25-32) won the season series for the first time since 2012, back when New Orleans' team was nicknamed the Hornets. Williamson, last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, scored 28 points, and the Pelicans outscored the Warriors 69-45 in the second half.
The Warriors (12-45) were plagued by a regressive performance by Andrew Wiggins, overshadowing impressive nights from rookies Juan Toscano-Anderson (16 points, eight rebounds) and Jordan Poole (19 points, five assists and four rebounds).
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' sixth consecutive loss.
The Warriors signed Damion Lee to a multiyear deal last month, partly because of his ability to score in bunches. He got back to that Sunday night, scoring 22 points (15 in the first quarter). The Warriors ultimately built a 10-point halftime lead on the back of Lee's strong first half.
The former G Leaguer is in the middle of a solid stretch. Lee had scored 14 points per game (on 46 percent shooting) in his last eight appearances entering the night. Sunday was reminiscent of his first three months of the season, when he routinely carried the Warriors' offense with injured stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson sitting on the sideline.
Lee's game is evident, and he is in the Warriors' plans this season and beyond. He provided more evidence of why he's so valued Sunday.
Wiggins exceeded expectations during his first four games with the Warriors, shooting nearly 60 percent from the field during that time. The 25-year-old wasn't as effective against the Pelicans, though, finishing with just eight points on just 3-of-16 shooting from the field.
It was a big drop-off, mirroring much of his time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was criticized for bad mid-range shots and an aloof presence on the floor, and those bad habits crept into his game Sunday.
Warriors personnel have raved about Wiggins' fit in their system since he arrived, vowing to help improve his reputation around the NBA. While both sides have gotten off to a good start in their relationship, Sunday's performance served as a reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
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Bender's debut a mixed bag
Dragan Bender officially signed a 10-day contract with the Warriors on Sunday, and churned out a lukewarm performance in his debut. He finished with just six points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field in 20 minutes.
Though his shot was off, Bender did show bright spots, including a defensive sequence in which he blocked Williamson at the rim and triggered a fast break on the other end.
Despite the performance, Bender has qualities that the Warriors find intriguing. The 7-footer shot 39 percent from 3-point range in the G League, earning a contract from the Warriors. However, Bender is on his last chance after the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks cut him within the last year. He now has just over a week to prove his worth.