Warriors knock out Pelicans, set up titanic clash with Rockets

Warriors knock out Pelicans, set up titanic clash with Rockets


OAKLAND -- The third quarter tends to be when the magic happens for the Warriors, and they found it once again Tuesday night. It was enough to take them into the Western Conference Finals.

With Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combining for 75 points, and Draymond Green ringing up a 19-point, 14-rebound double-double, the Warriors posted a 113-104 victory over New Orleans in Game 5 to take the conference semifinals.

Limiting the Pelicans to 30.4-percent shooting in the third quarter, the Warriors outscored the Pelicans 36-19 in the period and held on down the stretch.

Thompson was hot early, but went cold in the second half while Curry and Durant were efficient and submitted solid all-around games.

Curry’s line: 28 points (10-of-16 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, 5-of-5 from the line), eight assists and seven rebounds. He played 37 minutes and finished plus-9.

Durant’s line: 24 points (10-of-18 shooting, 1-of-4 from deep, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals. He played 37 minutes and finished plus-13.

After taking a 59-56 lead into halftime, the Warriors opened the second half with a 29-6 run, taking an 88-62 lead on a pair of free throw by Curry with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter.

The Warriors took a 95-75 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Pelicans rallied late, getting as close as seven in the final minutes before the Warriors closed it out with a pair of buckets by Green and a tip-in by Kevon Looney.

Warriors: G Patrick McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) was listed as out.

Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles rupture) and G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) were listed as out.

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Rockets is scheduled for next Monday, May 14, at Toyota Center in Houston.

Here's the full schedule:

Steve Kerr jokes about wanting to trade spots with Andre Iguodala

Steve Kerr jokes about wanting to trade spots with Andre Iguodala

Steve Kerr has accomplished a lot during his playing and coaching career.

He played four seasons for Lute Olson at Arizona. He spent 15 years playing in the NBA, and won five NBA titles during that time.

As a coach, Kerr has made the NBA Finals in each of his first four seasons with the Warriors, and has won three championships.

If you're Steve Kerr, there aren't many people you'd want to trade places with.

Except, there is one Warriors player Kerr would like to be.

"I definitely would trade spots with Andre [Iguodala]," Kerr said on Friday on 95.7 The Game. "I can only imagine what it has felt like to be Andre iguodala over the last 20 years playing basketball. That kind of athleticism, intelligence and feel, I could only dream about being the player he is."

Iguodala, a first-round pick in 2004, has won three titles with Kerr, was named NBA Finals MVP in 2015, was selected to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game and will have earned nearly $170 million through contracts by the time his deal with the Warriors is up.

So, we can understand why Kerr might want to trade places with Iguodala.

[RELATED: Iguodala reveals reason for improved play]

Kerr was asked a really tough question by host Damon Bruce: Who had the better playing career as an Arizona Wildcat, himself or Iguodala?

"How do I answer that?" Kerr joked. "I guess I did because I was there five years and he was there two years."

Dirk Nowitzki remembers one thing most about 2007 Game 6 loss to Warriors

Dirk Nowitzki remembers one thing most about 2007 Game 6 loss to Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Saturday afternoon at 4 P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

May 3, 2017 is a special day in Golden State Warriors history.

The No. 8 seed Warriors knocked off the No. 1 seed Mavericks in Game 6 at Oracle Arena to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Dirk Nowitzki -- who was named MVP about two weeks later -- had one of the worst games of his career. He scored just eight points and went 2-for-13 from the field.

But it was something that took place off the court that stands out more than anything for Dirk when he thinks about that difficult day.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic has the details:

“Crazy atmosphere,” Dirk remembered. “Crazy. One of the loudest buildings I’ve been in. The fans were so in it, any run they had.”

What does Dirk remember most? The pregame tailgates.

“It doesn’t happen much in basketball,” Dirk said. “Happens more in football, when the fans cookout before. But that was the case when we drove up to the arena two-and-a-half hours, three hours before tip.

“Fans were out there flipping us off, mooning us on our way in. It was crazy. As a competitor, fun to play, but it kind of pushed them to another level. The fans were a big part of that.”

On Saturday night, Dirk will play at Oracle for the last time in his career.

The crowds might not be as consistently loud as they were during the "We Believe" run in 2007, but the man who has scored the sixth most points in NBA history has a lot of respect for the people who have filled up Oracle over the years.

[RELATEDSteph Curry will not play when Warriors host Luka Doncic, Mavericks]

“Oracle was always a fun place to play,” Nowitzki told The Athletic. “Even in the years early in my career, when the team wasn’t good, I thought the fans were always amazing there. Always great crowds. Always loud when they made runs. A great stop.

“They say the fans have changed a little bit. Because, yeah, obviously the ticket prices are a little higher than they used to be 20 years ago. But I didn’t really notice. It’s still super loud. Honestly, when Steph gets on one of his runs and starts shooting 3s from 35 feet, the place goes absolutely bonkers.”

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