Warriors

What we learned as shorthanded Warriors fall to Pelicans

Warriors
Wiggins

On the second night of a back-to-back and without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors looked to get back on track in New Orleans on Thursday night. That didn't happen. 

For the second night in a row, offense was hard to come by for the Warriors as they shot just 41.9 percent from the floor, including 18.8 percent from 3-point range, resulting in a 101-96 loss to the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

While the Warriors (29-9) struggled to score, it was defense -- for the second night in a row -- that kept them afloat for the majority of the night. The Warriors held the Pelicans to 42.7 percent shooting, including 25.5 percent from distance.

In the final few minutes of the game, the Warriors finally found a small scoring burst to put the game within reach. But, they couldn't quite crawl all the way back. 

And ultimately, the lack of scoring kept the Warriors from making any true strides against the Pelicans (14-25).

Here are three takeaways from the night: 

Wiggs leads the way

I sound like a broken record, so forgive me if you've heard this before: Andrew Wiggins has been the most consistent player for the Warriors all season long. And, when they need him most, he almost always takes it up a notch. 

That was definitely the case on Thursday. With no Curry, Golden State headed into the game needing Wiggins to be a big scoring factor. When it became clear that Jordan Poole was having an off-night, they needed Wiggs to have an even bigger performance.

 

Wiggins led the Warriors with 21 points, four rebounds, two steals and one block. But he needed help and didn't get quite enough.

Poole struggles mightily

So, I mentioned that Poole had an off-night. Honestly, that might be an understatement. 

Poole was a non-factor for 30 minutes, finishing the night with just 11 points. He went 3-for-14 from the floor, including 2-for-9 from three.

He finally showed up in the last few minutes of the game, hitting a big 3-pointer and a few key free throws.

At first, Poole's poor shooting just looked like an extension of the Warriors' overall troubles scoring the ball as of late. But as his slump continued, he appeared to second guess himself and was unsure of what exactly to do with the ball. In other moments, he was trying to do too much. 

The last time Poole played without Curry, he put up 32. That's the version the Warriors needed on Thursday. Wiggins did all he could on offense to give the Warriors a spark on that end and a chance in the game.

But Golden State needed one more scorer to step up, and it should have been Poole. 

Bench shows up

The Warriors' depth has been one of their biggest storylines all season, and on a night without Curry and Green, and all the starters other than Wiggins struggling to score, it truly showed. Every player off the bench finished with a positive plus/minus net rating.

The real bright spots off the bench were rookies Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga, who had strong contributions in their extended minutes. In 23 minutes Moody, the No. 14 overall draft pick, scored 10 on 3-of-6 shooting.

Kuminga added 13 points and six rebounds, including four offensive rebounds on one incredible play.

The Warriors also got nice bench contributions for Lee (12 points and four rebounds), Nemanja Bjelica (nine points on 4-of-6 shooting) and Andre Iguodala (five points and seven assists).

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