Warriors takeaways: What we learned in big 106-102 win over Pelicans

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in big 106-102 win over Pelicans


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors have built a reputation for late-game dramatics.  

On Friday, it finally resulted in a win, as the Warriors beat the Pelicans 106-102, snapping a five-game losing streak. However, the feat wasn't easy, as the Warriors (6-24) squandered a 20-point first-half lead after getting outscored by 15-points in the third quarter. 

Still, following a stepback jumper from D'Angelo Russell with 32 seconds left, Golden State sealed its sixth win of the season, including their second over the Pelicans (7-23) this season. 

Here are the takeaways from Chase Center:

Early start leads to a curious finish

After a series of bad starts, the Warriors finally found a groove defensively on Friday evening. Through the first 24 minutes, they held the Pelicans to just 38 percent from the field, including 14 percent from 3-point range, building a 20-point lead. 

Damion Lee scored 13 of his 20 points before halftime, while Alec Burks chipped in eight first-half points off the bench.

Then the third quarter happened. 

Over a 12-minute stretch, Golden State was outscored 37-22 as Pelicans guard JJ Redick scored 13 points, helping the Pelicans take a three-point lead into the fourth. 

For much of the season, the Warriors have been searching for ways to win with a battered roster, often doing just enough to lose on most nights. While coach Steve Kerr will be pleased with the win, the miscues down the stretch are inexcusable. 

Paschall exits

Coinciding with Golden State's collapse was the potential loss of its prized rookie Eric Paschall, who exited in the first half with a right knee injury

The play happened with just over a minute left in the first quarter when Paschall -- attempting to seal Redick -- twisted his knee as Redick fell to the ground. Following the play, the rookie writhed in pain but stayed in the game briefly.

After the Warriors' win, Kerr said Paschall was getting his right knee evaluated and was not sure if the rookie would need an MRI.

Paschall's injury is the latest blow for the rookie, who has dealt with hip issues in the past few weeks. Time will tell how long his knee injury will linger, but Golden State can ill afford to loss any more players to injury. 

Burks shines off the bench

Earlier this month, Kerr relegated Burks to the bench to provide a scoring punch for the second unit. The eighth-year player presented that and more on Friday evening, scoring 18 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out three assists. 

On a night Golden State shot just 45 percent from the field, Burks consistently got buckets to keep the Warriors in contention during a horrid second half. 

Burks' role off the bench could be effective for the young Warriors. Over his last eight outings, he's averaging 16 points on nearly 50 percent from the field.

Steph Curry left off Chris Paul's description of ultimate point guard

Steph Curry left off Chris Paul's description of ultimate point guard

Thus far through their NBA careers, Steph Curry has gotten the better of Chris Paul.

In three head-to-head postseason matchups, Curry's Warriors have won two playoff series to Paul's one. Curry is a two-time NBA MVP, while Paul is still waiting for first. Curry owns three NBA championship rings. Paul has never made it to the NBA Finals.

So, yes, it would be easy to understand if Paul was bitter about the younger Curry's success. He might not have wanted to pass the torch of predominant NBA point guard, but it happened nonetheless.

Paul was traded from the Houston Rockets -- after they were eliminated by Curry and the Warriors -- to the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason, and he has done a tremendous job in leading OKC (36-22) to what is currently sixth place in the Western Conference. The Thunder have outperformed expectations thus far in what has been a feel-good season, and Paul arguably deserves the bulk of the credit for that.

Despite all those good feelings, however, it appears some of that bitterness still lingers. Paul was recently asked to build the ultimate point guard, taking attributes from different players, and he had one glaring omission that, frankly, seems intentional.

"I probably want [Derrick Rose]'s explosiveness," Paul told Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks on the newest episode of "Take it There." "And then you've got the different arms, so like one hand, probably Kyrie [Irving]'s finishes and all that. And then on the other hand, Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] nice with the finishes.

"Steve Nash was a really good shooter," he continued. "Russ [Westbrook] -- a great rebounder. [LeBron James] is always good at passing and all that different type of stuff. But I know my basketball IQ and awareness ... nobody watches more basketball than me."

All right. Some fair selections. No arguments there. But wait ... 

"Probably [Deron Williams] or Baron Davis' build. Shooting also might be somebody like Gilbert Arenas."

Hold up ... What?!

Curry is the greatest shooter of all time. One could make the case for Nash as well, so his inclusion on Paul's list makes sense. But Arenas?

Come. On.

[RELATED: Kerr casts doubt on Curry's March 1 return date for Dubs]

Currently in his 11th NBA season, Curry is a career 47.6-percent shooter from the field and 43.5-percent marksman from 3-point range. He will own every 3-point record by the time his career is over. Arenas, meanwhile, shot 42.1 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from beyond the arc over his 11-year NBA career, never once coming close to Curry's career effective field goal percentage (.581) in any single season.

Seeing Curry disrespected by NBA greats of past and present is nothing new. It's certainly possible that Paul simply forgot to include him, but based on history, that's awfully tough to believe.

Warriors brought in Klay Thompson's friend 'off the street' to scrimmage

Warriors brought in Klay Thompson's friend 'off the street' to scrimmage

Warriors superstar Steph Curry scrimmaged Wednesday for the second time as he continues to inch closer to returning to game action after breaking his left hand back on Oct. 30.

Golden State doesn't have many healthy bodies right now, so the team had to get creative to field 5-on-5 action.

"It was a ragtag group," coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "Theo Robertson was probably the highlight for me. He looked good. One of Klay's buddies came in off the street basically.

"Dragan (Bender) played, Juan (Toscano-Anderson) played -- so that was good.

"It wasn't the highest level pickup ball I've ever seen."

Robertson -- a Warriors player development coach who works closely with Eric Paschall -- played at Cal from 2005 to 2010. Over his junior and senior seasons combined, he averaged 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting better than 49 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep.

The Bears won the regular-season conference championship his last year in Berkeley, and he was named the team's MVP.

As for "one of Klay's buddies" -- his name is Seth Tarver, and he is very close friends with Klay's brother, Mychel.

Tarver -- who serves as a Director for the Thompson Family Foundation -- played at Oregon State from 2006 to 2010, and he was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

[RELATED: Kerr casts doubt on Curry's March 1 return date for Dubs]

Golden State player development coach Luke Loucks -- who played his college ball at Florida State -- also suited up for the scrimmage. 

As a senior in 2012, he started all 35 games for a Seminoles squad that earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Have a great rest of your day.

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