Kevin Durant helps Warriors bounce back, beat Pelicans 122-114
NEW ORLEANS (AP) Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Klay Thompson added 28 and the Golden State Warriors bounced back emphatically from a surprising season-opening loss to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 122-114 on Friday night.
After scoring only six points on five shot attempts in the first half, Stephen Curry asserted himself more with an array of inside and deep shots to finish with 23 points, including a momentum-swinging 8-0 run by himself in the third quarter. Durant also had 17 rebounds.
Anthony Davis, who scored 50 points in New Orleans’ season-opening loss, finished with 45 points and 17 rebounds against Golden State, but the Pelicans struggled to trim their deficit below double digits for much of the final quarter.
Tim Frazier scored a career-high 21 points and added 10 assists for New Orleans. Lance Stephenson and Dante Cunningham each scored 15 points.
Golden State, the two-time defending Western Conference champions, dropped their season opener at home in stunning fashion, 129-100 to San Antonio. The Warriors made far easier work of the depleted Pelicans, leading by as many as 16 points and trailing for less than a minute in the second half, and by only one point in the third quarter.
The Pelicans trailed by 12 after Draymond Green’s 3 early in the third quarter, but chipped away and briefly took the lead at 74-73 when Frazier his a driving layup that gave him 11 points in the period.
The Warriors seized momentum right back, however, when Curry scored the next eight points on a deep 3, a pair of free throws and a driving layup as he was fouled. Curry added another 3 from 30 feet a few possessions later, and wound up with 13 points in the third quarter, which ended with Golden State leading 92-81 after Andre Iguodala’s dunk.
New Orleans got as close as 116-110 on Davis short basket with about a minute left, and had the ball with a chance to pull closer, but Durant blocked Davis’ jumper and raced the other way for a break-away layup to put it away.
Warriors: Durant was called for a technical foul for shoving Stephenson to the floor after the highly animated Stephenson had fouled him. ... Durant has scored at least 20 points in 66 consecutive regular season games, the longest such streak since Michael Jordan’s 69 straight in 1990-91. ... The Warriors started cold from deep, hitting only one of their first seven 3-point attempts, but still led by 11 at that point. ... Patrick McCaw, who hit his only shot from 3-point range, sprained his left ankle in the first half and did not return. ... Green and Zaza Pachulia each grabbed 11 rebounds. Pachulia scored 10 points.
Pelicans: Davis is the first Pelicans player (dating back to the NBA’s return to New Orleans as the Hornets in 2002) to score 40 or more in consecutive games. ... New Orleans missed 10 of its first 12 3s and shot only 38.8 percent (19 of 49) overall in the first half, after which they trailed 59-50. ... Sixth overall draft choice Buddy Hield played 17 minutes and once again had a quiet game offensively, hitting 1 of 6 shots for two points. He also let a pass slip through his hands and out of bounds when he was wide open under the basket.
Warriors: Visit Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
Pelicans: Visit San Antonio on Saturday night.