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Draymond Green jump-starts Golden State, Curry drops 39, in late comeback against New Orleans, 120-109


PhilBoxing.com




Chase Center, California

The Wild, Wild West(ern) Conference just got more interesting, thanks to Draymond Green’s on-court generalship that sparked Golden State’s late TKO (technical knock-out, in boxing terms) over New Orleans, 120-109, on Tuesday night.

For 2.5 quarters, the Warriors were sluggish, tepid, even sloppy at times against the visiting Pelicans who seemed to have all the answers and capitalized on 14 Golden State turnovers in the first half, much like their prior losing performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves last Sunday.

In the end, however, Steph Curry cooked 39 points, Jordan Poole spiced it up with 21, with both players dropping their 22 and 15 point respective payloads late in the second half, thanks to Draymond Green’s fiery pep-talk all night long highlighted by his brazen and aggressive actions against the Pels, capped by a flagrant foul (1) against Brandon Ingram then later a ‘Technical’ due to his tussle with CJ McCollum, and the Pels.



“Draymond willed us to victory tonight. I mean, just his intensity, his frustration early with the way we were playing, mad at the world yelling at everybody, their bench, our bench, me, and, frankly, we all deserved it,” Coach Kerr said of Draymond Green’s fiery performance and added, ”That first half was as poor a half as we've played all year. We weren't engaged and that's what makes Draymond special. It's not just the amazing basketball I.Q., defense and playmaking, but it's just his sheer will. And he was the key, tonight.”

The Warriors responded to Green’s clarion call to action.

Klay Thompson had 17 points, scoring three-pointers at key moments, Jonathan Kuminga poured in 13 points in spectacular fashion with high-flying dunks, and Donte DiVincenzo likewise scored 13.

The story of the night was Draymond Green who scored 8 points, 6 rebounds and a whopping 13 assists.



In the post game interview, D. Green was beside his daughter who was witness to his father thanking Coach Kerr and his teammates for their trust in him.

“It was perfect, right, perfectly executed,” Green referred to his spicy game tonight.



As a team, the Warriors made 43-of-82 buckets (52.4% FG), sank 18-of-40 treys (45%), had more steals (11 to 6), was less accurate on the foul line (72.7% to 92.9% FT) though they made more free throws (16 to 13), and had lesser points-after-turnovers (18 to 23 points) despite being in parity with 19 turnovers per team. Golden State led by as much as 15 points and finished 11 points ahead.


By contrast, the Pelicans started hot in the first half but capitulated later, thanks to a late surge by the Warriors. NOLA made the night interesting by converting most of the Warriors' misses and mistakes for most of the first three quarters.


NOLA converted 42-of-90 buckets (46.7% FG), sank 12-of-27 treys (44.4% 3-PT). NOLA had more fast breaks (23 to 12 points), cashed in more points-after-turnovers (23 to 28 points), scored more in the paint (50 to 46), and led by as much as 20 points in a valiant but losing effort against the reigning and defending NBA 2021-22 season champions.


Brandon Ingram led the visiting Pels with 26 points, followed by T. Murphy III with 21, CJ McCollum 15, H. Jones 13, J. Valanciunas 11. From the bench, L. Nance, Jr. chipped in 8, as did N. Marshall for 6, J. Richards 7, and D. Daniels 2 points, respectively.

It was an evenly matched game with both teams statistically tied in blocks (4 each), fouls (18 each), total rebounds (41 apiece), and flagrant fouls (1 per team), and basically even with assists (30 for the Pels and the Warriors with 32).

Of interest, The Pelicans are currently coached by Willie Green who was once with the Warriors. Jarron Collins, also formerly with the Warriors staff, serves as the assistant coach for the Pels.



Golden State improved their record to 40-37 and occupy the #6 spot (the last play-off slot) in the tightly-contested Western Conference.

New Orleans dropped to 0.500 for the season at 38-38 and slid to #8 in the West but is still well within the Play-in tournament along with Minnesota, LA Lakers and OKC.

Tonight marked the Warriors’ 469th consecutive sellout (regular season and playoffs), the longest-such streak in franchise history.

Upcoming:

The Warriors host the Spurs on Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m. PDT.

The Pelicans visit Denver Nuggets on Thursday, March 30, 9 p.m. CDT.

Note of Appreciation:

The collage photos, statistics and video link in this article are courtesy of the NBA and brought to you by PhilBoxing.com.

Post-game photos of Steve Kerr, Draymond Green with his daughter are by this aspiring writer.

Special thanks to Messrs. Raymond Ridder, Brett Winkler, Cole Lawrence, Darryl Arata, and the Warriors staff for their hospitality, kind assistance and statistics.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.


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