BY FRANK SUMRALL
Back at Oracle Arena after a brief but explosive sweep of a three-game road trip back east, the Warriors returned to the friendly confines with a 131-121 win over the New Orleans Pelicans to improve their winning streak to six Wednesday night.
Steph Curry kept his league leading scoring pace alive with 37 points, including 16 in the third quarter. Curry ends October leading the league with 33 points a game, and chipped in an additional nine assists and three steals. It was his sixth 30-point outing to begin the season, helping the Warriors improve to 8-1.
Draymond Green had his best all-around game of the season with a near triple double performance. he scored 16 points on just 10 shots along with 15 rebounds, eight assists and a number of stellar defensive plays. Green also riled up the costume-wearing fans of Oracle numerous times after recording charges, blocks, steals and multiple stops in the paint.
New Orleans (4-3) was Golden State’s first opponent with a winning record since playing Denver in just their third game of the season. The Pelicans opened the year 4-0, but are in the midst of a three game losing streak.
Curry hit a contested, off-balance three to put the Warriors up 110-95 early in the fourth quarter, helping them maintain a double digit lead for most of the rest of the contest.
The lead soon ballooned to 17 in the fourth, but the Pelicans rattled off a quick 7-0 run cutting it to 10 after gaining momentum on a missed charge call on Green. After a Kerr timeout, New Orleans turned the ball over three times on the next five possessions cementing the Warriors lead for the rest of the night.
Anthony Davis returned in the lineup for the Pelicans after missing two games with an elbow injury. Both Green and Damian Jones foiled Davis offensive game, holding him to 17 points on just six of 16 attempts. Eight of his points came in the fourth after they fell behind by double digits. Davis passive play often left him not looking for his own shot but setting up teammates, posting seven assists to go along with 12 rebounds. He came in averaging 27.3 points per game.
The game started with both teams matching baskets as New Orleans took a 21-17 lead. With Green and Damian Jones obtaining two early fouls in the first quarter, the Pelicans abused Golden State’s porous interior defense with Jrue Holiday slashing inside for layups or finding Nikola Mirotic inside for quick buckets. Holiday had seven of his team’s first 14 points while Mirotic scored six early inside the paint.
Jonas Jerebko, often subbing in for Green, logged his fourth double digit scoring game off the bench. He hit a three to give the Warriors a 26-24 lead before hitting another one moments later to extend the lead to 34-29. Golden State ended the first quarter up 43-37.
After a back and forth second quarter that saw the Warriors up 70-63 at halftime, the Warriors took control of the game with another dominating third quarter effort led by Curry’s 16 points. By the end of the third Golden State had stretched their lead to 107-92.
Kevin Durant scored 24 points with eight assists, the seventh time in nine games he’s contributed six or more assists. The Warriors finished with a season high 39 assists.
Klay Thompson, coming off his NBA record setting 14 three-point baskets against the Bulls on Monday, continued his hot shooting at the start of the game after scoring 52 in Chicago. He made six of his first eight shots but only made one 3-pointer, finishing with 18 for the game.
Jrue Holiday paced the Pelicans with 28 points and eight assists while Nikola Mirotic chipped in a 26 point-12 rebound effort.
The Warriors next host the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-4) Friday night at Oracle.
Before tip-off, the Warriors honored the late San Francisco Giant Hall of Famer Willie McCovey with a moment of silence. He passed away just hours before the game at the age of 80.
“Hearing Vin Scully talk about Willie McCovey and the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, obviously I’m well aware of how bellowed Willie was here in the Bay Area and in the Giants family,” Steve Kerr said addressing McCovey’s death before the game. “For me, Willie McCovey represents a major figure from my childhood.”
After wearing a yellow headband following receiving a gash on his forehead Monday night that made him look eerily familiar to Will Ferrell’s character Jackie Moon in the movie “Semi-Pro,” Thompson embraced the comparisons by choosing the look as his Halloween costume walking into the arena.
Demarcus Cousins, who continues to sit out due to an Achilles’ injury he suffered last season, saw his old team for the first time. After spending a year and a half in New Orleans after being traded by Sacramento, he left in free agency to sign with Golden State for a massive discount.
Alvin Gentry, the former Warrior assistant coach during their 2015 championship season, faced his old team for the first time since the Pelicans lost to them in five games in the second round of last years playoffs.
With the Warriors’ bench chipping in 30 points, Golden State continues to score at least 120 points a game during their six game win streak.
The Warriors have now won 28 of their last 31 games with the Pelicans (including the playoffs).