Warriors beat Pelicans 97-87 to take 2-0 series lead

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU-AP) -- Klay Thompson scored 26 points, Stephen Curry had 22 points and six assists and the Golden State Warriors regrouped from an early deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 97-87 on Monday night and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

The top-seeded Warriors fell behind by 13 points in the first quarter after a strong start by Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon quieted an announced sellout crowd of 19,596 wearing golden yellow shirts. But a big burst before halftime pushed the Warriors ahead, and they did just enough in the closing moments to put away the pesky Pelicans.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in New Orleans.

Davis had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gordon scored 23 points for the Pelicans who played with more poise and passion against than they did in the series opener.

In the end, the Warriors were just better when it mattered most.

Draymond Green's alley-oop pass to Andre Iguodala highlighted a 10-2 run for the Warriors to start the fourth quarter. That put them ahead 81-73 with 9 minutes to play.

Davis pulled the Pelicans within one before Green and center Andrew Bogut — Golden State's defensive stoppers — propelled the Warriors to another late spurt. Thompson converted a running bank shot over Gordon to start a three-point play, and Bogut followed with a two-handed slam to give Golden State a 97-86 lead with 1:02 left.

The Warriors have won 20 straight games and 41 of 43 at home this season. Their last loss at Oracle Arena came against Chicago in overtime on Jan. 27.

New Orleans shook of all those marks — and all the pregame chatter — to nearly pull off a playoff surprise.

Pelicans coach Monty Williams riled up the Warriors' vocal fan base before the morning shootaround, saying the decibel level at Oracle Arena might not be legal. Williams later said he meant it more as a compliment and didn't mean to suggest the Warriors were breaking any rules.

Fans seemed to pounce on Williams' words. Chants of "War-ri-ors!" drowned out the Pelicans during pregame introductions, but they figured out a way to control the crowd: get off to a fast start.

New Orleans made five of its first six shots and got big contributions from Gordon and Davis to go ahead 28-17 after the first quarter. Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa (12 points) brought the Warriors back in the second quarter, though Pelicans reserve Norris Cole countered with some big shots of his own.

Of course, the Pelicans struggled to corral Curry and Thompson in the key moments. They helped the Warriors outscore New Orleans 38-24 in the second quarter, with Curry capping the run with a deep 3-pointer to give Golden State a 55-52 halftime lead.

The Warriors went up by nine early in the third quarter but struggled to pull away more. The teams were tied 71-all entering the fourth quarter.



Cole played heavier minutes at backup point guard in place of Jrue Holiday, who sat out with soreness in his lower right leg. He helped spell starter Tyreke Evans, who played with a bone bruise in his left knee. Evans had 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Cole had 11 points in 28 minutes.


Pelicans: New Orleans is 1-5 against Golden State this season. ... New Orleans has lost its last four playoff games going back to 2011. ... Center Omer Asik went to the locker room in the second quarter with a neck laceration but returned for the start of the third.

Warriors: The last time Golden State took a 2-0 lead in a playoff series was in the first round against Utah in 1989, when the Warriors swept the three-game series.


Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, a former minority investor with the Warriors, sat on a baseline seat wearing a purple Kings shirt. ... Rapper "E-40" was in attendance wearing a blue Warriors shirt and a thick gold chain.