The Golden State Warriors, losers of three straight coming into New Orleans, snapped their losing streak by squeaking out a 102-101 win over the Pelicans. Klay Thompson led the way with 22 points, five rebounds, and a career-high eight assists. Stephen Curry had the near triple-double with 16 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block.
But the most valuable player of the game was undoubtedly 18-year veteran Jermaine O’Neal. In just over 26 minutes, O’Neal had 18 points and eight rebounds, both season highs. Due to the suspension of Andrew Bogut and injury to Andre Iguodala, the Warriors needed a big to step up and anchor the team on both ends of the floor. O’Neal, missing four games and in his first start since Mar. 15, gave the Warriors a much needed boost with not only his defense, but also staying out of foul trouble. With neither Thompson and Curry not shooting the ball particularly well (8-18 and 7-20), O’Neal also gave Golden State a reliable low block post player by dropping in his first seven shots and finishing the night a very efficient 9-for-12.
With Harrison Barnes promoted to the starting lineup during Iguodala’s absence, Draymond Green has been thrust into the role of sixth man. Despite a bad night on the offensive end (2-6 shooting, 2-4 free throws), Green continued to show his dependability on defense. In just under 24 minutes, Green had three steals, three blocks, and a game-high plus-minus of +12.
The Warriors led 57-49 at halftime, but continued their second half struggles in New Orleans. In the third quarter, the Pelicans outscored the Warriors 28 to 19 and played the game until the final shot. Golden State is having trouble executing plays down the stretch – evident by their final two plays being a Thompson fadeaway jumper and an O’Neal post-up in the low block. Unless the Warriors can execute plays down the stretch, they will not continue to win games like this one.
Ryan Anderson led the Pelicans with 21 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Wunderkind Anthony Davis scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Tale of the Tape
- Field Goals: 40-88 (.455)
- 3-pointers: 7-19 (.368)
- Rebounds: 41
- Assists: 25
- Turnovers: 10
- Field Goals: 41-87 (.471)
- 3-pointers: 9-19 (.474)
- Rebounds: 47
- Assists: 22
- Turnovers: 16
Tweet of the Night
Jermaine O’Neal is the rock the Warriors always needed. He’s walking talking experience.
— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) November 27, 2013
What’s on Tap
The Warriors will play the 9-6 Dallas Mavericks on the tail end of a back-to-back. Former Warriors guard Monta Ellis is having one his best seasons scoring 23.5 points per game on .496 shooting.
Tags: Golden State Warriors