It’s been tough sledding for the Golden State Warriors their past four games, where they have gone 1-3, with all four games decided by four points or less.
Tonight, for the first time in a while, they were able to beat their opponent handily and play like they did at the beginning of the season, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 103-94 at Oracle Arena.
It was a game that seemed unfamiliar to the Warriors (14-12), as they started out strong and held a lead after the first quarter. Led by Stephen Curry, who finished with 28 points in the game, they staked out a 57-39 lead at halftime, closing the second quarter on a 12-6 run.
The lead ballooned to 26 in the third quarter, as the starters played well and took advantage of an offensive drought by the Pelicans (11-12).
Tale of the Tape
- Field Goals: 45.1% (41-91)
- 3-Pointers: 25% (5-20)
- Rebounds: 58
- Assists: 25
- Turnovers: 12
- Field Goals: 37.5% (33-88)
- 3-Pointers: 27.8% (5-18)
- Rebounds: 44
- Assists: 22
- Turnovers: 10
The Return of Iguodala
Not only did the Warriors get the win, but they also welcomed back Andre Iguodala to the lineup after being out since Nov. 22 with a hamstring strain. Iguodala had just two points (1-of-4 shooting) and two assists in 17 minutes, but did not encounter any physical difficulties and obviously was not pushing it 100 percent.
- Klay Thompson still appears to be struggling to find his stroke. He was 1-of-4 in three-points attempts and finished with 16 points.
- Marreese Speights has become the Warriors top bench player not named Harrison Barnes. Speights had 12 points in 18 minutes and provided the spark that the Warriors needed. With the injury to Jermaine O’Neal, the Warriors are counting on Speights to step up.
- However, the bench as a whole continues to struggle. With the Warriors up 88-65 to begin the fourth quarter, head coach Mark Jackson took out his starters. The Pelicans responded by starting the quarter on a 15-5 run to trim the lead to 13, forcing the Warriors’ starters to come back in. This is when you worry about the main guys being overtaxed, and of course, there’s always the possibility of an injury. The Warriors need to find a way to close out blowout games without needing their starters to play the majority of the fourth quarter.
Good to Know
Dubs with 54 rebs, giving them their fifth straight gm with 50-plus rebs, tying their longest streak since stringing five in 1989 (3/2-3/9)
— GSWStats (@gswstats) December 18, 2013
What’s on Tap
The Warriors will take on the Spurs on Thursday at home in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Semifinals.