When the Golden State Warriors dynasty started a decade ago, it was built on the motto of ‘Strength in Numbers’. After a year in which that fell by the wayside, the franchise’s roster depth has been a rediscovered strength to begin this season.
That was on full display against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, even if Stephen Curry’s 42 points was the undoubted highlight yet again. On the second night of a back-to-back and playing without Klay Thompson and Jonathan Kuminga, the Warrior younger plays were called upon and answered the call in exquisite fashion.
The Golden State Warriors dismantled the New Orleans Pelicans in the second-half to record a 130-102 victory and move to 3-1 on the season.
After scoring 14 points in the final period against the Houston Rockets on Sunday, Curry remained scorching hot with 16 first-quarter points. It was a back-and-forth first-half, with the two-time MVP and Zion Williamson causing havoc for each team. Golden State led by eight late in the second-quarter, before conceding an 8-2 run in the final minute to go in with a 59-57 advantage.
Third-quarters had been a staple of two of the Warriors first three games, and they created an unassailable lead with Curry’s brilliance again supported by a Chris Paul-led second unit that capped the period with a 13-1 run.
Golden State continued their momentum in the fourth, with Curry returning to put the finishing touches on another 40-piece after his 41 against the Sacramento Kings on Friday. Rookies Trayce Jackson-Davis and Brandin Podziemski continued their strong impression as the Pelicans had no answer playing without star forward Brandon Ingram.
Curry’s 42 points came on an incredibly efficient 15-22 shooting and 7-13 from three-point range, while he also added five rebounds, five assists and two steals in another dynamic performance from the franchise star.
Paul’s second game off the bench was near perfect, with the 38-year-old recording a season-high 13 points on 6-10 shooting to go with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Following his +22 outing against the Rockets, the 12-time All-Star was again a +17 in the dominant victory. Moses Moody started in the absence of Thompson, posting 13 points, three rebounds and four assists on 5-8 shooting in 21 minutes.
One of the big storylines will be that of the Warrior rookies, with both looking more than comfortable in their first extended minutes for the franchise. Jackson-Davis had his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but it was his four blocks that may have shone most in under 20 minutes of action. Making his NBA debut, Podziemski was a crafty facilitator and continued presence on the glass, finishing with five points, eight rebounds and two assists in just under 23 minutes.
After preseason concerns regarding their defense, Golden State continues to impress in keeping New Orleans to just 40.9% shooting from the floor and 25.6% from three-point range. They also recorded a staggering 64-39 rebounding advantage, including a 21-14 differential in offensive boards.
The Warriors road woes from last season appear well and truly behind them, completing a 3-0 road-trip after a first-up loss to the Phoenix Suns on opening night. The team will now return home for another meeting with the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, before heading off for another four-game slate away from Chase Center.