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sport / / BANG: Pelicans shoot down Warriors’ hopes of escaping lowest play-in round

o BANG: Pelicans shoot down Warriors’ hopes of escaping lowest play-in roundAllen

BANG: Pelicans shoot down Warriors’ hopes of escaping lowest play-in round


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG:_Pelicans_shoot_down_Warriors’_hopes_of_es
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024 18:56:16 -0700
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 by: Allen - Sun, 14 Apr 2024 01:56 UTC

Pelicans shoot down Warriors’ hopes of escaping lowest play-in round
The Warriors are likely buried in the 9/10 play-in game
>New Orleans Pelicans’ CJ McCollum (3) scores 3 of his 17 first half
points in the second quarter over Golden State Warriors’ Brandin
Podziemski (2), Friday, April 12, 2024, at Chase Center in San
Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: April 12, 2024 at 9:28 p.m. | UPDATED: April 12, 2024 at
10:29 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Earlier this week, the Warriors shot an earth-shattering
63.4% from behind the arc to stun the Lakers.

Now they know how it feels.

Playing with a chance to climb up to the eighth seed in the West, the
Warriors couldn’t slow the Pelicans’ aerial assault. New Orleans shot
20-for-38 (52.6%). CJ McCollum went 8-for-13 from deep, pouring in 28
points. Draymond Green — who recorded the NBA’s first double-double
without a shot attempt — played stout individual defense on Zion
Williamson, but the Pelicans star still finished with 26 points.

“Give them credit: they made some really tough shots,” Steve Kerr said
postgame. “I mean, Trey Murphy III made a couple of 30-footers with a
hand in his face, high-arcing shots. This is the modern NBA. We made 26
3s in LA the other day. They made 20 tonight. If a team gets hot from 3,
it’s really hard to win the game.”

The Pelicans held off a fourth-quarter push from Steph Curry and Golden
State. Curry scored 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, but
committed seven turnovers in the game.

Curry’s flurry came too late in a 114-109 loss. Because the Warriors
(45-36) had to win both of their remaining games for a strong chance to
advance up to eighth place, they’re likely locked into the play-in round
between the ninth and 10th seeded teams.

“It stings a lot,” Klay Thompson said when asked about losing with a
shot at the eighth seed on the line.

It was a night of pandemonium in the Western Conference — both at the
top and bottom. Denver blew a 23-point lead to the last-place Spurs,
falling from first place to third. The Timberwolves survived a scare to
Atlanta, as did the Lakers against a Grizzlies team with 13 inactive

The Lakers’ win exerted pressure on both the Warriors and Kings to win;
all three California teams are vying for the eighth seed.

Golden State came out of the tunnel with life.Draymond Green stonewalled
Zion Williamson inside before tossing an alley-oop off the glass to
Trayce Jackson-Davis. Moments later, Curry found Jackson-Davis for a
dunk over Williamson.

The Warriors opened on a 17-6 run. Both teams were on the second night
of a back-to-back, but the older Warriors, at home, looked like they had
more energy.

But the younger Pelicans had fresh legs — they just needed some time to
heat up. An 11-0 surge in the second quarter turned a double-digit
Warriors lead into a Pelicans edge. When Steve Kerr re-inserted his
starters into the game to quell the Pelicans’ run, things got even worse
for Golden State.

McCollum started raining 3s. Trey Murphy III joined him. Nobody on the
Pelicans could miss, as they put up a 45-point second quarter.

McCollum dropped 15 points in the period, each of which came from behind
the arc. The Pelicans hit 10 of their 13 shots from deep as the Warriors
helped too frequently off Pelicans shooters, particularly in the corners.

“I think that second quarter is really what started that flurry,”
Jackson-Davis said. “They got comfortable. And when teams started
hitting 3s, it’s contagious…It’s hard to come back when teams shoot the
lights out. You can’t let them get comfortable.”

The Pelicans were taking advantage of a Warriors team often backpedaling
on defense, as turnovers prevented them from getting set. Curry, a night
after playing 36 minutes in Portland, committed four turnovers in the
second quarter alone and five in the first half.

“Our turnovers killed us,” Kerr said.

Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado and Murphy blanketed him tightly, but several
mistakes Curry made were unlike him. Kerr has said that an indicator of
Curry being fatigued is his decision-making.

At one point in New Orleans’ second quarter barrage, cameras caught
McCollum jawing with Klay Thompson — “good ol’ basketball banter,”
Thompson said postgame. Golden State’s sharpshooter didn’t have much of
a leg to stand on in the moment, as the Pelicans won the frame by 23,
taking a 62-48 lead into halftime.

Thompson got the next word, though. His 3 in transition capped an 18-9
burst for the Warriors to open the second half. Andrew Wiggins spent
more time guarding McCollum and was aggressive on the offensive end. The
Warriors cut New Orleans’ lead to five and made it a game of runs.

New Orleans had a counter. Triples from Jones, Murphy, McCollum and even
Williamson quelled the Warriors’ momentum.

The Warriors were getting crushed in the 3-point battle and in the
turnover department. But they were tough on the glass, creating extra
opportunities and getting to the free throw line. A Green offensive
rebound created a Chris Paul 3-pointer, inching the Warriors within six
early in the fourth. Then Paul found Thompson for another 3 on the wing.

The Chase Center crowd erupted when Curry checked back in, his team down
92-89 with 7:57 left. Moments later, when Curry nailed a step-back 3
over Williamson, the building got all sorts of ideas.

But Curry committed another turnover, Williamson went into freight train
mode, and Murphy converted a tough 3 of his own. Just like that, New
Orleans pushed its lead back up to nine. Then Jones found himself wide
open in the corner for yet another 3.

Curry drilled another step-back and sandwiched it with two layups. He
certainly didn’t look tired anymore. Thompson stripped Williamson and
Wiggins got to the line to bring the Warriors within three as the clock
ticked under 90 seconds.

The Chase Center crowd rose to its feet. McCollum sat them down right
away with his eighth 3. Curry responded with his seventh. Back and
forth. 112-109.

The Warriors had a chance to tie the game with 20 seconds left, but
Curry rushed a one-handed 3-pointer over two defenders. The Warriors had
the last run, but it wasn’t big enough.

Now, to avoid the 9/10 play-in game, the Warriors need to win their
regular season finale and for both the Kings and Lakers to lose theirs.
In other words: they need a lot of help.

Facing the prospect of a do-or-die game, followed by potentially another
one on the road, then — again, if they’re lucky — the first two games of
a series also away from home, the Warriors are going to prioritize
getting their guys rest. Could they sit some starters in their finale
against the Jazz?

“Oh, hell yeah,” Kerr said.

sport / / BANG: Pelicans shoot down Warriors’ hopes of escaping lowest play-in round


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