NBA: Fresh off first road victory, Warriors face Pelicans
The Golden State Warriors finally won a road game.
Now they’ll try to make in two in a row when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
The defending NBA champion Warriors lost their first eight road games of the season before they defeated the host Houston Rockets 127-120 on Sunday night. Klay Thompson scored a season-high 41 points and Stephen Curry added 33 for Golden State.
“It didn’t sit well with us, our 0-8 record,” Curry said. “We had to scratch and claw to get this one, so to get that monkey off your back and feel good about yourselves (away from home), it matters.”
Thompson made 14 of 23 field-goal attempts, including 10 of 13 3-pointers. Curry finished 11 of 20 from the field, including 7 of 14 from long distance. He added a season-high 15 assists, one less than his career high.
“It feels amazing,” Thompson said of his breakout performance. “I’m hard on myself, so I’ve been wanting one of these. It felt great for me to just let that thing fly. And to get one and kind of open the floodgates, it’s only up from here. It’s something for me to build on.
“I finally feel like myself. My legs feel great. I’m cutting to the rim, taking great shots, and I’m just excited for what’s to come. That felt amazing. I don’t care if it’s a mid-November game. That felt great.”
On Monday night, the Warriors likely will face Zion Williamson, who said he expects to be back in the lineup.
The Pelicans’ leading scorer, who is averaging 23.5 points a game, has missed the past three games because of a bruised foot. New Orleans won the first two games without him before losing to the visiting Boston Celtics 117-109 on Friday night.
Trey Murphy III, who had started in Williamson’s place and made 8 of 12 3-pointers combined in wins against Memphis and Chicago, suffered a bruised foot of his own against the Celtics and is day to day.
The Celtics made 10 3-pointers in building a 40-25 lead at the end of the first quarter. They made just 10 more from beyond the arc the rest of the way but never relinquished the lead.
“That first quarter knocked us on our heels right away,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “That’s an area we can improve on. It was an uphill battle from there. … There are some things that we can learn from playing against a championship caliber team like Boston.”
The Pelicans are moving on from the NBA runners-up to the NBA champions.
“We don’t need to be an elite team right away,” Green said. “We need to become elite, and in order to do that you just continue to build on the foundation, continue to build on the simple things — making the right plays, being disciplined on defense, contesting shots and over and over again.”
One of Golden State’s road losses came against the Pelicans — 114-105 on Nov. 4.
The Warriors played without Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins because of injury maintenance.
–Field Level Media