Jonas Valanciunas scores 21 points as Pelicans take early lead and beat Warriors 141-105

Wed, Jan 10, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Jonas Valanciunas scores 21 points as Pelicans take early lead and beat Warriors 141-105

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points. nine rebounds and a pair of steals, helping the New Orleans Pelicans jump to a big lead on the way to beating the Golden State Warriors 141-105 on Wednesday night.

Stephen Curry had 15 points and six assists for Golden State coming off a game in which he shot 2 for 14 and missed all nine of his 3-point tries to score nine points - after he'd gone for 25 points or more in the previous four games.

Zion Williamson started for the Pelicans and contributed 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds playing 30 minutes after he began the day questionable because of a bruised right quadriceps.

The Pelicans, coached by former Warriors assistant Willie Green, won for the sixth time in seven games and in impressive fashion coming off a 133-100 victory at Sacramento on Sunday.

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Moses Moody came off the bench to score 21 points for the struggling Warriors while Klay Thompson finished with 13. Draymond Green's return following a 12-game league suspension can't come soon enough to energize the 2022 champions.

Golden State fell way behind early for a second straight game and was forced to try to play catch up once more after a 133-118 loss to Toronto on Sunday. Coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday that Golden State needed to play with a greater sense of urgency, which he noted it didn't show in the loss to Toronto.

"We got booed off the floor. We deserved it," he said.

And it happened again Wednesday, with a start equally or perhaps more disheartening for frustrated fans after the Warriors allowed a season-high 46 points in the first quarter and trailed by 25 points midway through the second, 58-33. They got to 73-60 at halftime, then each time Golden State threatened the Pelicans regularly had an answer on the other end.

Many in attendance made their way for the exits during the fourth quarter of the nationally televised game.

New Orleans made six of its first eight shots to quickly go ahead 17-6 - getting six points apiece from Valanciunas and Herb Jones. The Pelicans led 46-27 after the first quarter thanks to nine 3-pointers.

Trayce Jackson-Davis added 19 points for Golden State, concluding a stretch with 11 of 13 games and a season-high seven straight at home.

Veteran guard Chris Paul underwent surgery Monday for a fracture in his left pointer finger and won't travel with the team during its upcoming trip. He's scheduled to be re-evaluated three weeks post-op.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: At Denver on Friday night.

Warriors: At Chicago on Friday night to begin a four-game trip.

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