Warriors, Pelicans sq. off in essential back-to-back By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: NBA: Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors


The Golden State Warriors have a cushion.

The New Orleans Pelicans do not.

The Warriors (32-32) are in place to qualify for the Western Convention play-in match. The Pelicans (29-35) are three video games behind the Warriors.

However these groups will meet within the first recreation of a back-to-back on Monday evening in New Orleans. They’re going to additionally meet Might 14 in San Francisco, with the winner of two or extra of those video games claiming the tie-breaker edge.

“It helps lots that our future is in our palms,” mentioned Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (NYSE:), who had a career-high 33 factors and matched his profession better of eight 3-pointers in a 140-136 time beyond regulation win at Minnesota on Saturday. “We do not actually have to fret about anyone else. All of it is determined by us.

“Now we have three video games in opposition to (Golden State). It is not going to be simple in any respect. We all know it is a powerful process. Nevertheless it’s doable. And that is all we are able to ask for — an opportunity.”

The Pelicans have been in peril of dropping management of their destiny after they fell behind the Timberwolves by 10 factors halfway via the fourth quarter. However Zion Williamson led a 16-6 closing surge to power time beyond regulation, then scored seven of his 27 factors within the further interval.

“This workforce has by no means stop on something,” Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy mentioned.

Although the comeback enabled New Orleans to keep up management of its play-in destiny, the Pelicans have nearly no margin for error with eight video games remaining.

After the back-to-back video games in opposition to the Warriors concludes Tuesday, New Orleans embarks on a five-game street journey earlier than returning house for the regular-season finale in opposition to the Lakers.

“I like that our destiny will not be in anyone else’s palms,” Williamson mentioned. “It is on us to go on the market and get the win. You’ll be able to’t ask for something higher than that, within the scenario we’re at the moment in.”

Golden State is jockeying with the Spurs for the ultimate two play-in spots and ending off the Pelicans would allow the Warriors to deal with seeding somewhat than simply qualifying.

They trailed by six factors at halftime in Houston on Saturday, however Steph Curry scored 15 factors throughout a 24-0 third-quarter run that despatched Golden State on its technique to a simple 113-87 victory.

“The primary half, we simply could not get something going,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr mentioned. “Clearly, we thrive on Steph so when he could not hit photographs early, we have been sort of caught within the mud. However within the second half, as soon as he made a few photographs, our vitality picked up, our physique language was higher, and we have been in a position to take management.”

Curry, who shot 2-of-12 within the first half, had 23 of his 30 factors within the third quarter because the Warriors outscored Houston 39-12.

“One of the outstanding issues about Steph is that he might be within the midst of what seems like his worst recreation of your entire season, after which simply explode,” Kerr mentioned.

Curry has scored 30-plus factors in 15 of his final 17 video games.

“There was a bit cloud hanging over us (after the primary half),” Curry mentioned. “We did not play horrible within the first half, however we simply did not make any photographs. We would have liked some pleasure, some vitality, some good vibes and smiles.”

–Subject Stage Media

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