After hitting yet another deep three-pointer Wednesday night, Stephen Curry shook his head and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, “What are you going to do about it?”
The Pelicans, like so many teams before, looked vexed. In an eight-minute span in that third quarter, with the Warriors trailing by as many as 16, Curry had just drilled seven threes — many several feet behind the arc — to help the Warriors get back within striking distance.
Never mind that he was less than 24 hours removed from an energy-draining rout of the Nuggets at altitude. Thanks largely to another of Curry’s signature scoring binges, Golden State overcame shaky defense to escape Oracle Arena with a 147-140 win over New Orleans.
Curry poured in 23 of his game-high 41 points in the third quarter for his fourth 20-point period of the season. Of his 11 field goals, nine were three-pointers. That made Curry the first player in NBA history to hit at least eight threes in three straight games.
With Curry weaving by defenders and nailing 30-footers over outstretched arms, the Warriors — in an understandable daze much of the night after Tuesday’s 31-point win in Denver — got a much-needed jolt. After falling behind 96-80 midway through the third, Golden State spread the floor and maintained constant motion, closing the period on a 30-13 run to seize a 110-109 lead.
Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle
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The exclamation point came when Andre Iguodala drove through the key and, while drawing contact, lofted in a high-arching layup as the third-quarter buzzer sounded. As Iguodala fell to the baseline, Kevin Durant stood over him, screaming in glee as a capacity crowd of 19,596 roared.
The Pelicans led as late as the 5:08 mark of the fourth quarter, only for the Warriors to unleash a quick 11-2 blitz and pave the way for Curry to receive “M-V-P!” chants as he stepped to the foul line in the waning seconds. In its final outing before four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins’ scheduled return from a torn left Achilles tendon Friday against the Clippers, Golden State had stormed back from a 17-point, second quarter deficit, pushing its winning streak to six games.
A night after hanging 142 points on the Nuggets, the Warriors rang up 147 on 48 percent (49-for-102) shooting from the field, 49 percent (24-for-49) from three-point range and 80.6 percent (25-for-31) from the foul line. Golden State, which birthed the NBA’s three-point revolution, has now made at least 18 three-pointers in a franchise-best four consecutive games.
It tallied 33 assists to only 10 turnovers Wednesday. Though Curry shepherded the way, Durant (30 points, 15 rebounds), Klay Thompson (19 points, seven rebounds) and Draymond Green (17 points, 14 assists) were worthy complements. Iguodala, 34, and 33-year-old Shaun Livingston, who threw down a one-handed dunk in the second quarter, each chipped in 13 points off the bench.
It was all a scary sight for the rest of the league. After looking surprisingly mortal for the first two-plus months of the season, Golden State is exhibiting textbook teamwork and following the lead of Curry and Durant, who are in as sync as they’ve ever been.
And that is without Cousins.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-rally-from-big-third-quarter-deficit-to-13540289.php.