OAKLAND — The Warriors fell back into some old habits Wednesday night, and it almost cost them a game.
They snapped out of it in the third quarter, wiping out a 17-point deficit to overtake the New Orleans Pelicans and post a 147-140 victory at Oracle Arena.
With Stephen Curry pouring in a game-high 41 points and Kevin Durant adding 30 points and a team-high 15 rebounds, the Warriors (31-14) extended their winning streak to six games.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Curry’s nightmare turns dreamy: Curry, the man who destroyed Dallas and Denver, was having a completely forgettable night in Oakland, committing two fouls in the first five minutes and struggling to find his shot (12 points, 2-of-7 shooting) in the first half.
That all changed in the third quarter.
In one of those signature solo explosions, Curry poured in 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including 7-of-8 from beyond the arc. It was his fourth 20-point quarter of the season and 25th of his career.
Curry’s 41 points came on 11-of-22 shooting, including 9-of-17 from beyond the arc.
The two-time MVP needed only a few minutes to turn a struggle into a spectacle.
Here comes Draymond: It was a few weeks ago that Draymond Green issued a warning, saying that his wayward 3-point shot was going to start falling and that defenses were going to pay.
The Pelicans now know what he meant.
Green scored 17 points — one off his season high — on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. Moreover, he drained 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. The four makes are double his previous season-high for triples in a game.
Naturally, Green’s contributions didn’t end there. He recorded a game-high 14 assists, and grabbed six rebounds.
For most of this season, opponents didn’t bother guarding Green on the perimeter. There was no need. He was shooting less than 25 percent. Those days may be over. And if they are, it will add a completely new dimension to the offense.
Consistent defense still elusive: As convincing a win as they had Tuesday night in Denver, the defense was not exactly terrific in the early going. The same was true for much of this night.
New Orleans scored 39 points in the opening quarter on 50-percent shooting. Time and again, the Warriors were slow to rotate or simply befuddled by crisp and timely passes.
It was on the strength of superb 3-point shooting (19-of-37, 51.4 percent) that the Pelicans were in the lead for most of the game.
Forward Nikola Mirotic was particularly effective, getting good looks and scoring 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting, 6-of 10 from deep. Seven different Pelicans made at least one triple, with big man Julius Randle going 3-of-3.
The offense has been solid most of the season, but the defense continues to come and go. On a night when they allowed 140 points, a few good minutes were barely enough.
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Warriors-Take-on-Pelicans-Looking-For-Sixth-Straight-Win-504470231.html.