OAKLAND -- The New Orleans Pelicans strolled into Oracle Arena with their undefeated lineup Wednesday and the Warriors answered the challenge.
Returning home after winning three road games against sub-mediocre teams, the defending champions held off the Pelicans 131-121 behind a combined 79 points from Stephen Curry (37), Kevin Durant (24) and Klay Thompson (18).
Draymond Green finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ sixth consecutive victory:
They did a masterful job on the MVP candidate: New Orleans star forward Anthony Davis is one of the five best players in the NBA. He didn’t look like it on this night.
Davis played 41 minutes and finished with 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field. The most fearsome scorer on the Pelicans was rendered relatively harmless.
Davis over the course of the evening saw a steady procession of defenders, no fewer than six: Damian Jones, Jordan Bell, Jonas Jerebko, Green, Durant and Thompson. It was evident that Davis never really got comfortable.
Maybe he’s still bothered by the right elbow strain that caused him to miss the two previous games, or maybe the short layoff disrupted his timing.
Just as likely, though, he was bothered by a defense that never got tired. This was an excellent example of a team using its depth to contain a star player.
No end in sight to Curry’s dazzling run: At some point, Curry will cool off. Will it be this year?
Curry entered the game shooting 51.6 percent beyond the arc and those numbers went up to 52.9 after a 7-of-11 performance against the Pelicans.
Curry finished with 37 points on 12-of-20 shooting overall, as well as 6-of-7 from the line. He had the audacity to add nine assists, leading the Warriors in that category.
Curry is now 55-of-104 beyond the arc this season. Only twice in nine games has he shot below 54 percent from deep. This is beyond phenomenal. This cannot continue.
Meanwhile, the Warriors (8-1) are taking full advantage.
Putting on a show doesn’t always pay: After back-to-back games in which they minimized turnovers, the Warriors committed 17 against the Pelicans.
And many of them were unforced.
On no fewer than seven occasions did the Warriors eschew the simple pass to attempt the highlight-reel play. The result was a flock of Pelicans going the other way for an easy bucket.
That’s how the Pelicans stayed close for most of the night. They scored 18 of their 63 first-half points off 11 Warriors turnovers. The 24 points allowed off turnovers is a season-high total for the Warriors.
They’ll go back to basics next time they see the Pelicans.