Surprisingly, the frail but unpredictable New Orleans Pelicans overcame the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors with a 103-100 win that pushed the team into the eighth position in the Western Conference on Tuesday night.
And power forward Anthony Davis contributed a great deal to the success with his 23 of 29 points after the first half, a pair of free throws with only nine minutes of the game left, and 10 rebounds.
Davis said that the Pelicans considered themselves an elite team that could play against anybody and win on any given night as long as they played the right way.
But what happened Tuesday night may be a preview on the first round NBA playoff. We’ll just have to wait and see in a week. Yet last night’s game offered New Orleans an unprecedented kick start in the final five games. The first team to learn whether that is the case will be Memphis on Wednesday.
Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said before the game that the team was going to compete and play although the scheduling was quite awkward for both teams. Yet, the coach worries that his players may be affected by “pre-playoff complacency.”
Coach Kerr acknowledged that it is human nature to let down a little bit when you don’t have a “tangible goal” to reach. And that was the case with his team not only the other night but in the previous two games as well. He was referring to Dallas where the Warriors won the game although they didn’t play particularly well against Phoenix.
Kerr disclosed that he was most interested in boosting the team’s level of play as it gets closer to the playoffs.
But for some obscure reasons, the Warriors had a hard time to compete against the Pelicans Tuesday and handed New Orleans in an unexpected win. New Orleans were over thrilled with the achievement, which may be their biggest victory of the year.
Before the game, Monty Williams said that coming up with a win against the best team in the NBA would be huge and mean a lot to the team.
Although in the first half the Pelicans lagged behind Golden State, they quickly rallied in the second half with 60 points. Davis led the team with his 29 points, four blocks and ten rebounds.
But Davis was not in a tranquil state of mind when the game started as an unidentified Warriors player said that the game would be an easy win and more like a scrimmage game. Davis declined to disclose who that player was but said that the team took it personally as it did with many of their games.
“We’re a much better team than a lot of people give is credit for,”
So, the New Orleans Pelicans had the last laugh on Tuesday night with a win that set the Warriors in a series of back-to-back loses in months. The Warriors were also defeated by the Spurs 107-92 on Sunday. So, indeed couch Kerr may be right – they may have lost momentum.
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