Golden State Warriors Beat The New Orleans Pelicans In Game With Dave Chappelle Cheering Them On

Posted on April 25, 2015

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The Golden State Warriors grabbed a 2-0 series lead over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night in Oracle Arena with a 97-87 win.

According to NBA TV, it’s the 20th home victory in a row for Golden State:

Klay Thompson finished as the Warriors’ leading scorer with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting, while Stephen Curry was four point behind scoring 22 points and six assists

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The transition game was one of the deciding factors in the outcome, as Golden State outscored New Orleans 24-7 on the fast break. When Curry and Thompson are on the break and in space, they’re nearly unstoppable.

Anthony Davis posted a double-double (26 points, 10 rebounds), but he was almost nonexistent in the fourth quarter. Eric Gordon was also pivotal in the Pelicans’ upset bid, but his 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting couldn’t quite get the job done.

Pelicans coach Monty Williams didn’t exactly help his team before the game when he commented about the crowd noise inside Oracle Arena.

“I’m not so sure the decibel level is legal, and I’m serious,” said Williams after Game 1, perESPN.com’s Tom Haberstroh. “They’ve done studies on that. For the competition committee, there’s got to be something to that. It does get a little out of hand. Their fans, I’ve talked about it for years, they have some of the best fans in the league.”

Erik Malinowski noted that the fans in Oracle Arena decided to only make things worse for Williams and the Pelicans in Game 2:

New Orleans was clearly unaffected by the crowd early on. The Pelicans owned a 28-17 lead after the first quarter.

Davis carried over his strong play from Game 1, scoring 10 points in the opening frame. The explosive start didn’t come as much of a surprise after the 22-year-old scored 35 points in a losing effort Saturday. The bigger shock came from Gordon, who had 11 points of his own in the first quarter.

This was certainly a far cry from New Orleans’ offensive output from Game 1, in which thePels scored just 13 first-quarter points.

The universe righted itself in the second quarter, though. According to Haberstroh, Golden State scored 14 points on its first six second-quarter possessions. The Warriors found their offensive groove and outscored the Pelicans 38-24 to grab a 55-52 halftime lead.

As good as New Orleans was defensively, it was powerless to stop this kind of ball movement, per NBA on TNT.

ESPN Stats & Info also illustrated the difference in the Warriors’ play between the first and second quarters:

Although the momentum swung firmly Golden State’s way going into halftime, the Pelicans came out for the third quarter with a renewed defensive fire. They held the Warriors to just 16 points in the period, and a layup from Davis with 39 seconds left until the fourth tied the game at 71-71.

ESPN.com’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss felt New Orleans was doing an especially good job of limiting Curry’s effectiveness as a playmaker:

The Pelicans weren’t exactly known for their defense during the regular season. According toNBA.com, they finished 22nd in defensive rating (104.7). CBS Sports’ Zach Harper joked that it was all a part of Williams’ plan:

New Orleans didn’t fade away in the fourth, constantly threatening to take the lead. Time and again, though, the Warriors would get a stop on the defensive end and then follow it up with a big shot or two to knock New Orleans back a peg.

The Pels shot 4-of-16 to close out the game, as Draymond Green neutralized Davis inside. Gordon also cooled off at the worst time, missing a couple of critical shots that could’ve changed the complexion of the game.

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ESPN Stats & Info provided the gory second-half numbers for New Orleans:

Grantland’s Bill Simmons felt that Green’s performance will be worth millions of dollars when he becomes a free agent this summer:

Although New Orleans will be disappointed that it got so close to knocking off the top seed and wrestling away home-court advantage, the Pelicans can’t get too down after their Game 2 loss. As SB Nation’s Tom Ziller argued, Oracle Arena is an almost impossible venue to win in on the road:

The series now shifts to the Smoothie King Center for Game 3 this Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Game 3 is as much of a must-win situation New Orleans can have without the threat of elimination. If the Pelicans go down 3-0 to the Warriors, then this series is almost certainly over. Meanwhile, clawing back to make it 2-1 could give Williams and his team enough confidence to seriously make a run at Golden State.

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STEPHEN CURRY

KLAY THOMPSON

 

Q.Klay, your fourth quarter, was that just in the realm of the offense?  It seemed like you seemed to see something you could do off the bounce.  You were able to get close to the paint a couple times and rise up.  Was that just in the flow of the offense?

KLAY THOMPSON:  It was.  I wasn’t going out there trying to force anything.  I was just trying to get a great shot if I was open, and I was moving well without the ball, and moving from sidetoside, and happened to catch me in rhythm, and I do what I do best.

 

Q.  What does Draymond bring to this team, especially when you guys are struggling, and he kind of brought something to get you guys through in that fourth quarter?  What does he bring for you?

STEPHEN CURRY:  He’s a gamer.  He finds different ways to impact the game.  Obviously we know he’s going to defend at a high level, whoever his matchup is and make some plays that won’t show up on the stat sheet that kind of get the crowd into it, just bring some life into us out on the floor.  He just always finds a way to be in the mix.

There is no teaching that.  He just has a NCAA for it.  He’s shown that since his rookie year, and obviously in big games like tonight, that’s huge that you can rely on him to be ever present on the court.

 

Q.  Klay, we’ve seen you all season, when you have one game that’s below your standard, the next game you typically come back.  What was your mindset tonight in this game?

KLAY THOMPSON:  I didn’t want to change much other than cut down on my turnovers, and I thought I did a good job of that.  Just continue to play both ends hard and trust the offense and play unselfish.  If I do those things, it’s tough to stop.

 

Q.  You guys are obviously aware that you’re going to get every team’s best shot.  New Orleans came out tonight with a little more resolve.  How do you expect things to be once you get to New Orleans?

STEPHEN CURRY:  This is the playoffs.  We talked about that during the regular season.  Whether we were at home or on the road we knew we were going to get everybody’s best shot.  But you expect that in the playoffs.  It’s win or go home.  So the grind it out kind of feel that these games here, and you expect it’s going to be the exact same thing if not tougher in New Orleans.

I’m sure they’ve got some life being at home, feeling their home crowd.  It will be a big swing game, if we can go down and take care of Game 3, that’s a huge momentum builder for us to seize control of the series.  So we want to come out in the first part of that game and hopefully set the tone.  We know it’s not going to be easy regardless of how well we play.

 

Q.  Does winning a game like this, when you didn’t necessarily play your best game the whole game, does that give you more confidence for the rest of the series moving forward?

KLAY THOMPSON:  Yeah, it gives us confidence, but we know we’re not going to shoot a high percentage every night.  We know we’re going to have turnovers or lapses.  But it’s the defense that won us the game tonight.  It’s our guys down low, Draymond and Andrew, and the guys on the bench who really carried us.  That’s who we’ve been relying on the whole year.  That’s why we have the best defense in the NBA.

 

Q.  I was going to ask you in the second quarter, did the secondstring bench guys come in and give you good lift?  You seemed to be playing with energy and efficiency.

STEPHEN CURRY:  Yeah, they changed the game.  The first unit, we played hard.  We just couldn’t find a way to kind of seize the momentum.  It might have been a double digit  I think 9 or 10point deficit.  And they came in, and Mo Speights didn’t give them much time last game.  He came in and made some huge plays and knocking down a couple jumpers.

Finally the guys that were open, once they reacted to him on the floor, and Shaun came in and made a huge impact on the game as well.  Even in the second half down the stretch, just making plays.  Everybody on the bench was ready and knew that they didn’t have their best game in Game 1.

In the playoffs everybody has to be up for that task of taking advantage of their minutes on the floor because you don’t know how each game’s going to go and where your points are going to come from and things like that.  That’s why we’re so good, I think because it’s such a wellbalanced effort nightin and nightout.

 

Q.  Steph, you didn’t mention Barbosa too?

STEPHEN CURRY:  Yeah, I forgot.  Well, LB, he knows.  He knows how he played.  He was talking about himself in the locker room.  So shoutout to LB.

 

Q.  Just going to ask about Barbosa.  What do you see from a veteran like that that’s done if for so long?  That continues to come through in big moments?

STEPHEN CURRY:  Just he’s ready for the moment.  We talk about his career and the games he’s played in and kind of getting prepared for hopefully where we’re going to be in a couple of weeks.  And he’s the guy that’s been the farthest in the playoffs.  This is nothing new for him.  It’s probably a different role, but the energy and atmosphere and just how he is preparing for every night is the same.  The way he came in and got it to quick bucket and was able to attack and get in the paint was huge as we needed that punch off the bench.

 

Q.  Steph and Klay, for the first time in three years you guys are the favorites in an NBA playoff series.  Does it feel different out there?  And now that there is some room for error, are you guys confident you can play with a sense of urgency in Game 3?

KLAY THOMPSON:  I don’t think it feels any different.  Just because when you step out there, it’s still the same, loud, amazing atmosphere.  It honestly feels great to be back.  It’s what we all wait for all year and work for in the playoffs.  There is a sense of urgency going down to New Orleans because we love to have a cushion coming off Game 3.  The quicker you win, the more rest you’re going to get, so you can use that for motivation.  It’s just you want to win every game, it’s that simple.

 

Q.  Both of you guys, after playing together for a few years and playoff runs like this, can you sense when one or the other is going well from the field shooting and you want to get the other guy the ball?  Is it sort of a thing that trades off during the game sometimes?

STEPHEN CURRY:  I think everybody saw the Sacramento game.  What was it last week, the regular season?  You got to remember the good games, man.

KLAY THOMPSON:  Grizzlies.

STEPHEN CURRY:  Yeah, a situation like that where it’s just ridiculous out of your mind, and you obviously can feel the ball every possession.  But in other situations, I think the beauty of the offense, like you talked about in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t really a play call for him.  It was just get into our motion offense, and our bigs had great screens for us coming off down screens or moving the ball from sidetoside.  Then when he gets it in the sweet spot it’s just him making plays.  That’s deadly because everybody is in attack mode whether you’re getting to your spacing spots or trying to get downhill or in the paint or what have you, you move the ball and somebody’s going to finish the play.  He did a great job of that all night, especially down the fourth quarter down the stretch.

So you get comfortable having played with each other for a while to just have confidence in everybody’s ability to go out and make plays.

 

Q.  It seems like every year, every series we’re talking about the grabbing and the holding and how teams play you physical.  Is it comfortable for you because it happens so much, or does it get frustrating out there?

STEPHEN CURRY:  I expect it and you just play through it.  Hopefully I’ll continue to try to find ways to counteract it and still get to my spots.  But within games you can’t waste energy and effort worrying about that and plays going back and forth.  You still have to try to make an impact on the game and not rely on refs to bail you out of certain situations.  I hope to get calls and we’re going to keep being aggressive, but you can’t really worry about it in games.


ANTHONY DAVIS

NORRIS COLE

 

Q.Anthony, during the Final Four minutes, how much did you feel it was you guys offensively maybe forcing things a little bit too much and not being patient, or how much credit do you give to the Warriors defensively during that timeframe?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  I think it was just missed shots.  I think we were being aggressive.  We didn’t want to not be aggressive and try to take away from our game.  We made aggressive plays, and the ball just went the other way.  Eric hit a couple hard drives, and nine times out of tenure not going to lose the ball, same with Tyreke.  We just missed shots towards the end, and they made shots.  I mean, we were right there, gave ourselves a chance.

At the same time, we want to win a game.  That’s all we’ve been talking about is winning Game 1 on the road.  It’s tough when you’re battling like that, but at the same time we want to win.  We gave ourselves a chance, and we knew we were right there and we just didn’t do a good job of executing towards the end of the game.

 

Q.  Anthony, what are you learning about the difference between regular season basketball and playoff basketball in terms of this being a step in the process of wanting to get to the top, but this is just the first step?  And Norris, with your experience, are you talking to some of the younger guys that haven’t been there before?  I don’t know if you’ve spent any time talking to them about the playoffs and how it’s different from the regular season?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  Yeah, it’s way different.  The physicality is different.  The pace is different.  The calls are different.  You know, so I mean, it’s tough.  It’s all new to me.  I’m going to let Norris answer, but he’s been on both sides of the totem pole, so he’s doing a great job of helping us players while we’re on the floor where the coaches really can’t tell us everything because they’re not out there.  He does a great job being in that situation plenty of times and helping us out.

NORRIS COLE:  Yeah, I try to fast track from the guys what to expect.  It’s a different game in the playoffs.  The intensity level is different.  Like Anthony said, the physicality is different.  The way the flow of the game is totally different.  I just try to be consistent.  I want the guys to be themselves.  That’s how we got here, not to be too uptight.

You know, AD is going hard for us out there, and we have to be there to support him when he has an off night like this.  Tonight was a tough shooting night all around, but I think the more games he plays in the postseason, and the more games we play as a group in the postseason, the better we’ll be.

The only way you can get experience in the postseason is by playing in the postseason.  Nothing you can really say during the regular season that can get someone ready for the postseason.  So I just try to fast track the guys on what to expect.  Then when we get out there, the guys will just have to feel it.

 

Q.  Anthony, Coach Williams talked about how you fight him when he wants to take you out, do you feel comfortable playing that many?  Would you play all minutes if necessary?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  It’s playoffs.  We didn’t get this far, and having Coach tell me I need a break or whatever.  I’m trying to win, and I want to do whatever it takes to win, whether it’s playing 48 minutes or 42, whatever.  I want to be on the floor and do as much as possible in the time that I’m allowed to play.  So that allows me to be on the floor for 48 minutes.  By all means I’m going to do it, and I just want to win.  So when he takes me off the court, I tell him I’m good.  I mean, every player does it.  You know, so it’s just me being hungry and just loving the game and having passion for it.

 

Q.  You guys played the Warriors so close throughout this game.  But the last four minutes of the fourth quarter the game got close, and the Warriors pulled away on that 123 run.  Do you take any positives from this game that you stayed with the Warriors all the way through?

NORRIS COLE:  We know we can beat this team.  You know, we just didn’t execute in those last three minutes.  We were right there tied up going into the fourth, down 2 with four minutes left.  You know, they made shots.  We did it, so we don’t believe in moral victories, oh, we did good.  But an L is an L.  So we’ve got to go back and look at film and figure out how to correct our mistakes and figure out how to execute better towards the end of the game.  So when a situation comes, next time we’ll be ready for it, and we’ll come out with a win.

 

Q.  How difficult is it getting that loss tonight out there?

NORRIS COLE:  It hurts.  Any loss hurts this time of the year, like he just said.  There are no moral victories this time of the year.  It’s either you win or you don’t.  So, of course, we wanted to get one here, but now you can’t change the past.  Now we have to refocus and get our minds right to get a ballgame at home, use our energy, use our crowd, you know, use the couple of days of rest and get our minds back ready to get a ballgame.  You can’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself this time of the year.  No one will feel sorry for us.  So we have to prepare for the ballgame for Game 3.

 

Q.  Anthony, admittedly you had a little bit of nerves coming out in the first quarter of Game 1.  You said that the whole team, including yourself settled as the game went on.  It seemed you guys had even more settled into a playoff atmosphere tonight.  How do you expect things to change tonight and once you get home to New Orleans?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  I think we did a good job coming out tonight.  Like you said, we were definitely calm and collected, and ready to come out and play.  I don’t think anybody had the jitters that we had in Game 1.  You know, there were probably still some there, but it didn’t show coming out the gate.  We’re going back home, so I mean, we’re on our home floor.  Our crowd is going to be just like this crowd if not better.  Not that can you top this because it’s pretty hectic in here.  But we’re going to need them, you know.  Hopefully we can come out with some wins at home and try to make this a series.

 

Q.  You guys were talking about the last four minutes.  But it seemed the whole second half you were a little out of sync on offense.  It seemed you only had 35 shots on the floor in the second half?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  I don’t see how we had a single.  We tied it going into the fourth.

NORRIS COLE:  It’s ugly sometimes in the playoffs.  The game isn’t always going to be pretty, but you have to find a way.  Like I said, it was tied.  We gave ourselves a chance.  It wasn’t out of reach until maybe the last 50 seconds of the game.  So we gave ourselves a chance.  The ball didn’t bounce our way tonight.  Every time that we didn’t execute they made us pay, which is what good teams do.  We’re going to watch the film.  We’re going to learn.  We’re going to rely on our home court, our energy, and we’re going to try to get Game 3.

 

Q.  Can you guys talk about Tyreke?  He seemed like he was really playing his guts out there tonight coming off the knee injury?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  He’s a warrior.  He goes out there and fights.  Even though he’s banged up with his knee, he still gave it all for the team out there.  You can’t ask much more of him.  He left it all out on the floor.  He was tired asking to come out, and then he told Coach, no, never mind.  That just shows a lot of heart, just to be out there on the floor and give it all for your teammates, especially in a time like this.  He’s one of our teammates, one of our soldiers.  He’s going to war for us every single night.  He played well.

Like I said, we just came up short, like all our guys.  Every guy on the team, everybody leaves it out there on the floor every night.

 

Q.  There is a lot of talk about the offense.  Are you pleased with how the defenses looked in these first two games, especially Norris with you, and Cunningham playing a little more than he did in the regular season?

NORRIS COLE:  Well, both games, Games 1 and 2 we’ve held them under their average as far as how many total points they scored.  We only gave them 97 points tonight.  But the offense didn’t come through.  So we’re defending them well.  They shot 30% from three tonight, 34 from the floor, which is not terrible.  We both had even turnovers.  1313.

So we were right there battling.  It’s just a matter of when we do get stops, when we do hold them down, we have to make it count in the end.  There is no room for error at this point in the season especially against a team like that.  So we have to capitalize on those.  When they have a miss cue or we get an opportunity, we just have to capitalize.  Our defense is competing out there.  We’ve held them under their season averages both games as far as total points, like I said.  We’ve just got to cash in in the end.

 

Q.  Do you guys feel like you’re there?  After two games you’re going back home.  Do you feel like from what you’ve performed that you’re right at the door of this thing?  You’re looking at this game, you’re in it the final four minutes it gets away, but do you feel like 

NORRIS COLE:  Do we believe in ourselves?

ANTHONY DAVIS:  No, I understand what he’s saying.  It’s more like when you’re on the road and we’re playing against a team like this, first game, lose by 7, lose by 10 on the road in an environment like this, of course we’re going to feel good about ourselves going home knowing that we play well at home.  We’ve got a great record at home.  Imagine what we can do on the road and what we’ve done well in the first and third quarter we held them to 17 and below as far as points.  That’s all defense right there.  So we bring that same defensive energy going home, then it makes it a lot easier on us.

But when you’re making shots and they’re making shots, their crowd gets into it, so it gets very loud and it’s hard for us to hear our teammates on defense.  So everything that we’re going through here, they’re going to go through in New Orleans.  The crowd will be on our side, so they’re going to be in the same predicament.  Just how they capitalize, we have to capitalize on.

 

Q.  You played The Finals one year ago.  Did you share your experience with your teammates?

NORRIS COLE:  For sure.  It’s all in the preparation.  I try to tell the guys, it’s all in the preparation.  As long as you prepare, which I believe we are, we give ourselves a good chance to win and go out there and compete and fight.  We’ve been doing that.  We just have to learn from our mistakes, but it’s not going to happen overnight.  We have to continue to battle.  We have to continue to fight, and we’ll have a breakthrough.  There are no moral victories, like I said, but our guys are continuing to fight, and we’re right there.  All you can ask for is a shot to win it at the end.  All you can ask for is to be in striking range, and we’ve been right there both times, but we haven’t been able to cash in on it.  Hopefully when we go home, we can take advantage of that.

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