From cold to red-hot curry

He goes from 0-10 to team-high 27 points to rally Warriors to a 110-95 win over the Pelicans

OAKLAND (California) • Stephen Curry did not make his first shot until 52.8 seconds left in the first half, and only after his jumper rattled the rim a few times.

It was his 11th shot, but thankfully, it was not too late to get his offensive game going in time to rally Golden State to a 110-95 National Basketball Association victory over New Orleans at the Oracle Arena.

The hosts found themselves down by double digits in the first quarter when making just seven of their 27 attempts, less than 24 hours after one of the most lopsided wins in franchise history, 143-94 against the Chicago Bulls.

It was 53-53 at half-time on Saturday before Curry found his rhythm.

He bombed in a pair of jumpers and added a lay-up to help build a 67-63 lead in the fifth minute of the third quarter, where he scored 14 of his team-high 27 points to help the side to their second straight win without the injured Kevin Durant.

"I never lose confidence," said Curry, who also had a 26-point spurt (of his 33) in the second quarter against Chicago.

  • 11

  • Attempts before Stephen Curry scored his first field goal against the New Orleans Pelicans.

"I was probably feeling myself too much from last game.

"Just made the game harder than it should be.

"You have to block it out the best you can, have a sense of amnesia almost, and just rely on the repetitions and work you put into it."

Without Durant, who sat out as a precautionary measure with an ankle sprain, pouring in the points, the Warriors had to revert to their team game - with four men scoring in double digits and the points haul spread among 11 scorers.

Klay Thompson added 24 points, But it was Andre Iguodala who caught the eye by leading a strong bench support act.

Coach Steve Kerr said: "The bench was the key.

"We were just rushing everything. They have a tendency to settle us down when we need it. We needed it tonight."

Iguodala, 33, overcame a sore left knee to give his best display so far, with a season-high 14 points and four assists in 31 minutes.

The NBA website noted that he has scored in double figures four times, all during games Durant has missed but which the Warriors have won.

In fact, the team should have no fear of being without their star man; they have now gone 24-4 in games which he has missed.

Zaza Pachulia also stepped up. Not only did he limit DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged 25 points, to just 15 points on 11 shots, but he also contributed 10 points to add to his seven rebounds.

And it was Thompson who got the fightback going in the second quarter.

After just two points in the first quarter, where Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday alone matched the Warriors' 17, he added 14 in the second including four three-pointers.

Curry, whose 0-10 start matched the worst shooting of his career, took over in the third quarter and the hosts never trailed again.

Kerr said: "It takes a special kind of confidence to do what Steph did tonight.

"I would have quit after four shots and said, 'It's not my night'."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2017, with the headline 'From cold to red-hot curry'. Print Edition | Subscribe