NBA: Ingram, Pelicans crush short-handed Warriors

Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole is fouled by New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram during the first half at Smoothie King Centre. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW ORLEANS – Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted he needed to teach his backup players the “value” of the ball, as Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 34 points and the hosts New Orleans Pelicans clobbered his depleted team 128-83 on Monday night.

The Warriors, who won on the road for the first time this season one night earlier in Houston, opted to rest Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins for the game. In fact, the same four sat out a 114-105 National Basketball Association loss in New Orleans on Nov 4.

“This was just a night for the young guys to get a chance to play and it was a tough night,” said Kerr, who saw his team drop to 8-10.

“New Orleans played really well. The effort was there, but we didn’t execute very well.

“A lot of that is on me. I’ve got to work with these guys and do a better job of teaching execution and getting our guys to understand the value of the ball.”

Devonte’ Graham added a season-high 19 points off the bench for the Pelicans, CJ McCollum scored 15, Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and Jose Alvarado scored 10 off the bench.

Zion Williamson returned from a three-game absence caused by a bruised foot to get nine points and four assists in 23 minutes as New Orleans (10-7) finished 4-2 on their longest homestand of the season.

“I was very excited to be back out there. We got a great win. The score speaks for itself,” he said.

The Pelicans forced 27 turnovers, which included 15 steals, and all 13 players who appeared scored.

“He was fantastic all game. He played with force. When he decided to go (to the basket), he went quickly. It was just good to see him put together an all-around good game,” coach Willie Green said.

Jordan Poole scored 26 points, Jonathan Kuminga added 18 and JaMychal Green and Moses Moody had 10 apiece to lead Golden State, who lost on the road for the ninth time and failed to score 100 points for the first time this season.

The Warriors made the first basket of the game, then went ice cold and never recovered.

The Pelicans led by as many as 24 points before holding a 35-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. Golden State chipped away at the deficit in the second quarter but each time they made progress, the Pelicans made a significant run.

“We understand we have a responsibility, with the franchise that we are, to try to put on the best show we can every night, but that also includes maintaining guys’ health in the long term,” Kerr added of resting his stars.

“We don’t control the schedule.” REUTERS

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