Warriors' Green no novice to defence

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reacting after making a steal against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 113-109, with Green's defensive display contributing to a final 4min 48sec shutdown of the home team's sco
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green reacting after making a steal against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Warriors defeated the Pelicans 113-109, with Green's defensive display contributing to a final 4min 48sec shutdown of the home team's scoring.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW ORLEANS • For all the glamour associated with their relentless run-and-gun offence, the Golden State Warriors pride themselves occasionally on playing something called defence.

Draymond Green reinforced that on Tuesday in a 113-109 National Basketball Association win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

While he appreciated the work involved with his first triple-double of the season - 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists - it was his defence against All-Star forward Anthony Davis in the final seconds that preserved the victory.

"Draymond loves being in that situation," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said after the Warriors held the Pelicans without a field goal in the final 4min 48sec.

"He relishes it. He really does, even against a guy like Anthony Davis, who's so good. It didn't surprise me. One-on-one against anybody, I'll take him. He's a nasty defender."

The Pelicans trailed 111-109 when Jrue Holiday missed the second of two free throws with 13.4 seconds left.

Guard E'Twaun Moore wound up with the loose-ball rebound and found Davis on the left side of the basket, isolated against Green.

Davis began backing in towards the basket about 15 feet away. Green shaded Davis in an attempt to prevent him from spinning to the left baseline.

"I knew he wanted to drive left," Green said. "He probably goes left 85 per cent of the time on that block. Once he opened up, I just took a swipe at the ball, and I was able to get the ball."

His strip occurred with 2.3 seconds left, but Davis was so upset Green was not called for a foul that he drew his second technical foul of the season.

Kerr said, smiling: "It looked clean, because I'm the Warriors coach. But, honestly, I saw the replay and it looked clean. It was a hell of a play."

Despite scoring just 18 points in the final period, the Warriors improved their league-best record to 22-4 with enough timely shooting from Steph Curry (a game-high 30 points) and Kevin Durant (27 points).

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2016, with the headline 'Warriors' Green no novice to defence'. Print Edition | Subscribe