Oakland, California, USA: Stephen Curry came off the bench for just the second time in 76 career playoff games – after
nearly six weeks off due to a knee injury – scoring 28 points to help the Golden State Warriors overcome hard fighting Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 121-116 and go up 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals.
Two-time MVP Curry shot 8 for 15 with five 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes. He let it fly for a 30-foot 3 in the closing minute of the third.
Curry had been sidelined since spraining his left knee March 23, the same day he came back from a six-game absence with a right ankle injury.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr expected it to take a couple of games for Curry to get his legs back under him — but was still plenty dangerous in limited minutes.
“It’s exciting. It’ll be amazing in the arena. It’ll be electric,” Kerr said. “I think we’re all looking forward to the moment. Hopefully he can settle in quickly.”
Kevin Durant scored 29 points with a huge 3-pointer with 3:10 to play, to go with seven assists and six rebounds Draymond Green contributed 20 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds while battling Davis on both ends all night.
Andre Iguodala converted a three-point play with 6:41 left when he flipped the ball up and it came back down and through the net as he was fouled by Rondo, then Golden State pulled away.
Klay Thompson went 4 for 20, 2 of 11 on 3s, and scored 10 points. Iguodala scored 15.
Green drove coast to coast for a three-point play 2:08 before halftime, then Thompson banked in a 3 at the halftime buzzer for a 58-55 Warriors edge at intermission.
New Orleans went 13 for 37 from deep, 4 of 20 in the first half.
The Pelicans scored 38 points in the paint the first two quarters.
All five Pelicans starters scored in double figures but it wasn’t enough to stop the defending champions.
Davis finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 block and 2 steals and Jrue Holiday had 24 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists and 1 block for the Pelicans.
Rondo had 22 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals
Mirotic had 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist
Moore had 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal
Nikola Mirotic fouled out with 2:43 left after scoring 18 points.
Today’s win is Golden State’s franchise-record 14th consecutive postseason victory at Oracle Arena.
The best-of-seven series resumes with Game 3 on Friday at New Orleans. Golden State has won 26 of the last 28 meetings overall against the Pelicans.