NEW ORLEANS (AP)Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 34 points in the same game that Zion Williamson returned from a three-game absence, and the New Orleans Pelicans routed the depleted Golden State Warriors 128-83 on Monday night.
”He was fantastic all game,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said of Ingram, who hit 12 of 19 shots and whose repertoire included transition 3s, driving dunks and late-shot-clock turnaround fade-aways. ”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.”
Playing one night after winning on the road for the first time this season at Houston, the Warriors scratched Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins from the lineup in New Orleans.
”This was just a night for the young guys to get a chance to play and it was a tough night,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ”New Orleans played really well.”
Williamson played 23 minutes in his first game back from a bruised right foot, scoring nine points.
”I was very excited to be back out there,” Williamson said. ”We got a great win. The score speaks for itself.”
Green said there was no predetermined limit on Williamson’s playing time, which was dictated more by the size of New Orleans’ lead.
Devonte Graham scored 19 for the Pelicans, who took the lead for good less than two minutes into the game. Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and CJ McCollum scored 15.
Jordan Poole scored 26 for Golden State, which committed 28 turnovers while falling to 1-9 on the road.
”The effort was there but we didn’t execute very well,” Kerr said. ”A lot of that is one 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.”
The starting lineup for Golden State was usual starting center Kevon Looney, along with forwards Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga, and guards Donte DiVincenzo and Poole.
Less than nine minutes in, Graham’s 3 as he was fouled gave New Orleans a 26-9 lead. Rookie Dyson Daniels’ finger roll made it 35-11 before the first quarter ended.
Ingram and Poole each scored 20 in the first half, but Ingram had a lot more help, and New Orleans led 65-41 at the break.
Warriors: Shot 37.8% (28 of 74) overall, including 10 of 43 from 3-point range. … Kuminga scored 18 points, while Moses Moody and JaMychal Green each scored 10.
Pelicans: Went 4-2 on their six-game home stand. … Shot 53.8% (49 of 91), including 15 of 42 from 3-point range. … Outscored the Warriors 60-36 in the paint.
The game marked the second time this season that Golden State visited New Orleans on the back end of games on back-to-back nights and chose to sit Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiggins. The Smoothie King Center was packed for both games. The Warriors will not be back in New Orleans again during the regular season.
Curry last played a game in New Orleans on May 4, 2021, with just 3,700 in attendance because of pandemic restrictions. His last game in New Orleans before the pandemic was Oct. 28, 2019.
”We understand we have a responsibility in this league, 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 said. ”We don’t control the schedule. … I feel awful for the fans, but ultimately our responsibility is to make sure our players are around for the whole year.”
”GRAND THEFT” ALVARADO
Jose Alvarado scored 10, highlighted by his back-court steal of an inbound pass, which he quickly converted into a floating layup.
”I’ve never seen anything like it,” Green said with a smile when asked about Alvarado’s penchant for back-court steals. ”I’m sure teams are scouting him because I can see players, when they catch it, start to look behind them. I don’t know what to do about it but just let him do it. It’s a gift.”
Warriors: Host the Clippers on Wednesday.
Pelicans: Visit San Antonio on Wednesday.
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