SAN FRANCISCO (AP)Klay Thompson scored 27 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer, helping the Golden State Warriors wrap up a perfect homestand with a 108-99 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.
The Warriors went 5-0 on the homestand despite missing injured star Stephen Curry to strengthen their playoff positioning in the ultra-tight Western Conference.
“I think just a lot of grit,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Every one of these wins was marked by our team kind of getting over the hump. Overcoming a lot of deficits, turning up the defense and grinding out games down the stretch. It’s been exciting to see our team turn a corner, but we still need to go out and win on the road.”
Jonathan Kuminga added 19 points off the bench to help the Warriors overcome a 17-point deficit in the first half. Golden State rallied from double-digit deficits to win the last four games – the first time they have done that since at least the 1997-98 season.
CJ McCollum scored 25 points and Brandon Ingram added 17 for New Orleans. The Pelicans have lost five of six games as they were outscored 19-6 in the final 4:30.
“They just made plays,” New Orleans coach Willie Green said. “That’s an area that we have to continue to grow and mature. … Those are learning experiences for us. That’s a good team, a championship level team. Those guys know how to win. Our margin for error is small, especially down the stretch like that.”
New Orleans led by four points in the fourth quarter before Anthony Lamb and Thompson hit back-to-back 3-pointers with Thompson’s giving Golden State a 95-93 lead with less than four minutes to play.
Donte DiVincenzo hit another 3 for his first basket of the game and then got an offensive rebound and assist on a dunk by Kuminga to make it 100-96 and Golden State held on from there.
“He loves the big moments and it doesn’t matter if he’s been hot or hasn’t made a shot like tonight,” Kerr said about DiVincenzo. “He’s ready for the big one. Between that shot and the offensive board with the pass to JK. He just continues to make huge plays.”
The Warriors once again found themselves in an early hole, falling behind 17-6 in the opening minutes and then by 17 points late in the first quarter.
This marked the fourth straight game they trailed by double-digits in the first half and just like the previous three games they flipped the script.
Golden State rallied back to take a 50-49 lead on a basket by Kuminga late in the half and trailed 57-54 at the break.
The Warriors are hoping to get Curry back on the upcoming trip, possibly as soon as Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
“There’s a chance he’ll play and we’re not going to make an decisions until he gets through tomorrow,” Kerr said.
Curry has missed 11th games with a left leg injury after getting hurt against Dallas on Feb. 4. Golden State is 7-4 in this current stretch and 14-12 on the season without Curry in the lineup.
Pelicans: C Jonas Valanciunas (left calf) was sidelined for a second straight game. … Swingman Josh Richardson (personal reasons) sat out the game.
Warriors: F Andrew Wiggins sat out a seventh consecutive game while dealing with a family matter and Kerr didn’t know if he would return during the upcoming road trip. … F Andre Iguodala (hip) has been taking part of scrimmages but there is no timeline for his return.
Pelicans: Visit Sacramento on Monday night to finish three-game trip.
Warriors: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday to start a three-game trip.
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