Pelicans go up 21, setting up another Warriors comeback

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ESPN – NEW ORLEANS — The Golden State Warriors have been so dominant over the past three years that, aside from injury, the only thing that may be able to derail their chances this season is boredom.

As has been the case throughout various points of the season, the Warriors allowed a weaker opponent to build a huge first-half lead, only to soar past that team later. That was the case again on Monday night as the Warriors earned a 125-115 win, their fourth straight, over the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.

It’s the third time that the Warriors have overcome a double-digit deficit against the Pelicans this season, and the Warriors became the first team in the shot clock era (since 1954-1955) to overcome two 20-point halftime deficits in the same season (Nov. 18 at Philadelphia).

Steph Curry became just the eighth player in NBA history to knock down 2,000 or more 3-pointers in his career, draining five on the night. No player accomplished that feat faster, as Curry played in his 597th career game. He helped lead his team back from a sleepy first half in which the Pelicans led by as many as 21 points and by a score of 69-49 at the break.

Throughout the first 24 minutes, the Pelicans played with the tenacity and budding confidence of a lower-seeded NCAA tournament team trying to upset the No. 1 team in the land. Jrue Holiday poured in shots all over the floor, scoring 32 points through three quarters, but he was held to just two in the fourth as the Warriors made the plays when the game was on the line.

Steve Kerr’s team has such an abundance of talent that it can toy with other teams during the long, sometimes tedious road that makes up an 82-game NBA regular season. Kevin Durant never found much of a rhythm all night, turning the ball over seven times in a 19-point effort, but it didn’t matter to the NBA’s deepest team. There was Draymond Green to drill two big 3s in the waning minutes. Lightly used Nick Young came in to knock down two big fourth-quarter jumpers, and Klay Thompson calmly chipped in 22 points of his own.

The major drama down the stretch came when Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins exchanged words with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in regulation, the climatic ending of a night filled with tension between both teams. Both men had already been issued a technical foul and were quickly ejected after picking up their second. The only thing that could linger for this game for the Warriors is a twisted right ankle that Curry suffered in the final minute. With a night off in his hometown of Charlotte coming up, Kerr has to be hoping a little rest at home will do some good for his star guard.