Warriors 104, Pelicans 93

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors celebrated the return of Andre Iguodala with one of their best efforts since their standout swingman left the lineup almost one month ago, dominating the New Orleans Pelicans in a 104-93 triumph Tuesday night.
The Warriors (14-12) lost three of four coming in and seven of 12 since Iguodala suffered a hamstring strain Nov. 20. However, they turned things around quickly against the Pelicans, who were playing their second road game in three nights.
Iguodala had only two points and two assists in 17 minutes, but his one and only hoop -- a resounding dunk off a Stephen Curry alley-oop pass late in the second quarter -- put an exclamation point on a one-sided first half during which Golden State built a 57-39 lead.
In beating the Pelicans (11-12) for the sixth consecutive time and improving to 8-3 at home this season, the Warriors got 28 points on 11-for-19 shooting from Curry, plus 21 points and 17 rebounds from power forward David Lee, who made 10 of his 15 shots.
For Curry, it was his career-best 11th consecutive games with 20 or more points, the longest current streak in the NBA.
Curry had 11 of his 28 points in the second quarter, including six in the final 5:50. The Warriors used an 18-8, half-ending run to open up what was an eight-point game.
Curry and shooting guard Klay Thompson, who had 16 points, easily won their backcourt duel with Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon, outscoring the Pelicans duo 44-16 in the marquee matchup of the night. Holiday had 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting, while Gordon struggled through a 1-for-9 night and finished with five points.
The Pelicans, who travel to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers on Wednesday night, played without star power forward Anthony Davis (broken left hand) and high-scoring backup guard Tyreke Evans (sprained left ankle).
Power forward Ryan Anderson led New Orleans with 21 points. Center Jason Smith (12) and small forward Al-Farouq Aminu (10) also scored in double figures for the Pelicans, who never led in the game and trailed by as many as 26 in the third period.
Backup guard Austin Rivers scored 11 for the Pelicans, who used a 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to get within 93-80 with 5:54 remaining, prompting Warriors coach Mark Jackson to put four starters back in the game.
Lee immediately scored from the interior, and New Orleans never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The loss was the Pelicans' sixth in seven road games against Western Conference teams this season. New Orleans remains winless against clubs with winning records.
NOTES: The Warriors were 5-7 without SF Andre Iguodala, who strained his left hamstring Nov. 20 against Memphis. ... Pelicans coach Monty Williams disclosed before the game that star PF Anthony Davis, who broke his left hand Dec. 1, resumed on-court activities and "he's just got to get the OK to get back out on the (game) floor." The minimum recovery time for Davis was expected to be four weeks. ... Several sources are reporting New Orleans is close to signing former Charlotte Bobcats first-round pick Alexis Ajinca to a two-year deal. Ajinca, a 7-foot-2 center currently playing in the Euro League, would need to buy out the remainder of his contract with Strasbourg in order to accept an offer from the Pelicans. ... Tuesday's game tipped off an 11-day stretch in which Golden State plays five of six at home.

What to Read Next