Warriors 0-6 on road, fall to Pelicans with 4 starters out
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Golden State coach Steve Kerr foreshadowed a plan to adjust playing time across his roster in the coming week.
Something needs to change if the Warriors intend to defend their NBA title.
The Warriors fell to 0-6 on the road, losing 114-105 to Brandon Ingram and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins sidelined.
“Excited about getting home,” Kerr said after a winless, five-game road trip concluded. “Next week will be a great opportunity for us to get a lot of work in.
“We’re going to change up the rotations a little bit,” Kerr continued, adding that he’s identified players “who maybe haven’t gotten a ton of minutes who are going to get a chance to play.”
The Pelicans, meanwhile, benefited from Ingram’s return from a four-game absence because of a concussion. He scored 26 points on an array of drives and perimeter shots.
“Good to have him back, honestly. We needed his production tonight,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “He picked up some slack for us.”
CJ McCollum scored 20 points for New Orleans. So did reserve Larry Nance Jr., including several fourth-quarter dunks that kept Golden State at bay. Zion Williamson added 16 for New Orleans, highlighting his performance with a breakaway, windmill dunk set up by Jose Alvarado’s steal.
“Our execution offensively has been great,” Nance said. “Having B.I. out there helps. … He’s just so poised all the time.”
Jordan Poole had 20 points and nine assists for the Warriors. Kevon Looney was the only regular starter in uniform for Golden State’s second game in two nights at the end of a winless five-game trip.
The Warriors are 3-7 overall. Among Western Conference teams, only Houston (1-8) has more losses.
Curry, Thompson, Green and Wiggins all were scratched after playing the previous night in a loss at Orlando.
The Warriors are not playing Thompson on back-to-back nights because of his anterior cruciate ligament and Achilles tendon injuries in 2019 and 2020. Green is under similar limitations because of a back injury last season. Curry was being rested because of elbow soreness and Wiggins because of a sore left foot.
A starting lineup that instead included Poole and fellow guard Moses Moody, along with forwards Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga, made the game competitive into the fourth quarter.
“Couldn’t get it done, but very happy with the effort,” Kerr said. “There’s a lot of good stuff to take from it.”
Ty Jerome, who scored 18 points, hit a 3 to pull the Warriors within 99-96 before the Pelicans steadily pulled away during the final six minutes.
Trey Murphy III’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 Pelicans spurt that began with Nance’s dunk and layup and made it 111-101 with two minutes to go. Ingram, who also had five rebounds, five assists and two blocks, received a standing ovation when he checked out of the game in the final minute.
“It was a little weird being around so many people after 12 days, but I feel good,” said Ingram, who recalled having sensitivity to light and constant headaches while he was out.
“I feel like I needed to make something happen,” Ingram added. “I was happy to see some go in and kind of get a rhythm and make some good passes for my teammates.”
Warriors: Kuminga finished with 18 points, while Lamb scored 16 and Moody had 14. … Went 12 of 32 from 3-point range. … In addition to the four starters who sat, G/F Andre Iguodala (hip) and G Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring) remained inactive. Iguodala has yet to play this season, while DiVicenzo hasn’t played since Oct. 23.
Pelicans: Alvarado and Murphy each scored 10 points and each hit three 3s to help New Orleans go 12 of 29 from long range … Shot 50.6% overall (41 of 81) and outrebounded Golden State 51-36.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he appreciates that fans paid “good money” to see players on his team who sat out with the goal of preserving their long-term health.
“Ultimately the players’ health is the No. 1 factor in our team’s success and even our fans’ satisfaction in the long run,” Kerr said.
He added that while some absences are unpredictable, “it would be wise” for fans to study schedules of teams they want to see and manage expectations when those teams are playing on consecutive nights at the end of a trip, as the Warriors were.
“Especially when you get a team with players who have past injuries like we do, or guys who are advanced age-wise,” Kerr said. “I apologize to any fans out there who were hoping to see those guys.”
Warriors: Host Sacramento on Monday.
Pelicans: Visit Atlanta on Saturday.
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