NEW ORLEANS — Sunday’s game between the Warriors and Pelicans was about what should be expected from two teams missing 15 players combined and the two worst records in the Western Conference.
With forward Draymond Green running the offense and coach Steve Kerr relying on several rookies and two-way players to generate offense, the Warriors (2-12) lost to the Pelicans 108-100 at Smoothie King Center Sunday, extending their losing streak to six games.
The Pelicans (4-9) were without several key contributors, but managed to field its starting backcourt of Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick, who combined for 48 points.
New Orleans got out to a quick 10-2 lead, with Redick scoring 10 of the Pelicans’ first 20 points. Rookie forward Eric Paschall scored 10 points in the first quarter, and finished with a team-high 30 points as he almost single-handedly kept the Warriors in the game.
After using a 13-2 run at the end of the first half to cut a 14-point lead to three, the Warriors struggled in the opening minutes of the third quarter, scoring just two points in the first six-and-a-half minutes while the Pelicans extended their lead to 17 points.
Forward Marquese Chriss’ dunk at the beginning of the fourth quarter again cut the deficit to three with 10:14 remaining, but New Orleans answered with an 11-2 run to go back up 12. That was the story of the game for the Warriors — every time they got it close, the Pelicans would pull away.
During a break midway through the fourth quarter, Draymond Green took rookie guard Jordan Poole aside for a pep talk. Poole had missed all six of his shots to that point, and finished the game 0-for-7 with a pair of turnovers. Poole was among several Warriors who struggled to connect, as the team shot just 40.7% overall and 28% from 3-point range.
This is Green’s new reality. With Stephen Curry (hand) and D’Angelo Russell (thumb) lost to injury, he was tasked with getting the offense organized while also leading his young, inexperienced teammates. Green finished with seven points on 2-of-10 shooting, six rebounds and four assists. Two-way contract guard Ky Bowman, now the team’s primary backup point guard, had 19 points and four assists.
For the Warriors, this is the worst start to a season since the 1999-2000 campaign, when they finished with a 19-63 record. Next, they travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies on Monday.