Kendra AndrewsESPN4 minutes to read
San Francisco — Draymond Green knew he needed to get his team right in the second quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
In the midst of a disappointing first half in a game that had a significant impact on the playoff race, the Warriors lacked energy and focus. They’ve racked up 14 turnovers so far. They could not slow down the pelicans. They were ahead by 19.
So Green set fire.
“Draymond wanted us to win tonight,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after their 120-109 win. “Just the intensity, the frustration early on with the way we were playing. The madness of the world, the yelling at everyone — the bench, our bench, me — and honestly we deserve it.”
Green’s first spark came with 3:45 remaining in the second quarter when he committed his 17th technical foul.
After Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram drove from the perimeter toward the basket, Green appeared to lower his shoulder and push Ingram. As Ingram made his way from the baseline to the court, he approached Green and the two exchanged words, leading to some scrambling.
They were given technicalities, and Green was rated a flagrant 1 foul for the pack.
Green will be fined $5,000 if the tech is not scrapped within the next 24 hours — which Green believes should happen. But even if it wasn’t, it was worth it.
“It was excellent. Perfectly executed,” said Green. “It looked like we were dead for the first 18 minutes. We had to find some energy somewhere. It wasn’t just going to come, especially after losing the game like we did the last game; it could continue. I felt like it was happening. I knew we had to.” We do something and we do it quickly before the game gets out of control.”
About 20 seconds later, Green almost caught another technician after a clash with Herbert Jones. As Green was driving to throw the ball, he collided with Jones and landed on top of him. The two intertwined before being separated.
More scrambling from several players ensued before the scrum was broken up by the umpires and team security. After a long video review, no technical faults were evaluated.
“I have to play as hard as I try to play every time I step onto the court,” said Green. “I can’t worry about that. For me, if I’m going to change my intensity level, why would I be there?”
Green often says things to motivate his teammates to move forward. He thought his teammates had his back until a scuffle with Jordan Paul earlier this season caused him to have doubts.
“The moment I’m going to put myself like this, you hope the guys will support me,” said Green. “If not, our season is over anyway.”
After Green’s confrontation with Jones, Stephen Curry engaged in a scrum, yelling at Pelicans players and throwing a few crunches.
“He knows the guys have his back,” Carey said. “I am sure [Green] He wouldn’t go out to an island like this if he didn’t have that confidence. … There are times when I’ve had to keep him in check and bring him back when he turns in the wrong direction in the sense of just staying focused on winning.”
The Warriors fell back by as much as 20 points – 17 in the first half. But they outscored the Pelicans 74-46 in the second half, including shooting 70% on their way to their second-biggest comeback of the season.
Curry scored 22 of his 38 points in the second half. Scored or assisted on 58 of the Warriors’ 120 points — 48% — including 37 of 74 (50%) in the second half.
He was the main source of the Warriors’ shot creations, going 8 of 14 from the ground off the dribble while teammates converted 8 of his 11 passes.
When I raised him a little, [Curry] “Raise it another two notches,” Green said… We all jumped in line and followed him, and he locked up. Nobody stopped him. “
Tuesday’s game had a decisive energy, whether from the delicacy of the two teams, the atmosphere inside the Chase Center or the importance of the game for both teams.
With the win, Golden State moved back into the sixth seed in the Western Conference with a half-game lead over the seventh-place Minnesota Timberwolves.
But every regular season game will have a post-season atmosphere and pressure on it.
“It feels like we’ve been in a playoff for two weeks now,” Curry said. “The only difference is that you play with a different team every night. But that’s the same kind of adrenaline rush we get. Every game counts.”
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