NEW ORLEANS — As Anthony Davis rose for a shot in the final minute of play, Kevin Durant met the Pelicans’ star at his apex and swatted the ball away. Golden State’s newly added All-Star then raced the other way for a game-clinching layup, completing a dominant night on both ends of the court.
“I just tried to make a winning play for the team,” Durant said. Davis “had it going all night, shooting over double-teams, making all these tough fade-aways. I had no doubt in my mind that if he had gotten it off, he would have made that one, so I just tried to make a play.”
Durant finished with 30 points and 17 rebounds, Klay Thompson added 28 points and the Warriors bounced back emphatically from a surprising season-opening loss by beating New Orleans 122-114 on Friday night.
“I just didn’t want us to get outrebounded,” Durant said, adding that coach Steve Kerr “told me that I could try to lead this team in rebounding and I’m trying to do my best to help out.”
Durant’s career-high for rebounds in a game is 18, a mark he could surpass with his new team before long.
After scoring only six points on five shot attempts in the first half, Stephen Curry asserted himself more with an array of inside and deep shots to finish with 23 points, including a momentum-swinging 8-0 run by himself in the third quarter.
Davis, who scored 50 points in New Orleans’ season-opening loss, finished with 45 points and 17 rebounds against Golden State, but the Pelicans struggled to trim their deficit below double digits for much of the final quarter.
“We’re playing hard, playing with a lot of energy, but we’ve got to find a way to execute better down the stretch,” Davis said.
Golden State, the two-time defending Western Conference champions, dropped their season opener at home in stunning fashion, 129-100 to San Antonio. The Warriors made far easier work of the depleted Pelicans, leading by as many as 16 points and trailing for less than a minute in the second half, and by only one point in the third quarter.
The Pelicans trailed by 12 after Draymond Green‘s 3 early in the third quarter, but chipped away and briefly took the lead at 74-73 when Frazier hit a driving layup that gave him 11 points in the period.
The Warriors seized momentum right back, however, when Curry scored the next eight points on a deep 3, a pair of free throws and a driving layup as he was fouled. Curry added another 3 from 30 feet a few possessions later, and wound up with 13 points in the third quarter, which ended with Golden State leading 92-81 after Andre Iguodala‘s dunk.
“In that certain stretch, we had purposeful play calls that got me in a better position to make some plays,” Curry said. “I kind of got a feel and some momentum.”
New Orleans got as close as 116-110 on Davis’ short basket with about a minute left, and had the ball with a chance to pull closer, but Durant blocked Davis’ jumper and raced the other way for a breakaway layup to put it away.
Curry hit four 3-pointers to reach 1,600 for his career. He’s the 19th player to do so, but none did it faster than Curry, now starting his eighth season.
Meanwhile, Davis is the first Pelicans player (dating to the NBA’s return to New Orleans as the Hornets in 2002) to score 40 or more in two straight games.
“My body feels great. I’m just in attack mode all the time,” Davis said. “I think that’s the best way to try to help the team.”
Warriors: Durant was called for a technical foul for shoving Stephenson to the floor after the highly animated Stephenson fouled him. … Durant has scored at least 20 points in 66 consecutive regular season games, the longest such streak since Michael Jordan‘s 69 straight in 1990-91. … Patrick McCaw, who hit his only shot from 3-point range, sprained his left ankle in the first half and did not return. … Green and Zaza Pachulia each grabbed 11 rebounds. Pachulia scored 10 points.
Pelicans: New Orleans missed 10 of its first 12 3s and shot only 38.8 percent (19 of 49) overall in the first half, after which they trailed 59-50. … Sixth overall draft choice Buddy Hield played 17 minutes and once again had a quiet game offensively, hitting 1 of 6 shots for two points. He also let a pass slip through his hands and out of bounds when he was wide open under the basket.
Warriors: Visit Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
Pelicans: Visit San Antonio on Saturday night.