NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Draymond Green turned in the all-court performance the Golden State Warriors needed to secure their first victory of the season, and then said what he felt was necessary to preserve maximum humility and hunger in the locker room.
“We’re still not a very good team,” Green said.
Green had 16 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, leading the Warriors to a 134-123 victory over winless New Orleans yesterday.
Stephen Curry had 26 points, 11 assists and three steals for Golden State, which dropped its first two games by 19 or more points before dominating a Pelicans squad that was missing three injured starters, including top overall draft choice Zion Williamson.
“We got to continue to compete at a high level. The first two nights we didn’t do that. Tonight we did,” Green said, stressing the Warriors have seven players with three or fewer years of experience in the NBA.
“As leaders of this team, we continue to try to bring it every night and give them something to follow and, you know, we’ll win some games.”
Curry said he and Green are accepting more complicated roles on a team that is trying to assimilate an infusion of youth.
“It’s going to be a theme of the season — we have to fight for everything we get this year and it may not be pretty,” Curry said.
“It’s not only do we have to perform every night, (but) for lack of a better term, you’ve got to teach.”
“We accept that challenge and that responsibility,” Curry added.
D’Angelo Russell added 24 points, and Damion Lee set career highs with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Green’s layup with 5:07 left put the Warriors ahead 128-99 before the Pelicans made an inconsequential run to make the final score look more competitive than the bulk of the game was.
“We were never in the game,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We never had any chance at all to win and I think that’s the most disturbing thing to me — especially playing at home.”
Brandon Ingram had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Pelicans, who had not lost any of their first three games by more than seven points before being run out of their own building by the Curry and Co.