EditorsNote: Editors: re-sending to restore dropped word ‘series’ after ‘best-of-seven’ iin second graf
Kevin Durant hit two jumpers and a pair of free throws in a late 9-0 run Tuesday night that allowed the Golden State Warriors to pull away from the New Orleans Pelicans for a 121-116 victory in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series in Oakland, Calif.
Stephen Curry returned from a knee injury to score 28 points off the bench, helping Golden State take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The series shifts to New Orleans for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.
The Warriors’ late run coincided with Curry re-entering the game for the final time with 6:59 to go and the Pelicans hanging within 101-98.
Andre Iguodala got the critical burst going with a steal and dunk on which he was fouled by Rajon Rondo. The dunk attempt clanged high off the back of the rim before falling through the net.
Iguodala then dropped in the subsequent free throw for a 104-98 lead.
Durant took over from there, first hitting two free throws, then a pair of short shots that extended the advantage to 110-98 with 5:15 left.
The Pelicans got as close as 119-113 on a 3-pointer by Anthony Davis with 35.9 seconds remaining. However, New Orleans was forced to foul Draymond Green, whose two free throws stalled the rally.
After missing 5 1/2 weeks with a sprained left MCL, Curry played 27 minutes, during which the Warriors outscored the Pelicans by 26 points. Golden State was outscored by 21 points while Curry was on the bench.
Curry hit eight of his 15 shots and five of his 10 3-point attempts, and he also found time for seven assists.
Golden State won its 14th consecutive home playoff game. Durant led the Warriors with 29 points, while Green finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.
Iguodala added 15 points and Klay Thompson, despite 4-for-20 shooting, had 10 for the Warriors, who have beaten the Pelicans in 26 of their past 28 meetings.
Davis had 25 points, Jrue Holiday 24 and Rondo 22 for the Pelicans, who have never won a second-round series in their playoff history.
Davis (15 rebounds) and Rondo (12 assists) completed double-doubles, while Nikola Mirotic chipped in with 18 points and E’Twaun Moore 14 in the loss.
Both teams made 13 3-pointers, Golden State attempting 40 from long range and New Orleans attempting 37.
—Field Level Media