Jordan Poole capped a career-best, 38-point performance by driving for a layup with 21.4 seconds remaining Friday night as the Golden State Warriors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 125-122 in San Francisco.
The Warriors won a fifth straight to open a regular-season-ending, six-game homestand despite resting Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins.
The win allowed the Warriors (38-33) to keep pace with Memphis (38-33), setting up a showdown in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon that will determine the eighth and ninth positions in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Curry, Green and Wiggins are all expected back for that game.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker went for a team-high 30 points and Naji Marshall posted career highs with 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Pelicans (31-40), who were eliminated from the Western playoff race earlier in the week.
Mychal Mulder had a career-best 28 points for the Warriors.
With Poole and Mulder leading the way, the Warriors scorched the net for 41 first-quarter points en route to a 75-57 halftime advantage.
Down by as many as 19, New Orleans rallied late to take a 122-121 lead with 25.9 seconds remaining when Alexander-Walker recovered a shot that had been blocked by Jordan Bell and laid it in.
Following a timeout, Poole connected at the other end, after which he added two clinching free throws following a missed 3-point attempt by Alexander-Walker.
Poole’s 38 points were 12 more than the most he had scored previously in an NBA game. He hit 12 of his 22 field-goal attempts, helping the Warriors shoot 48.3 percent for the game.
Mulder bombed in a career-high-tying seven 3-pointers, and teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson registered a career-high nine assists to complement nine points and nine rebounds.
Eric Paschall, returning after a 21-game absence, chipped in with 12 points for Golden State. Kent Bazemore had 14 and Nico Mannion 11.
Alexander-Walker’s 30-point total was his third highest of the season. Marshall’s 13 rebounds were two more than he’d previously logged twice. The double-double was his third of the season
Jaxson Hayes put up 19 points, Wenyen Gabriel 14, Eric Bledsoe 11 and Willy Hernangomez 10 for the Pelicans, who lost their third straight.
--Field Level Media