Green gives Pelicans reasons to grieve
Draymond Green irritated the other team, nearly started a fight, ignited a torrent of boos from opposing fans — and backed it up with an allaround performance punctuated by a clutch defensive play in the final seconds.
Just another night for Golden State’s feisty forward.
Green recorded his 15th-career triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and it was the last of his four steals — against star Anthony Davis, no less — that helped the Warriors hold off the New Orleans Pelicans 113109 on Tuesday night.
“I love playing defense, so when it comes to a situation where you’ve got to get a stop to win the game, I enjoy that moment,” Green said of his steal, which he executed while the Warriors held a tenuous 111-109 lead.
Davis, who had 28 points, five blocks and two steals, was furious that officials deemed Green’s steal a clean play, and he drew a technical foul for disputing the officials’ decision. There was contact between the two players, but Green said Davis initiated it.
“I hit the ball as he was try- ing to throw his shoulder into me. I thought it was really clean,” said Green, who also noted that he wasn’t worried about the risk of putting Davis on the foul line if officials had seen it differently.
“We’re up two (at the time) and we’ve got three of the greatest scorers in the world,” he said, referring to Stephen Curry, who had a game-high 30 points, Kevin Durant, who scored 27 and Klay Thompson, who added 17 points.
Davis’ disappointment was evident in his eyes as he largely avoided discussing the play — a wise move if he didn’t want to make headlines or draw a fine for criticizing the officials.
When asked to describe what happened, Davis said he was “trying to score,” and then waited in silence for the next question.
For all his scoring on an array of shots that ranged from a driving dunk to a 3-pointer, Durant’s happiest moment seemed to be when he was lying on the floor, pumping his fist, moments after he’d blocked Davis’ driving shot with 34 seconds left.
“That whole possession, I was telling myself I wanted to make a huge play,” Durant said.
“I was excited I was able to get over there and help the team out in another way besides making a shot. It was definitely fun.”
Curry hit five of Golden State’s 14 made 3-pointers, but one shot that stood out was a 22-footer from the right side.
As the shot fell through, Curry reached back toward the New Orleans bench and got a reluctant but respectful low-five from Pelicans associate head coach Darren Erman, a former Warriors assistant.