Green gives Pel­i­cans rea­sons to grieve

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in New Or­leans

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.

Du­rant’s de­fense

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.

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