The shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans had no answers for the balanced offensive attack of the Golden State Warriors as they fell 112-96 in Oracle Arena on Friday night.
Playing on the road against one of the best teams in the league is already a very difficult task, but doing it without your core pieces is nearly impossible. That is what the Pelicans faced against the Warriors on Friday night without the services of Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis and Omer Asik – and it showed. To make matters worse, starting point guard Tyreke Evans only played 14 minutes before exiting in the third quarter with a strained calf.
The Warriors jumped on New Orleans early and had an 11-point lead by halftime. The third quarter was much of the same as Golden State stretched the lead to 18 before coasting home for the win.
Harrison Barnes led the way for Golden State with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor in less than 20 minutes of action. He had plenty help as four other Warriors finished in double figures, including Stephen Curry who finished with 16 points on just 4-for-17 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-10 from distance to go along with 11 assists.
Marreese Speights and Leandro Barbosa also made big contributions in the win. Speights had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting with three rebounds and two blocks in just 17 minutes while Barbosa managed 12 points, four assists, three rebounds and a steal.
Norris Cole paced the Pelicans in the loss with 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the floor to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Alexis Ajinca and Quincy Pondexter also had solid showings. Ajinca totaled 15 points on 60 percent shooting with eight rebounds and a block while Pondexter had 15 points on the strength of a 3-for-5 shooting performance from 3-point range. Jeff Withey added 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists while Eric Gordon came away with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 2-for-6 from beyond the arc.
After not playing for three straight games and six of seven, Jimmer Fredette saw his second most minutes of the season against the Warriors and had mixed results. He finished with 10 points on 2-for-5 shooting from the field, including 1-for-2 from 3-point land and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds, and assist and a steal, but also had four turnovers.
Fredette got his offense going early with a midrange jumper on an assist from Withey shortly after he entered the game in the first quarter. His only other made field goal came on a deep 3-point shot in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.
On the season, he has appeared in 46 games and is averaging 3.8 points on 95.6 percent shooting from the free-throw line with 1.2 assists and nearly a rebound in 10.6 minutes.
Up next for Fredette and the Pelicans is a Sunday afternoon matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers.