Steph Curry had his NBA-best ninth 40-plus scoring game, finishing with 41 as the visiting Golden State Warriors bolstered their play-in chances with a 123-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.
Curry scored 17 points as the Warriors dominated the first quarter and he answered every time the Pelicans got within striking distance, making 14-of-26 field goals, including 8-of-18 3-pointers.
Draymond Green added 10 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins scored 26, Juan Toscano-Anderson had 14 points and Jordan Poole 11 for the Warriors.
The victory kept Golden State (33-32) ahead of 10th-place San Antonio and put the Pelicans (29-36) closer to elimination with seven games remaining. The Warriors and Pelicans meet in a rematch Tuesday night in New Orleans.
Zion Williamson scored 32, Brandon Ingram added 19, Naji Marshall had 12, Eric Bledsoe scored 11 and Willy Hernangomez 10 for the Pelicans.
Golden State pushed its 12-point halftime lead to 17 early in the third quarter before New Orleans responded with a 10-0 run.
Curry stopped the run by making a 3-pointer, but Hernangomez’s layup pulled the Pelicans within 79-73.
Curry had six points and two assists as the Warriors rebuilt the lead to 17 before settling for a 95-80 edge at the end of the quarter.
The Pelicans didn’t get any closer than 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Curry scored seven points as Golden State raced to a 17-5 lead. Williamson answered with seven points of his own during a 9-0 New Orleans run.
The Warriors led by as many as 20 before James Johnson’s layup cut the lead to 39-21 at the end of the first quarter. Curry finished the period with 17.
The Pelicans scored the first six points of the second quarter, but Golden State built its lead to 20 points midway through the period.
The Warriors extended the lead to as many as 25 points on two occasions before Lonzo Ball beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer that completed a 19-6 run and pulled New Orleans within 66-54 at halftime.