CJ McCollum tallies 28 points as the New Orleans Pelicans fend off the Golden State Warriors 114-109, securing a stronger playoff position

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New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors (Credits: SportsBible)

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors understand that getting to the playoffs won’t be easy.

CJ McCollum and the New Orleans Pelicans are aware that they can control their playoff destiny by winning their last regular-season game against the Lakers at home. McCollum emphasized the importance of winning, saying, “We have one job.”

McCollum’s crucial 3-pointer with just over a minute left helped secure the victory. He scored 28 points, while Zion Williamson added 26, boosting the Pelicans’ playoff chances.

New Orleans had to wait for the result of the Suns-Kings game to know their playoff seed. The Suns won, putting pressure on the Pelicans to win their upcoming game against the Lakers.

Trey Murphy III’s late free throws sealed the win for New Orleans, as he finished with 24 points and eight rebounds.

Despite Stephen Curry’s 33-point performance for the Warriors, they fell short. Curry’s missed shot in the final seconds likely means the Warriors will be playing in the 9-10 seeds matchup of the Play-In Tournament.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors

Now, coach Steve Kerr plans to focus on the players’ health and might rest some of them on Sunday to prepare for what could be a tiring and hectic week ahead.

Kerr praised the New Orleans team for their excellent performance and acknowledged the Warriors’ effort in the game.

Klay Thompson scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins added 18 points. Draymond Green contributed with 12 rebounds and 11 assists, but it wasn’t enough for the Golden State Warriors, who suffered their second loss in the last 11 games.

Despite a late effort from Stephen Curry, who hit a crucial 3-pointer, the Warriors couldn’t catch up. Trey Murphy III also made a timely 3-pointer to extend the Pelicans’ lead.

The Pelicans dominated the second quarter, scoring 45 points and making 10 3-pointers, with CJ McCollum leading the charge with 15 points in the period. The Warriors struggled, managing only 22 points in the second quarter, their highest allowed in a quarter this season.

Kerr understood the importance of winning this game and discussed all the possible scenarios for the Play-In before the match.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors (Credits: Yard Barker)

“We have two opportunities to win one game, and if we win the seven-eight Play-In game, we can move up to the seventh seed,” he explained. “So, obviously, we aim to win every game and put ourselves in the best position possible.”

Trayce Jackson-Davis made an impact early on, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for his third double-digit scoring game in the last four games and his sixth double-double of the season.

New Orleans struggled at the beginning, shooting 2 for 12 and missing their first four 3-point attempts, quickly falling behind 17-6. However, they picked up momentum and started hitting shots.

“When teams start making 3s, it energizes them,” Jackson-Davis noted. “It’s challenging to come back when the opposing team is shooting well.”

The Warriors were without Jonathan Kuminga due to a bruised tailbone and Gary Payton II, who was sidelined with tightness in his left calf.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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