Curry's 41 points push Warriors past Pelicans 123-108

Full Screen
1 / 9

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) goes to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez (9) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, May 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS – Stephen Curry elicited gasps from the New Orleans crowd with a pair of deep 3s that put the Warriors up by 20 and pushed his point total to 17 — in the first quarter.

Curry's early surge was only the beginning of a 41-point performance. Draymond Green added 10 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds, and Golden State took a big step toward locking up a postseason berth with a 123-108 victory over the desperate Pelicans on Monday night.

“It's just a matter of staying in the moment, enjoying what I get to do, having the utmost confidence in what I can do out on the floor and just enjoying the challenge because I know I’ve got to play well for us to be who we want to be this year,” Curry said. “We’re trying to make this season mean something down the stretch.”

The Warriors, who currently occupy a Western Conference play-in position, moved four games ahead of 11th-place New Orleans with seven games remaining. But these teams meet twice more, giving the Pelicans a small measure of hope — if they can figure out how to contain Curry.

How the Pelicans respond is “going to show what kind of character we have as a team," Zion Williamson said.

The Pelicans often looked mesmerized by the Warriors star as he dribbled along the perimeter before snapping off 3-pointers or initiating clever drives toward the rim. His eight 3s included a pull-up from 30 feet.

“Everywhere he runs on the floor, with or without the ball, teams are terrified,” Green said. "The guy can take over a game and make it hard for any team in the NBA on any given night.”

Andrew Wiggins added 26 points for Golden State, with 10 coming in a key stretch in the fourth quarter.