NBA playoffs: Warriors recover from early struggles to beat Pelicans

NBA playoffs: Warriors recover from early struggles to beat Pelicans
Warriors center Andrew Bogut celebrates after a dunk late in the fourth quarter while Pelicans Dante Cunningham looks on. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Klay Thompson scored 26 points, Stephen Curry had 22 points and six assists and the Golden State Warriors regrouped from an early deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans, 97-87, Monday night in Oakland and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

The top-seeded Warriors fell behind by 13 points in the first quarter after a strong start by Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon quieted an announced sellout crowd of 19,596, most of them wearing golden yellow shirts. But a big burst before halftime pushed the Warriors ahead, and they did just enough in the closing moments to put away the pesky Pelicans.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in New Orleans.

Davis finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gordon scored 23 points for the Pelicans who played with more poise and passion than they did in the series opener.


Thompson scored 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Warriors, who have won 20 straight home games and 41 of 43 at Oracle Arena this season. Their last loss in Oakland was against Chicago in overtime on Jan. 27.

Draymond Green's alley-oop pass to Andre Iguodala highlighted a 10-2 run for the Warriors to start the fourth. That put them ahead 81-73 with nine minutes to play.

Davis pulled the Pelicans to within one before Green and center Andrew Bogut — Golden State's defensive stoppers — propelled the Warriors to another late spurt. Thompson converted a running bank shot over Gordon to start a three-point play, and Bogut followed with a two-handed slam to give Golden State a 97-86 lead with 1:02 left.

at Chicago 91, Milwaukee 82: Jimmy Butler set a playoff career-high for the second straight game, scoring 31 points, and the Bulls recovered from an 11-point first quarter to beat the Bucks and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

After scoring 25 points in Game 1, Butler trumped that with an even stronger performance. He was at his best down the stretch, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Chicago's Derrick Rose scored all of his 15 points in the second half after scoring 23 in the series opener, his first playoff game since 2012. Pau Gasol had 11 points and 16 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 12 points for the third-seeded Bulls.

Game 3 is Thursday at Milwaukee.

Khris Middleton led the sixth-seeded Bucks with 22 points, and Michael Carter-Williams scored 12.

The Bulls were trailing 74-71 early in the fourth when Butler started a 13-0 run with a three-pointer. He then drove along the right side for a two-handed dunk on Zaza Pachulia and hit the free throw to complete the three-point play. Butler finished the run with another three, giving Chicago an 84-74 lead with 6:01 remaining.

Rose missed his first seven shots and was four for14 overall. He finally nailed an open three-pointer early in the third and scored 12 in the quarter.