BY BRETT MARTEL
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Stephen Curry was in good spirits, but a little annoyed with himself as he stood on crutches in Golden State’s locker room.
After all the work he’d done to lead the Warriors back from a 21-point deficit in New Orleans, he went for a steal that his team didn’t really need in the waning moments, stepped on E’Twaun Moore’s foot and sprained his right ankle.
“It was a dumb play,” Curry said. “I got caught on E’Twaun’s shoe as I went by him and couldn’t catch myself. So, obviously, it hurt.”
Curry scored 31 points, going 5 of 11 from 3-point range, and had 11 assists before his injury, and the Warriors outscored the Pelicans by 30 in the second half for a 125-115 victory Monday night.
Klay Thompson added 22 points and Kevin Durant and Draymond Green each had 19 for the Warriors, who won their fourth straight. After it was over, Curry went for X-rays on his right ankle, which was surgically repaired earlier in his career. Curry said the images “thankfully” came back negative.
He also joked that his first thought after the injury was that he wouldn’t be able to play golf with his father on Tuesday in Charlotte, where the Warriors were headed next for a game on Wednesday night.
More somberly, he added that he always looks forward to his team’s annual trip to Charlotte and “playing in front of people that have seen me grow up.”
“Hopefully, my fans still show up and support the other guys if I’m not out there,” he said.
Jure Holiday scored 34 and Moore had a career-high 27 for the Pelicans, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and 11 rebounds — but also had seven turnovers — before both he and Durant received their second technical fouls of the game while bickering in the final minutes, resulting in ejections for both players.
Cousins didn’t talk after the game. Durant did, criticizing himself for losing his cool, but also stressing that he never felt as though he was close to coming to blows with Cousins and that the officials “threw us out of the game pretty quick.”
“I’m not going to fight nobody. I don’t want to get injured. I don’t want to get suspended. I love to play,” said Durant, ejected from a game for the second time in four days and third time this season. “I’ve got to be more poised. I can’t let anybody take me off my game. I’ve been in the league for too long. Especially somebody like Cousins. We know that he’s feisty. We know that he’s emotional. We know that he plays that way, so I can’t get involved with that.”
Trailing 69-49 at halftime, the Warriors opened the third quarter with a 15-0 run, with Durant scoring six on two dunks and a fadeaway, while Thompson and Green each added a 3-pointer.
From then on, the game was tight, with the Pelicans only briefly rebuilding a lead as large as 11 on Holiday’s back-to-back 3s late in the third quarter.
Golden State regained the lead at 96-95 on Andre Iguodala’s steal and breakaway dunk with 8:31 left.
New Orleans briefly went back up 95-92 when Darius Miller hit a 3 while being fouled by Curry for a four-point play, but Nick Young responded with consecutive 3s to give Golden State the lead for good, and Green added a pair of late 3s to help seal it.
“As bad as this loss is — and I don’t look at anything as a moral victory — what we keep proving is that we have the ability to play extended minutes with the world champs,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “Now what we have to do as a team is that we have to now find a way to not do it for 32 minutes or 36 minutes, but we’ve got to do it for 48 because that’s the only way you can beat that team.”
Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia missed his first game this season because of soreness in his left shoulder. … Patrick McCaw left in the second quarter after getting hit on the nose when Cousins followed through on a blocked shot. The Warriors said X-rays were negative, but McCaw did not return.
Pelicans: Star forward Anthony Davis missed his second straight game with a strained left adductor. New Orleans won its previous game without him in Portland on Saturday. … New Orleans matched Golden State’s 16 made 3s.
New Orleans led by 13 late in the first quarter after a 6-0 mini-run featuring Holiday’s dunk and Cousins’ 3, but the Warriors responded with a 17-3 surge to take a 37-36 lead early in the second quarter.
Curry scored the first six points of the spurt, starting with his 21-foot jumper as he was fouled by Tony Allen.
Rajon Rondo, who had 10 points and 11 assists, helped New Orleans pull away again, assisting on two 3s by Holiday and hitting a pair of his own during a 25-5 run. Rondo’s 10th assist came on Moore’s 3, which put New Orleans up by 21 in the final minute of the first half.
Warriors: Visit the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
Pelicans: Host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
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