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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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NBA roundup: Warriors whip Pelicans

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From page B2 | December 18, 2013 | 1 Comment

Lou Amundson, David Lee, Draymond Green

New Orleans' Lou Amundson, left, and Golden State's David Lee compete for a loose ball in the Warriors' 104-93 home win on Tuesday. AP photo

OAKLAND — Stephen Curry had 28 points and 12 assists, David Lee added 21 points and 17 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors beat the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans, 104-93, on Tuesday night in Andre Iguodala’s long-awaited return.

Iguodala finished with two points and two assists in 17 minutes after missing the previous 12 games with a right hamstring injury. The Warriors led by 10 points in the first quarter, 18 at halftime and 26 late in the third quarter.

Golden State never trailed.

The Pelicans played without injured starters Anthony Davis (broken left hand) and Tyreke Evans (sprained left ankle). Ryan Anderson had 21 points and six rebounds and Jason Smith scored 12 for New Orleans, which has lost its first two games of a five-game trip.

The Warriors outshot the Pelicans 45.1 to 37.5 percent and outrebounded them 58-44 to control the game — for the most part — from start to finish. New Orleans made a brief run in the fourth quarter against Golden State’s backups before the starters returned and restored order.

The Warriors went 5-7 after Iguodala injured his hamstring Nov. 22, losing three of its last four games. They had especially struggled on defense, though the problems extended beyond Iguodala’s absence.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson even called out his players for a lack of effort after a loss at Phoenix on Sunday, saying “I am finding that the guys in the suit and tie want it more than the guys in uniform.”

After a string of slow starts during its recent slide, Golden State opened the game against New Orleans with the kind of heart and hustle Jackson has wanted from his team.

The Warriors dominated at both ends of the floor in a near-flawless first quarter. About the only blemish in the period — or the game, for that matter — came when Harrison Barnes suffered a left eye lid abrasion and was poked in the eye inadvertently by Lou Amundson going for a rebound. He returned a few minutes later.

The Pelicans played mostly on the perimeter and got nothing going offensively. The misses gave the Warriors several fast-break opportunities, and they took advantage of them throughout.

Iguodala punctuated the fast start when he finished an alley-oop from Curry late in the second quarter for his only basket, sending most of the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 roaring to its feet. Two possessions later, Curry followed with a layup through traffic to give Golden State a 57-39 lead at the half.

Lakers 96, Grizzlies 92: At Memphis, Tenn., Kobe Bryant scored 21 points in his sixth game of the season, and Los Angeles closed out a four-game road trip with a victory.

Pau Gasol added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who were coming off a 114-100 loss at Atlanta on Monday night. Nick Young had 18 points, and Jodie Meeks finished with 13.

Zach Randolph had 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for Memphis. The Grizzlies played without Mike Conley, who sat out after bruising his left thigh in Sunday’s loss to Minnesota.

The Grizzlies led 69-67 in the fourth quarter before the Lakers went on a 17-4 run.

Bryant played 32 minutes, matching his most action since returning from his torn left Achilles’ tendon. He was 9 for 18 from the field, both season highs, despite running the offense most of the night.

Thunder 105, Nuggets 93: At Denver, Kevin Durant scored 30 points, powering Oklahoma City to its seventh consecutive victory.

Durant had 30 or more points in a game for the 12th time this season, most in the NBA. He is averaging a league-high 28.6 points.

Russell Westbrook had 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Thunder. Serge Ibaka added 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Denver had won 10 of 13. J.J. Hickson had 20 points and 14 rebounds, but the Nuggets dropped to 0-2 this season against Oklahoma City. Ty Lawson added 17 points and 13 assists.

Trail Blazers 119, Cavaliers 116: At Cleveland, Damian Lillard made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining to lift Portland over Cleveland.

Lillard had a career-high eight 3-pointers while scoring 36 points. The 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year also had a fadeaway jumper as time expired to give Portland a 111-109 overtime victory over Detroit on Sunday.

Portland (22-4) has the best record in the NBA and is 11-0 against the Eastern Conference. The Blazers have won five straight and are 12-2 on the road.

Kyrie Irving’s bid for a tying 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim at the buzzer. Irving and Dion Waiters scored 25 points apiece for Cleveland.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 15 rebounds for Portland.

The Associated Press

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