NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 34 points in the same game that Zion Williamson returned from a three-game absence, and the New Orleans Pelicans routed the depleted Golden State Warriors 128-83 on Monday night.
Playing one night after winning on the road for the first time this season at Houston, the Warriors scratched Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins from the lineup in New Orleans.
Williamson played 23 minutes in his first game back from a bruised right foot, scoring nine points.
Devonte Graham scored 19 for the Pelicans, who took the lead for good less than two minutes into the game and led by as many as 45 points. Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and CJ McCollum scored 15.
Jordan Poole scored 26 for Golden State, which fell to 1-9 on the road.
The starting lineup for Golden State was made up by usual starting center Kevon Looney, along with forwards Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga, and guards Donte DiVincenzo and Poole.
And they found themselves down big early.
Less than nine minutes in, Devonte Graham hit a 3 as he was fouled and made the free throw to give New Orleans a 26-9 lead.
The Pelicans led by as many as 24 in the first quarter when rookie Dyson Daniels’ finger roll made it 35-11.
Ingram and Poole each scored 20 in the first half, but Ingram had a lot more help, and New Orleans went into the break leading 65-41.
Warriors: Shot 37.8% (28 of 74) overall, including 10 of 43 from 3-point range. … Kuminga scored 18 points, while Moses Moody and JaMychal Green each had 10 points.
Pelicans: Went 4-2 on their six-game home stand. … Jose Alvarado scored 10, highlighted by his back-court steal of an inbound pass, which he quickly converted into a floating layup. … Shot 53.8% (49 of 91), including 15 of 42 from 3-point range. … Outscored the Warriors 60-36 in the paint.
The game marked the second time this season that Golden State visited New Orleans on the back end of games on back-to-back nights and chose to sit their three biggest stars: Curry, Thompson and Green. The Smoothie King Center was packed for both games. The Warriors will not be back in New Orleans again this season.
Curry last played a game in New Orleans on May 4, 2021, with just 3,700 in attendance because of pandemic restrictions. His last game in New Orleans before the pandemic was Oct. 28, 2019. “We understand we have a responsibility in this league, with the franchise that we are, to try to put on the best show we can every night, but that also includes maintaining guys’ health in the long term,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We don’t control the schedule; we just fly where they tell us to fly. Again, I feel awful for the fans, but ultimately our responsibility is to make sure our players are around for the whole year.”
Warriors: Host the Clippers on Wednesday.
Pelicans: Visit San Antonio on Wednesday.
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