Curry boosts Warriors over Pelicans in return from injury

; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the basketball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and forward Nikola Mirotic (3) during the third quarter in game two of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena.The Golden State Warriors seemed to be doing just fine without two-time MVP Steph Curry, but they needed every bit of the scoring he provided in his return from injury on Tuesday. Curry scored 28 points in his first game since March 23 to help the Warriors take a 2-0 series lead over the New Orleans Pelicans in a Game 2 that was much closer than Golden State’s Game 1 blowout win.


Curry suffered an MCL sprain in March and the Warriors had no need to rush his recovery in the first round of the playoffs, where they eliminated the San Antonio Spurs in five games. The second round started in a similarly dominant fashion, with Golden State defeating the Pelicans by 22 points in Game 1, and Curry was reintroduced to the lineup in a bench role for Tuesday’s Game 2, entering the game for the first time in the latter half of the first quarter.


New Orleans had an eight-point advantage - its largest lead of the game - when Curry entered, and he would go on to play the fifth-most minutes for the Warriors, who needed every bit of the offense he provided to outpace the rejuvenated Pelicans. Despite committing a team-high six turnovers, Curry was Golden State’s best 3-point shooter by a sizable margin, shooting 5-of-10 from long range while the rest of the Warriors combined to hit 8-of-30. Klay Thompson had a terribly inefficient night of shooting, hitting just 4-of-20 from the field, which made Curry’s contributions all the more vital.


Kevin Durant scored a game-high 29 points while Draymond Green added 20 points, 12 assists, and finished one rebound shy of recording his second straight triple-double. With Curry, Golden State had enough to counter New Orleans’ big three of Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, and Rajon Rondo, who all contributed at least 22 points in Tuesday’s loss. Davis grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and Rondo added 12 assists, and both Pelicans players got tangled up with Green at different points in the contest as the emotion level in the series increased due to the tight scoreline. But now that Curry’s back, rallying from a 2-0 deficit against the Warriors might be too much to ask of New Orleans.