Warriors rout Pelicans to improve to 7-1

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SAN FRANCISCO — Jordan Poole scored 26 points, Stephen Curry had 19 and the Golden State Warriors routed the New Orleans Pelicans 126-85 on Friday night to improve to 7-1.

Gary Payton II added 17 points, and the Warriors broke it open with a 34-point third quarter. They’re off to their best start since opening 10-1 in 2018-19.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 20 points for the Pelicans. They dropped to 1-9 as they start the season without injured star forward Zion Williamson.

Though Poole continues to emerge as a featured scorer alongside Curry, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is just as pleased with the production from his bench. Golden State’s reserves outscored New Orleans’ 57-30.

“I thought New Orleans really came out in that first quarter playing hard and knocking down shots,” Kerr said. “The bench came in and kind of settled us down and got some stops and got the game back (under control).”

Jordan Poole
Jordan Poole
Getty Images

Golden State has won 15 of its past 17 against New Orleans in the Bay Area.

The Warriors led by as many as 15 in the first half, but entered the intermission with just a 54-50 lead. They opened things up with a 22-6 run in the third, a chunk of which came with Curry resting on the bench, and took an 88-66 cushion into the fourth.

Payton, gaining a bigger role in the Warriors’ rotation, had seven points in the third and a handful of crowd-pleasing dunks on the night.

“We’ve just got to be tougher,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said. “That’s a really good team and they played like it. They turned it up in the second half

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