Late defensive stances are the difference this season for the Dubs

By Sandeep Chandok

After being nonexistent through the first three quarters, the Warriors’ defense came up big in the fourth quarter of a 113-109 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The theme this season for the Warriors has been timely stops and defensive stands at the end of games — contrary to what most believed going into the season, when most thought Golden State would be blowing everyone off the court.

Last night proved no different.

The Dubs had given up 94 points in the first 36 minutes of the game last night before locking up defensively in the final quarter.

Allowing just 15 points in the fourth was quite Warriors-esque, but holding the Pelicans to a single field goal in the final five minutes of the game was the key to the win.

Yes, it was against the Pelicans who do not have much firepower outside of Anthony Davis, but even Davis could not find his groove as he scored just three points in the final quarter.

Enter Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

With under 40 seconds to play, the Pelicans trailed 111-108 with possession of the ball.

Pelicans’ guard Jrue Holiday ran a pick-and-roll with Davis and found him for what was supposed to be an easy layup until Durant came over from the weak side and swatted his shot off the backboard.

Durant had the block of the game, but it was Green who made the play of the game.

With less than 10 seconds remaining and the Pelicans trailing by two, Davis got the ball on the left side of the court, at the mid-post area, with Green defending.

As Davis turned and faced Green in a triple-threat position, Green slapped the ball out of Davis’ hands and stole the ball, sealing the win for the Warriors.

The steal was one of four for Green on a night in which he posted his first triple-double of the season (12pts, 12 rebs, 10 asts).

Green’s late heroics overshadowed Stephen Curry’s 30-point night which included a tough turnaround jumper in the middle of the third quarter, after which Curry high-fived Pelicans assistant coach Darren Erman, a former Warriors coach.

The win capped a five-game road trip for the Golden State who return to Oracle tomorrow night as Kristaps Porzingis, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks look to steal a win on the Warriors home court.

This star-studded showdown is slated for tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. from Oracle Arena.

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