The stakes were low, the energy high and the conclusion acceptable for the Warriors on Friday, as even while resting three starters they came away with to a 125-122 win over the Pelicans, who treated the game mostly as an audition.
The victory gives the Warriors (38-33) their first five-game win streak this season and puts them five games over .500 for the first time since 2018-19.
With Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins all out of the lineup, Jordan Poole scored a career-high 38 points and Mychal Mulder put in a career-high 28.
The Pelicans, eliminated from the playoff race earlier this week, were without injured starters Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
Here are three observations from a game in which the Warriors blew a 19-point lead that reintroduced a couple players to the Golden State roster:
Poole’s productive and scary evening
In a game without competitive consequences, the one thing the Warriors hoped to avoid, above all else, was seeing a rotation player go down with injury. That’s exactly what happened with Poole in the third quarter.
Starting in place of Curry, Poole had scored 24 points when he twisted his left ankle with 9:52 left in the third quarter. Leaping to tap a rebound to a teammate, he landed atop the foot of Pelicans big man Willy Hernangomez and fell to the floor clutching his left leg.
Poole limped into the locker room,…