LOS ANGELES – The Golden State Warriors cannot wait to get home. If the National Basketball Association (NBA) champions are to turn around their season and defend their title, they will need a reset.
On Friday, Brandon Ingram returned from a four-game absence caused by a concussion to score a game-high 26 points as the New Orleans Pelicans held off the short-handed Warriors 114-105 at home.
Golden State’s loss meant that they fell to 0-6 on the road and 3-7 overall, although they played without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins because of injury maintenance.
“Excited about getting home,” coach Steve Kerr said on ESPN. “Next week will be a great opportunity for us to get a lot of work in.
“We’re going to change up the rotations a little bit,” he added, hinting that he has identified players “who maybe haven’t gotten a ton of minutes who are going to get a chance to play” without giving details.
“Couldn’t get it done (tonight), but very happy with the effort. There’s a lot of good stuff to take from it.”
Larry Nance Jr. and CJ McCollum added 20 points each for the Pelicans (5-3), Zion Williamson scored 16 and Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado had 10 points each.
Jordan Poole scored 20, Jonathan Kuminga and Ty Jerome had 18 each, Anthony Lamb scored 16 and Moses Moody had 14 for the Warriors, who completed a 0-5 trip. According to ESPN, they are the first defending champions to start 0-6 on the road in NBA history.
Ingram did not show any rust from his layoff, scoring 10 points in a fast start in the first quarter, which drew praise from his coach.
“Good to have him back, honestly. We needed his production tonight,” Willie Green said. “He picked up some slack for us.”
Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook had a game-high 28 points for the Los Angeles Lakers, but it was not enough as they fell 130-116 at home to the Utah Jazz. The 2020 NBA champions have now lost five in their first seven games.
The Jazz were led by Lauri Markkanen’s 27 points and 13 rebounds. Utah shot the lights out, hitting 50.5 per cent overall and drilling 17 three-pointers.
While the Warriors and the Lakers struggled, Jrue Holiday scored 29 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded his first triple-double of the season as the Milwaukee Bucks improved to 8-0 for the first time in franchise history with a 115-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.