Programming note: Coverage of Game 2 between the Pelicans and Warriors begins Monday with Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
OAKLAND -– After slipping into the playoffs on the last night of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans entered the NBA's most imposing arena on Saturday and, after getting a second wind, outperformed the best team in the league.
The No. 1 seed Warriors blew the Pelicans off the Oracle Arena floor in the first quarter, only to have the visitors play the more efficient game over the final three.
Though the Warriors held on for a 106-99 win, did the final three quarters shake their confidence?
It didn't seem so after the team studied video and practiced on Sunday.
"They're a talented group and no matter what (kind of) lead we have, we have to keep our foot on the gas pedal," Stephen Curry said. "We had a 25-point lead and somehow at the end of the fourth, we were having to had to make free throws to keep a small lead.
"If we play our 'A' game, we feel like we should win every game. But if we slip up and lose focus, take possessions for granted, they're obviously talented enough to do what they did last night and make a huge run."
That's when the Warriors were outscored 86-78 and outshot, 48.4 percent to 44.1. They were outshot on 3-pointers, 50 percent to 38.1 percent, and outrebounded, 35-31. Both teams committed 12 turnovers over the final three quarters.
"I think it was good for us," center Andrew Bogut said. "We were up big, and we knew that we almost let it go toward the end. It's given us a little more motivation coming in (Sunday) and making sure that we focus on what we need to focus on."
Despite having a 25-point lead cut to four in the fourth quarter, all signs are that the Warriors remain a loose bunch. That's the benefit of winning Game 1 and taking a 1-0 series lead and knowing there is plenty of room for improvement.
"It's good to go into a Game 2 with a (series) lead, but with ideas of things we can do better," coach Steve Kerr said.
The Warriors and Pelicans meet for Game 2 on Monday night at Oracle.