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Thompson Scores 41, Warriors Top Pelicans to Clinch 3rd Seed | Sports News

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By BRETT MARTEL, AP Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Klay Thompson made seven 3-pointers and scored 41 points for the Golden State Warriors, who clinched the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 128-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night.

Jordan Poole scored 22 for the Warriors, who opened up a 22-point lead in the second quarter and held on to close out the regular season on a five-game winning streak.

The Pelicans were already locked into the ninth spot in the Western Conference and limited playing time for the usual starters ahead of their single-elimination play-in game on Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs. Brandon Ingram (right hamstring), Herbert Jones (bruised right tibia) and Jonas Valanciunas (sore right ankle) sat out, as well as top scoring reserve Devonte’ Graham.

Starting guard CJ McCollum played just five minutes in the first quarter before being given the rest of the night off. Naji Marshall led New Orleans with 19 points, while reserve Gary Clark added 17 points and rookie Trey Murphy III scored 15.

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The Pelicans still whittled a 29-point deficit down to 11 late in the third quarter before Thompson put the game away with 15 points in a five-minute span early in the fourth period.

Thompson opened the spurt with an 11-foot turnaround, a reverse layup and then a driving floater as he was fouled, followed by a 15-foot pull-up and consecutive 3s to make it 108-86.

Thompson scored 21 in the first half, with a 15-foot turnaround and a 3 early in what became a dominant second quarter for Golden State.

Warriors: Thompson finished 50% from 3-point range and has 14 games with at least 20 points and six with at least 30 since returning to the lineup on Jan. 9 from knee and Achilles injuries that sidelined him more than two seasons. … Golden State shot 60.5% overall (49 of 81) and 57.6% (19 of 33) from 3-point range. … Jonathan Kuminga scored 18 points and Damion Lee added 11.

Pelicans: Ingram missed his third straight game with the hamstring injury, which coach Willie Green has described as a minor aggravation that shouldn’t keep him out of the play-in game. “He’s feeling much better,” Green said. “Our plan is for him to be ready to play Wednesday. But other than that, he’s working through it. He is getting better. But it just didn’t make sense to put him on the floor tonight.” … Undrafted rookie Jose Alvarado scored 12 points in a reserve role.

It’s still not clear whether Warriors leading scorer Stephen Curry will be back for Golden State’s playoff opener. He missed the final 12 games of the regular season because of a sprained ligament in his left foot.

“We’ll see how everything goes with Steph next week. There’s a chance he’ll be ready for Game 1. There’s a chance he might not,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “As the week goes on, we’ll see where Steph is. But I imagine this will go right down to the wire as far as Game 1 is concerned, whether we know his availability or not.”

Warriors: Open the first round of the playoffs at home against Denver; dates and times have yet to to be announced.

Pelicans: Host a Western Conference play-in game against San Antonio on Wednesday night.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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