OAKLAND, Calif. — Andrew Bogut took five dribbles at the three-point line while his defender remained near the free throw line, and so he decided to pull the trigger.
Even the Warriors’ 7-foot center made a three-pointer, as it’s been that kind of season for the team that improved to 60-6 after crushing the New Orleans Pelicans 125-107 on Monday.
Stephen Curry scored 27 points in three quarters on his 28th birthday, hitting four three-pointers to make it 322 on the season.
But it was Bogut’s three-pointer that was something special, leading the Australian to look toward the bench and grin. It was only the third of his 11-year career, and it came after he badly air-balled a free throw earlier in the game.
He followed up the shot from long distance with a blocked shot on the other end of the floor, and Klay Thompson came down the court to hit a three-pointer that gave the Warriors a 73-55 lead.
Later in the third quarter, Curry hit two three-pointers in a row to push the Warriors’ lead to 26. For good measure, he banked in a 33-footer with 3.8 seconds left in the quarter.
Give the Warriors some space to operate, and the team looking to become the greatest of all-time will take advantage.
The big win overshadowed some early struggles the Warriors had against the Pelicans, who were so injury-plagued that they only suited up 10 players.
Anthony Davis, who finished with 22 points in three quarters, hit two free throws to give New Orleans a 42-40 lead. The Warriors at that point in the second quarter had already committed 10 turnovers, with Curry and Thompson combining for seven.
Quickly, the dam did break for the Pelicans, who have struggled mightily in coach Alvin Gentry’s first season. The Warriors went on a 9-0 run capped by Curry’s fist pump-inducing three-point play, James Michael McAdoo’s putback dunk off a Harrison Barnes steal, and Draymond Green’s layup.
Meanwhile, Kerr became the first rookie coach in NBA history to win at least 60 games in each of his first two seasons.
He won’t like that the Warriors committed 18 turnovers. But the Warriors led 59-50 at halftime and went on to cruise to an NBA record 49th straight regular-season home win while Curry, Green and Bogut got fourth-quarter rest.
Golden State shot 58 percent from the field, while New Orleans only shot 37.6 percent.
Thompson finished with 18 points, and Green added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Marreese Speights once again provided a lift off the bench with 14 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes.
Former Warriors guard Toney Douglas scored 22 points and former Cal star Ryan Anderson came off the bench to add 19 points for the Pelicans.
Kerr assigned no blame for the play where Andre Iguodala sprained an ankle after the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard crashed into him Friday.
“It was a dangerous play, but it’s hard to fault a guy for diving for a loose ball, so I don’t think there’s any blame,” Kerr said. “But it was very unfortunate. It’s one of those plays where you just cringe as soon as you see it happen. But nothing that we’re angry about. It’s just kind of bad luck.”
The Warriors led 106-83 at the time of the collision that resulted in the Oakland native Lillard being whistled for a loose ball foul and Iguodala spraining his left ankle that will cost him at least two weeks of action.
Asked if there was an issue with Lillard going after the ball, Green didn’t answer with a yes or no.
“Stuff happens over the course of a game, throughout the course of a season,” Green said. “You’ve just got to deal with it.”
MOST 3-POINTERS BY TEAMMATES
Curry (322) and Thompson (209) have the most combined 3s by teammates during a single season in NBA history with 531, topping their previous-best mark of 525 from last season.
Curry played on his birthday for the third straight year and fourth time overall.
KERR CREDITS GENTRY
Kerr was on a leave of absence for the season opener last fall while recovering from complications after two back surgeries, so he didn’t get to coach opposite good friend Gentry that night — or in the second game four days later.
Gentry meant so much to the then-first-year coach last season as his right-hand man on the bench.
“Alvin was just huge given that it was my first year coaching,” Kerr said. “His impact no doubt helped us win the championship and helped me kind of settle in to my new job.”
Gentry isn’t surprised by Golden State’s success under Kerr.
“Steve is a terrific leader,” Gentry said. “This isn’t anything that’s new. He’s been preparing for this for a long time. He put in so much work. When we worked together in Phoenix, he would ask questions. He wanted to know about specific plays. I didn’t have any doubt he was going to be a great coach. He worked at it so hard. I learned so much from him just being here the one year that I was.”
Pelicans: New Orleans hasn’t won on the Warriors’ home floor since April 24, 2012. ... The reeling Pelicans used their 33rd different starting lineup. ... New Orleans is 6-17 on the road against the Western Conference.
Warriors: C Andrew Bogut had a 3-pointer on one end and a block on the other in one third-quarter sequence. It was his third career 3. ... The Warriors moved to 2-2 in four games with Curry playing on his birthday. ... Golden State has a seven-game home winning streak against New Orleans and three in a row overall.
Pelicans: At Sacramento on Wednesday.
Warriors: Host Knicks on Wednesday.