- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Draymond Green irritated the other team, nearly started a fight, ignited a torrent of boos from opposing fans - and backed it up with an all-around performance punctuated by a clutch defensive play in the final seconds.

In other words, it was a typical performance for the Warriors’ feisty forward.

Green recorded his 15th-career triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and it was the last of his four steals - against star Anthony Davis, no less - that helped the Golden State Warriors hold off the New Orleans Pelicans 113-109 on Tuesday night.

“I love playing defense, so when it comes to a situation where you’ve got to get a stop to win the game, I enjoy that moment,” Green said of his steal, which he executed while the Warriors held a tenuous 111-109 lead.

Davis, who had 28 points, five blocks and two steals, was furious that officials deemed Green’s steal a clean play and drew a technical foul for disputing the officials’ decision. There was contact between the two players, but Green said Davis initiated it.

“I hit the ball as he was trying to throw his shoulder into me. I thought it was really clean,” said Green, who also noted that he wasn’t worried about the risk of putting Davis on the foul line if officials had seen it differently.

“We’re up two (at the time) and we’ve got three of the greatest scorers in the world,” he said, referring to Stephen Curry, who had a game-high 30 points, Kevin Durant, who scored 27 and Klay Thompson, who added 17 points.

Davis’ disappointment was evident in his eyes as he largely avoided discussing the play - a wise move if he didn’t want to make headlines or draw a fine for criticizing officials.

When asked to describe what happened, Davis said he was “trying to score,” and then waited in silence for the next question.

Earlier in the game, after Davis had rejected Green’s shot, the two bumped one another and appeared to exchange words while fans bombarded Green with boos. Later, when Green was rejected by Alexis Ajinca, the crowd went wild. But was Green was able to celebrate Golden State’s 13th road win in 15 games away from home.

DURANT’S DEFENSE

For all his scoring on an array of shots that ranged from a driving dunk to a 3-pointer, Durant’s happiest moment seemed to be when he was lying on the floor, pumping his fist, moments after he’d blocked Davis’ driving shot with 34 seconds left.

“That whole possession, I was telling myself I wanted to make a huge play,” Durant said. “I was excited I was able to get over there and help the team out in another way besides making a shot. It was definitely fun. I was in the moment.”

COMMANDING RESPECT

Curry hit five of Golden State’s 14 made 3-pointers, but one shot that stood out was a 22-footer from the right side. As the shot fell through, Curry reached back toward the New Orleans bench and got a reluctant but respectful low-five from Pelicans associate head coach Darren Erman, a former Warriors assistant.

Right as Curry was pulling up, he said he could hear Erman trying to encourage New Orleans’ defense by saying, “If he makes it, it’s a good shot.”

“So I wanted a little praise for that good shot, and he gave it to me,” Curry added. “He was a good sport.”

BOLD APPROACH

For much of the game, the Pelicans sought to beat the Warriors at their own game, a seemingly counterintuitive approach for a team that has won just eight games.

Instead, it produced one highlight after another on both ends of the floor, not to mention a highly competitive game.

Langston Galloway scored 20 points, hitting five of New Orleans’ 14 3s, but the Pelicans missed their final five shots from that range.

Tim Frazier scored 13 points for the Pelicans, who led by as many as nine in the first half and by five early in the final period.

But the Pelicans committed four of their 17 turnovers in the last 4 minutes and missed their last five 3-point attempts.

“We stopped making shots,” Davis said. The Warriors “didn’t force anything and things were going in for them. I had my opportunities but didn’t come through.”

TIP-INS

Warriors: Center JaVale McGee made his first start this season at center because regular starter Zaza Pachulia was missing his third straight game with a right wrist injury. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he inserted McGee instead of Kevon Loney, who’d started the previous game, because “we’re experimenting a bit and looking at a few different combinations.” McGee had nine points and five rebounds in 16 minutes. … Kerr said Pachulia is scheduled to have an MRI performed on him Wednesday.

Pelicans: Solomon Hill scored 12 points and Jrue Holiday 10. … Terrence Jones grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pelicans.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Host New York on Thursday night to open a three-game home stand.

Pelicans: Host Indiana on Thursday night.

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