Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Every time New Orleans dented Golden State's lead, the Warriors responded.
Until the Pelicans ran out of time.
Stephen Curry netted 19 of his 34 points in the first half and Golden State held off New Orleans 106-99 in Game 1 of this Western Conference quarterfinal.
A 14-0 Pelicans run that bled into the early stages of the fourth quarter trimmed a 25-point deficit to 11. Curry and Klay Thompson, however, hit consecutive 3-pointers to begin a 7-0 swing and temporarily put the game out of reach again.
A 7-0 New Orleans spurt later in the frame cut the gap to 93-83 with under four minutes left, but the Warriors kept the Pelicans at bay down the stretch.
New Orleans was within four in the final minute but never got over the hump.
"Obviously the first three were a lot better than the fourth," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It was good for us to feel that ... We missed a lot of free throws that made it closer than it needed to be."
Game 2 is Monday night in Oakland.
Draymond Green posted 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, Andrew Bogut tallied 12 points, 14 boards and five assists and Thompson scored 21 for Golden State, which won an NBA-best 67 games and went 39-2 at home during the regular season.
Anthony Davis had a fantastic playoff debut, pouring in 20 of his 35 points in the fourth for the Pelicans, who played in their first postseason game since 2011.
They beat out the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final playoff spot after beating the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs on the NBA's last day of the regular season Wednesday.
"We gave up so many easy baskets that it got their crowd into it. They got a lot of juice," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "But we did figure out some things tonight. We've got to be a lot better figuring out some small, small screens and our pick-and-roll defense tonight was poor, especially in the first half."
A Shaun Livingston dunk staked Golden State to its healthy 25-point cushion, 82-57, with 2:16 to go in the third before New Orleans made its 14-0 push.
Quincy Pondexter jump-started the burst by scoring seven of the final nine Pelicans points in the third, including a shot just inside the half-court line to pull New Orleans within 84-66.
Jrue Holiday, who returned late in the season following a 41-game absence due to a stress reaction in his right leg, knocked down a pull-up jumper and a 3 to start the fourth. Davis finished off the run with a jumper to make it 84-73.
Following Golden State's mini sprint, a pair of Davis baskets preceded an Eric Gordon 3 to conclude New Orleans' 7-0 swing minutes later and claw the visitors within 93-83 with 3:26 to play.
The Warriors went 7-of-14 from the foul line in the final two-plus minutes to keep the Pelicans in it.
A pair of Davis free throws trimmed the margin to 103-99, but by then it was too late with 9.7 ticks on the clock. Curry went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe, but Harrison Barnes secured the rebound on the second miss and hit two foul shots to seal the outcome.
Earlier, the Warriors used a 14-1 surge to create immediate separation after New Orleans got off to a 4-0 start. Curry recorded seven points during the stretch as the hosts opened up a 14-5 advantage.
Golden State was up 28-13 following a quarter of play, holding the Pelicans to a 3-of-19 clip from the floor in the opening frame after they hit their first two shots.
Pondexter hit a pair of 3s during a 10-4 swing, including one to cap it and get New Orleans within 44-39 at the 4:17 mark of the second.
Golden State, though, closed the half on a 15-2 burst, heading into the locker room with a 59-41 advantage.
Curry, who posted the sixth 30-plus point game of his playoff career, went 4- of-7 from the foul line, missing three free throws for the first time this season ... Golden State went 3-1 against New Orleans during the regular season, but Davis sat out two of those games ... Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans left the game with a left knee contusion and didn't return ... Pondexter finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists.