The Warriors game against the Pelicans on Tuesday night was a lot closer than you might have thought it would be before the game started. The 22-4 Warriors beat the 8-18 Pelicans in New Orleans, but they only won 113-109 and needed a key steal at the end of the game by Draymond Green to seal the victory.
That means that every single point the Warriors scored throughout the course of the game really mattered, and it makes what Steph Curry was able to do at one point in the third quarter that much more impressive. With the Warriors up 79-75 and the shot clock running down on a possession, Curry found himself with the ball on the wing with a defender all over him. He responded by taking a tough—a really tough—fadeaway shot that somehow went in. And after it hit the bottom of the net, Curry turned and gave a high-five to one of the Pelicans coaches who was standing near him on the sideline.
And why did he high-five a coach from the opposing team? Well, as it turns out, that coach is Darren Erman, a former Warriors coach who works under Alvin Gentry, another former Warriors coach, in New Orleans. Curry and Erman know one another well, so Curry didn’t think twice about slapping the coach’s hand. He explained why he did it after the game was over.
"I know him very well," Curry said. "He was telling I think Jrue [Holiday], while I was shooting, 'If he makes it, it’s a good shot, if he makes it, it’s a good shot,' trying to encourage the defense. So I wanted a little praise for that good shot, and he gave it to me. He was a good sport."
At first glance, the fact that Curry gave an opposing coach a high-five did feel a little weird, but after that explanation, it makes a whole lot more sense.