Pelicans Can’t Overcome Warriors Late Surge, Drop Game 2
With the odds stacked against them, the 8 seeded New Orleans Pelicans went toe to toe with a team that has gone 41-2 on their homecourt. In the end, the Golden State Warriors were too much, winning game 2 by the score of 97-87.
New Orleans came off the opening tip playing with fluidity and a comfort level that was missing in the opening quarter of game 1 on Saturday, jumping out to a 13 point lead.
Golden State didn't stay down for long, outscoring the Pelicans in the second quarter 38-24, scoring in transition and from beyond the arc.
"The whole second quarter we couldn't get much going," explained Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "Offensive rhythm is important against a team like Golden State because they can run it down your throat....their second quarter when they scored 38 points was a hole for us."
In the second half, the Pelicans kept grinding, pushing the Warriors to the brink before Golden State won the last few minutes. New Orleans late offensive possessions came up short, as the Pels struggled with ball movement and missed shots.
While the loss was disappointing, it wasn't for a lack of effort by New Orleans, who were playing without guard Jrue Holiday.
Eric Gordon was effective from the outside, scoring 23 points, including 5-10 from beyond the arc. Tyreke Evans (knee contusion) gutted out visible knee pain to finish with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 0 turnovers.
"I can't fault our guys tonight," said Williams. "They fought their tails off and gave us a chance to win."
Anthony Davis led the team in scoring with 26 points and 10 boards, playing a game-high 45 minutes. After showing a few jitters early in game 1, Davis continues to soak up playoff basketball, and the atmosphere that comes along with it.
"It's way different (than the regular season)," said Davis of the playoffs. "The physicality is different. The pace is different. The calls are different...It's all new to me."
Playoff experience can only be gained by getting it.
"He's a great player," said Williams of Davis. "In order to be the best he can be, it's these moments that you have to get used to it. He embraces all of it. He wants to learn and experience all of it."
With the loss, the Pelicans trail the Warriors 0-2 in the best of seven series.
Despite battling with the league's best team, Davis and his teammates aren't settling for the results thus far.
"We don't believe in moral victories," explained Davis. "An L is an L."
Game 3 shifts back to New Orleans. Tip-off Thursday night from the Smoothie King Center is set for 8:30.