The Pelicans Routed in Opening Game at Golden State
Welcome to the second round of the NBA Playoffs New Orleans Pelicans fans. It was a rude welcoming by the Golden State Warriors as they routed the Pelicans 123-101.
This game started out like any good battle does, a couple punches thrown each way, feeling each other out, and the stars trying to get going early.
In the first quarter it seemed like the Pelicans were having some problems matching up with the Warriors in terms of having Nikola Mirotic guarding Kevin Durant. That was due to Steve Kerr inserting Nick Young into the starting lineup instead of JaVale McGee.
On the flip side, Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo were connecting early and often to keep New Orleans in the game. With that, they were able to hang with Golden State trailing only 35-34 after the first quarter.
Unfortunately, in the second quarter they weren't able to hang around. First of all, the Pels were getting out rebounded with the mismatch of size on the second unit for both teams, and then there was a monster run. Klay Thompson went off making three, three pointers during a 27-2 run by Golden State in the middle of the quarter.
On a positive note, New Orleans closed the first half on a 7-0 run (capped by a Darius Miller 72 footer) and it was only half time, basketball is a game of runs but the score at the half was still 76-55. Golden State outscored the Pels 41-21 in the quarter.
However, as the third quarter went on it didn't seem like it was meant to be for the team from the Big Easy. Every time they got a little momentum, the Warriors kept coming right back, and that's what they do so well. They outscored the Pelicans 27-19 and lead 103-74 after three quarters.
By the fourth quarter started the starters were out for both teams and the rout was on for the Warriors.
Steve Kerr set the tone from the jump in this game, going small in his starting lineup by inserting an extra guard in Nick Young to instantly create match-up problems for New Orleans. Draymond Green was exceptional in this game notching a triple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists. Kevin Durant was able to take advantage of his match-up, mostly with Mirotic, to the tune of 26 points along with 13 rebounds, as well as Klay Thompson pouring in 27 on 4-9 from downtown.
Anthony Davis was the high scorer for the Pelicans with 21 but the Warriors made things extremely difficult for him to really get going all night. However, the supporting cast wasn't there, as Jrue Holiday and Mirotic struggled to find their stroke. Holiday tallied 11 points on 4-14 shooting and Nikola only nine points on 3-9 shooting from the field. Rondo had things working as he neared a triple-double through three quarters (nine points, 11 assists, eight rebounds) but again the starters didn't play in the fourth quarter. In addition, a bright spot in garbage time was Jordan Crawford scoring 14 points in 8 minutes, we'll see if he earned himself some playing time as this series goes on.
We'll see if New Orleans can make some adjustments as game two is on Tuesday, May 1st at 9:30pm.