Tonight will mark the first game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Golden State Warriors in their playoff series. The Pelicans recently swept the Portland Trail Blazers, 4-0, to get to the Western Conference Semifinals while the Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 4-1. This will be the first time since 2008 that the New Orleans Pelicans will get play in the Semifinals as they were defeated by the Spurs, 3-4, last time. The Warriors and the Pelicans have battled each other a grand total of four times in the regular season as that series ended 3-1 in the Warriors’ favor. Each team would look to take a 1-0 lead in this playoff series as they play each other at the Oracle Arena.
New Orleans Pelicans:
Alexis Ajinca (knee)
DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles; 25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 47.0 FG%, 35.4 3P%)
Frank Jackson (foot)
DeAndre Liggins (coach’s decision; 1.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 37.7 FG%, 35.8 3P%)
Emeka Okafor (coach’s decision; 4.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 0.3 APG, 50.5 FG%)
Golden State Warriors:
Chris Boucher (ankle; 0.0 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Patrick McCaw (back; 4.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.9 FG%, 23.8 3P%)
Zaza Pachulia (coach’s decision; 5.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 56.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%)
Stephen Curry (knee; 26.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 6.1 APG, 49.5 FG%, 42.3 3P%)
The Golden State Warriors would have full control of the game at the beginning as they shot fifty-three percent from the field in the first half, limiting the New Orleans Pelicans to forty-six percent. In the midst of that, Kevin Durant would score eighteen points which included a three-pointer in the first quarter. He collected seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks to go along with that while Klay Thompson also had eighteen points. Thompson had three three-pointers in the second quarter while grabbing four defensive rebounds and dishing off two assists. Draymond Green contributed with twelve points and ten rebounds while Nick Young drilled a three-pointer in the middle of the first quarter. Wisconsin-native Kevon Looney played fourteen minutes off of the bench but was kept to just two points.
As for the New Orleans team, Anthony Davis earned himself twelve points on forty-six percent shooting. He also had five rebounds, one steal, and one block while E’Twaun Moore scored nine points which held a three-pointer in the first quarter. Former Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Jrue Holiday also had nine points but shot only thirty-eight percent from the field. Rajon Rondo saw to it that he got eight points, along with six defensive rebounds, nine assists, and one block. Former Warriors’ shooting guard Ian Clark played the most minutes off of the bench but only scored two points as the home team went into the locker room with a commanding 76 to 55 lead.
The New Orleans Pelicans would attempt to make a comeback as they limit the Warriors to a 47-46 run, shooting forty-two percent from the field. Thompson would start to cool off as he scored only nine points which contained a three-pointer in the middle of the third quarter. Durant would help out with eight points while knocking down two three-pointers in the third quarter. He also had six defensive rebounds while Young drilled another three-pointer near the end of the fourth quarter. Jordan Crawford chalked up fourteen points off of the Pelicans’ bench but it wouldn’t be enough as the Golden State Warriors defeat the Louisiana team, 123-101, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Klay Thompson finished the game with twenty-seven points, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Anthony Davis settled for twenty-one points, ten rebounds, three steals (tying his playoff career-high) and two blocks.