Pelicans Fail to Steal Game 2
*photo via USA Today
All night long Anthony Davis and the 8th seeded New Orleans Pelicans threatened to steal home court from the best home court team in basketball. However the 1st seeded Golden State Warriors bounced back from an 11 point first quarter deficit, to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over New Orleans last night at the Oracle in the first round of the western conference playoffs. The final was 97-87.
After Game 1 much was made about crowd noise. Even Pelicans coach Monty Williams made a comment about how the sound could be borderline illegal. It didn’t seem to affect them early. Behind Davis and Eric Gordon’s hot shooting New Orleans took a 28-17 lead into the 2nd quarter.
TNT’s broadcast captured a moment in the Warriors huddle where Steve Kerr said he couldn’t “recognize his team” after a lackluster opening 12 minutes. The best offense in the game then proceeded to score 38 points in the second quarter and take a 3 point lead into the half.
The Pelicans would not go down without a fight. Davis followed his 35 point playoff debut with 26 more points and 10 rebounds. Eric Gordon had 23 points including five made threes. This game was tied going into the 4th at 71. However the Warriors defense lead by Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut proved to be too overwhelming in the second half and specifically in the 4th. The Warriors out-scored the Pelicans 26-16 in the final quarter.
Leandro Barbosa was a tremendous x-factor for the Warriors who improved to 41-2 on the season at home. Barbosa AKA “The brazilian blur” brought his A game last night. He needed only 15 minutes to score 12 points on 5-8 shooting from the field. It all happened in a blur. After the starters got off to a shaky start this is exactly the boost they needed.
The splash brothers were at it again. They combined for 48 points and six made threes. Klay Thompson rebounded from his game 1 shooting performance. On Saturday he shot 6-17 from the field and last night he was an impressive 11-17, including many timely buckets that changed the momentum of the game.
Player of the Game: Draymond Green. He was everywhere. He logged 42 minutes and prevented Davis from taking over the game late. He also stuffed the stat sheet with another double-double. 14 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. He is the Warriors glue guy and last night he lived up to it.
Dud of the Game: The Pelicans offense in the second half. After a great first half the Pelicans had nothing going on at the offensive end in the second half. They could only come up with 35 second half points. The Warriors scored 38 in the second quarter alone.
Stat of the Game: Everyone who played double digit minutes for Coach Kerr had at least one assist. Every starter had at least two. The Warriors assisted on 27 of their 38 field goals.
The Pelicans did all they could and it still wasn’t enough against the best team in the Association. If they play with this same grit and heart hey may have an opportunity to avoid the sweep and steal a game at home. They were without guard Jrue Holiday due to injury. Game 3 will played Thursday night in New Orleans at 9:30 pm on TNT. The Warriors look to take a 3-0 series lead.