The Golden State Warriors stormed into the 2nd round playoffs as the first team by taking an unassailable 4-0 lead over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday at New Orleans in the Western Conference playoff series.
The Pelicans were desperate to reduce the margin at home, but were hammered again, this time with 109-98 by the Warriors. Stephen Curry once more rose to the occasion, leading his side with 39 points. Besides that, he had eight rebounds and nine assists.
“I’m proud of the way we played, the way we competed. Now we’ll rest up and get ready for the next round,” said Curry after taking his side to the next phase.
The Pelicans narrowed the gap to seven points at a stage, but the dominance of the Warriors remained undiminished as they notched up a double-digit lead in the final quarter. The Warriors came back to win Game 3 from a 20-point deficit, a mark of their perseverance in the current series.
Draymond Green scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half, and Klay Thompson bagged 25 more in the winner’s kitty. For the Pelicans Anthony Davis scored 36 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
The Warriors will now look forward to meet the winners of the tie between the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail-Blazers.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, extended their lead to 3-0 over the Trail-Blazers in the other game of the night. Point-guard Mike Conley left the court with a bleeding eye and was later taken to the hospital for a check-up. But that couldn’t hamper the Grizzlies from retaining their momentum of the first two games to win 115-109 at Portland.
Spaniard Marc Gasol notched up 25 points, seven rebounds and four assist for the winners, as Courtney Lee scored 20 more. Portland’s Nicolas Batum is the highest scorer of the game with 27 points.
No team has ever managed to overturn a 0-3 deficit in the NBA Playoffs so far; the Grizzlies though would aim to wrap it up in Game 4 on Monday.