After starting the series with two road wins, the New Orleans Pelicans moved one game closer to the second round of the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs with a 119-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 on Thursday night at the Smoothie King Center. This will be mid-afternoon start time of 4 pm central time.
The Pelicans made plenty of shots all game long, hitting 52.9 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from 3-point range. By the end of the third, Portland trailed, 70-91.
New Orleans took a stranglehold on its first-round Western Conference playoff series, grabbing a 3-0 lead, with a chance to polish off the first sweep in franchise history when the teams tip off Game 4 at p.m. Saturday.
Game 1 saw a monster game from Anthony Davis. Davis leads in rebounds with 13.5 while Rondo tops in assists with 13.0. The dominating center was a one man wrecking crew on the inside, willing the Pelicans to a 97-95 victory.
Nikola Mirotic, acquired in a midseason trade from the Chicago Bulls, led the Pelicans with 30 points and added 8 rebounds.
INJURY UPDATE: Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was limited to only 15 minutes in Game 2 because of a left leg contusion, while forward Evan Turner is questionable with a right toe contusion. The Pelicans won that contest, 111-102. Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is traveling with the team but will not play in the opening round of the playoff as he continues to rehabilitate a sprained knee. However, all but one player who saw minutes for the Blazers scored.
He was 0 for six from the floor with zero points before coming out of the game.
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The Trail Blazers had no response to the epic attacking flair of Davis and the Pelicans last night, but they'll need to find one this Saturday if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive.
On the other side, only five Portland players got on the board in the first half. And I think that's the position they've put me in.
Damian Lillard - Of course, a lot will still depend on what Dame can provide. Although, they did have other members step up.
Despite his strong play all season, Holiday has mainly flew under the radar this year due in large part to Davis' nightly MVP-like performances. Also, if the Blazers are forced to start double teaming Davis inside, look for lanes to open up for Holiday to drive to the rim.
Any team headed to their opponent's court down 2-0 knows they are facing an uphill battle. No matter who takes it, you know it's a shot you work on in practice or pregame. Anything can happen for any team, especially a quality team like the Trail Blazers, but it would be hard to bet against a team headed home having just taken games 1 and 2 on the road.
"You gotta stay even-keel", Davis said. Get your 100% signup bonus today.
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