Pelicans fans reeling after historic sweep

Clyde Nash
April 26, 2018

Davis and Holiday put on a clinic in the second half - scoring 60 of the Pelicans 73 points on a series of drives, layups, put backs, jumpers and threes as they broke out to a 100-87 lead after 3.

The minutes haven't been a concern, though, because New Orleans has used its free-flowing offense to consistently produce good looks, rather than depending on Davis and Holiday to carry the load. Vegas agreed, putting the Pelicans at almost 2-1 consensus underdogs. "We really didn't have a right to win the game".

After repeatedly defying the odds during this winding and suddenly historic season, superstar forward Anthony Davis has maintained a clear message in his mind.

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry hasn't lost faith in Lillard's ability either.

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That's one heck of a week for this franchise.

New Orleans defeated Portland 131-123 in Game 4 at the Smoothie King Center on Saturday, eliminating the West's three seed and setting up a likely second-round date with Golden State. He has helped negate what many people thought would be a decided Blazers' advantage on the interior.

Jusuf Nurkic vs Anthony Davis - Nurkic didn't exactly do himself any favors with his poor play this series, especially since he's set for contract talks in the offseason. Jrue Holiday has stepped up his game and he is averaging 23.3 PPG in this series. There have been so many stars in this series for the Pels, but when Mirotic plays this well it becomes nearly unfair for Portland. "I've seen him completely take over games". They've found the winning formula between the incredible one-on-one ability of Davis and Holiday, the pace-pushing, distributing talents of Rajon Rondo, and a spread-the-floor shooting attack led by Nikola Mirotic.

So while you can never expect to stop the Warriors offense, the Pelicans have proven that they at least have a shot to contain them. Mirotic threw himself into the conversation with an absurd Game 3.

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The 76ers lead the Eastern Conference series 3-1 and can close out the Heat when play resumes in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Look, nobody's favoring the Pelicans in this series, but they do have a slight edge on numerous other teams in the National Basketball Association in this respect: They put the ball in the basket.

The Blazers, by contrast, became the first-ever three-seed to be swept in the first round and Lillard, who emerged as a fringe MVP candidate on many voters' ballots during the regular season, could not hide his emotions. The production Clark is providing in those minutes is, however, up for debate. During the playoffs, Rondo has emerged as the club's third star, piling up 53 assists in four games.

SALT LAKE CITY - Ricky Rubio had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Utah's first playoff triple-double in 17 years, and Donovan Mitchell added 22 points to lead the Jazz to a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series. Oh, and does Gentry really have a better guard option off the bench than Clark?

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So, out-dueling the NBA's best at their own game would seem to make for long odds.

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