Sweep on the horizon? Pelicans rout Blazers, lead series 3-0
Apr 22 2018 by Dustin Murphy
"This is probably the first time where the big is just staying".
Game 4 in New Orleans wasn't short on great shots and great performances on both sides, but the Pelicans made a few more plays to sweep the Trail Blazers with a 131-123 win Saturday at Smoothie King Center.
Rondo ran New Orleans' offense with a tempo that gave Portland fits, and even when he was forced to settle for a deep 3 late in the shot clock, it went down, pushing the Pelicans' lead to 20 in the first half.
Saturday's loss was Portland's 10th straight in the postseason, dating back to the second round of the 2016 playoffs. After all, New Orleans struggled on that end of the court for much of the regular season.
Trail Blazers: Played without 6-foot-9 forward Maurice Harkless. The Heat got no closer. Now a team-high +16.7 in 36.2 minutes per game, he's by far been the team's most efficient player, shooting 58.5 percent from the field, 47.8 percent from long range and a flawless 100 percent from the free throw line.
Blazers all-star Damian Lillard said Friday that Portland needs to start matching New Orleans' physicality and aggressiveness, "even if that means some foul trouble or some altercations happen out there or whatever".
Lillard had a solid, though no dominant outing, recording 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. We did not get to see Rajon Rondo in the playoffs previous year due to an injury, but his value has been shown this series as he is playing stellar defense along with Holiday shutting down the backcourt of the Trail Blazers and shooting the ball well. Pelican guard Jrue Holiday was named a "breakout star" for being the same guy he has been since January.
Joe Ingles, who had 21 points, made two 3-pointers around two free throws to spark a 13-0 surge that ended on Mitchell's 3 to put Utah up by 20 points in the fourth quarter. But this time, they came home with a 2-0 lead over third-seeded Portland - and as Holiday said, they were expecting a "crazy" atmosphere.
"They guarded us the same way each game". In the series, New Orleans is shooting 50.6 percent from the field and a blistering 41.3 percent from three point range. New Orleans extended it to 90-65 late in the third quarter, then took a 91-70 lead into the final period. The Heat ended Philadelphia's franchise-record 17-game winning streak Monday, winning with physical defense. Jrue Holiday (seven assists, three steals) and Rajon Rondo (five rebounds, 11 assists, two steals) each had 16 points as they held their own against the heralded Lillard/McCollum backcourt. Meanwhile, the Trailblazers are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. The Blazers committed 24 turnovers, leading to 29 Pelicans points.
Game 4, April 7:New Orleans won its first game in three years against the Warriors with a 126-120 win at Oracle Arena.
CJ McCollum and Al-Farouq Aminu split player of the game for Rip City's last of 2017-2018.
Jrue Holiday said the fact the Pelicans have been able to bottle Dame up so far only makes him and CJ more unsafe going into Game 4. He is shooting 70 percent from the field, including 71 percent on 3-pointers.
Davis and Pelicans are focused, they are locked-in.