Pelicans have good season end with elimination by Warriors

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Kevin Durant, Jrue Holiday

It had to end sometime.

The 2017-2018 New Orleans Pelicans saw their season strike midnight (actually 11:50 p.m.) at Oakland Tuesday night.

The Warriors advanced with a 113-104 victory over the Pelicans to win the series four games to one.

The ending does not diminish the accomplishment.

Alvin Gentry earned his keep and earned a future in New Orleans with a very good performance on the bench. There is hope for the future.

Klay Thompson put the Warriors on top immediately. New Orleans missed its first two shots before Rajon Rondo got them on the board with a jumper.

Steph Curry suffered a bloody nose just under a minute into the game. He was not deterred.

After both teams started slowly, Golden State heated up while the Pelicans struggled with turnovers.

Then, Niko Mirotic committed a hard foul on Kevin Durant.

The Warriors went on an 8-0 run and took a 25-16 lead.

Golden State led 32-26 after one quarter as the Pelicans committed five turnovers. New Orleans stayed in it by going 6-of-9 (66.7%) from 3-point range. Thompson had 14 points on 6-of-9 from the field. The Warriors had just two turnovers.

After a slow start, Anthony Davis turned it on in the second quarter. He finished the half with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pelicans saw the Warriors get hot and pull out to a 50-40 lead but the Pelicans went on an 11-0 run to take a 51-50 lead on a dunk by Davis but Golden State closed the half on 9-5 run to lead 59-56 at halftime.

The Pelicans hung tough despite committing 10 costly turnovers, resulting in 17 Golden State points. New Orleans shot 9-of-17 (53%) from 3-point range. Thompson led the Warriors with 19 points in the half. Jrue Holiday had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Golden State put the game away in the third quarter, opening the half on a 10-0 run.

Gentry had to take three timeouts in the first 3:24 of the third quarter, trying to stem the tide. It did not work. The lead kept expanding. It was sheer dominance as the Warriors destroyed the Pelicans, taking their fight away. Gentry took four of his five second half timeouts in the quarter. Golden State built a 26-point lead.

The Pelicans did respond with a 9-0 run, not surrendering, but there was no recovering from the blitz of the Warriors, who led 95-75 by the end of the quarter, outscoring New Orleans 36-19 in the decisive quarter. It was too much to overcome.

Give New Orleans credit. The Pelicans did not quit, going on an 18-2 run to pull within seven at 107-100 but could get no closer. They missed four free throws down the stretch, which hurt the cause.

Davis had 20 points and 10 rebounds in all nine of his playoff games. He finished this game with 34 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks. Holiday was brilliant with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

The “Big Four” of the Warriors were huge. Curry, Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green combined for 94 points. Golden State won the boards 53-44.

The Warriors tied an NBA record with their 15th straight home playoff win.

Now, we will get the NBA championship series as Golden State plays Houston, regardless of what happens in the Eastern conference.

Now, the Pelicans have to make some hard decisions, not the least of which involves DeMarcus Cousins.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans earned respect—around the league and from fans in New Orleans. They played a very entertaining brand of basketball while winning. Progress was made. Perhaps next season, they can do it bigger. They simply were not ready to deal with the biggest of the big boys in the league.

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

Owner/CEO

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…

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