Golden State Warriors Ambush New Orleans Pelicans In 2nd Quarter, Take Game 1 In Western Conference
Power Couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé Sit Courtside At The Oracle
Andre Iguodala of Golden State Warriors pulls down a rebound as E'Twaun Moore of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on at The Oracle in Oakland, Calif. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. April 28, 2018.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Oakland, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors was kind of dragging in the first round of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs. But with the pending return of Stephen Curry, the team got it all warm and comfy for him.
The Warriors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-101 at the Oracle on Saturday in the first game of the Western Conference Semifinal. Klay Thompson had 27 points, six rebounds, and two assists for the Warriors (1-0).
From the outset, this game was running at a fast pace for Golden State. That and the defensive play of Draymond Green set the tone for the Warriors, who dictated the game that normally falls in the Pelicans’ favor.
“You kind of know what playoff basketball is like and you know what the Spurs are,” said Kevin Durant, who finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors. “They are a slow-down team. So, we were not expecting a fast-paced series. But here (playing the Pelicans), we know this team gets up-and-down.”
Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the Golden State Warriors/New Orleans Pelicans game at The Oracle in Oakland, Calif. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. April 28, 2018.
Anthony Davis had 21 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots and Rajon Rondo contributed nine points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds for New Orleans (0-1). E’Twaun Moore had 15 points.
On a night when music superstar-couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé were in the building, both teams discarded playing defense and jumped out to combine for 69 points in the first quarter, the Warriors leading 35-34.
The second quarter was more of the same, but the Warriors were the ones doing all the scoring as they implemented the defense. In reality, after 48 minutes of play, it was the deciding quarter that contained a 24-2 run by the Warriors.
Golden State outscored the Pelicans 41-21, making 13 of 20 shots from the field. Thompson knocked down 3 of 4 treys for 13 points. He also had two of the Warriors five steals in the second frame.
The Pelicans made on 6 of 23 shots from the floor in the second quarter and trailed 76-55 at the half. New Orleans conceded to an ambush in the second quarter after making 15 of 25 shots from the field in the first quarter.
Nick Young got the start at small forward in Game 1 while Green moved to the center position to battle Davis. Green had registered a triple-double in three quarters, finishing with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists. He also added three steals and two blocked shots.
“We were playing pretty good there in the first quarter but they were able to score some points,” Green said. “Once our defense showed up and started to make a stand, that’s when the game turned for us.”
After three quarters, the Warriors led 103-74. Durant, Green, and Andre Iguodala did not play in the fourth quarter. Golden State built up a 29-point lead in the fourth quarter on a finger-roll lay up by Thompson with 9:09 left to play. The Warriors led by as many as 31 points in the first half.
Davis said his team is still “confident” despite the loss and falling behind in a series for the first time in the playoffs. He did say that the team will have to step it up a level. Curry is expected to play on Tuesday in Game 2 at the Oracle.
“We’re going to be more locked in defensively, especially with him coming back,” Davis said of Curry. “But for us, it’s about pride. What they did in the second quarter was an embarrassment to us. We’re not that type of team.”
The Warriors have beaten the Pelicans 25 times in last 27 games and 6 consecutive times in regular season. Golden State has 13 straight playoffs victories at Oracle Arena. The NBA record of 15 is owned by the Chicago Bulls.
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.