Western Conference Finals Is Set, Warriors Dispense New Orleans Pelicans To Take Round Two Series 4-
Golden State Warriors (No.2) Meet Houston Rockets (No.1) On The Road May 14 For Game 1
Klay Thompson, left, of Golden State Warriors, defends Rajon Ronda of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinal at The Oracle in Oakland, Calif. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. May 8, 2018.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Oakland, Calif. — When an NBA coach has a starting lineup that’s working in his favor, most likely they will stick with it until the chink in the armor starts to show.
Golden Warriors coach Steve Kerr instituted his second-straight starting assignment to close out the Western Conference Semifinal with a 113-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 5.
The Warriors’ shield in this playoff series was glaringly shining and built to cause destruction on the offensive and defensive end. Golden State has the No. 1 defense in the 2018 NBA playoffs.
Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Draymond Green consisted of the starters and clearly made the game interesting with their athleticism and ability to play multiple positions.
Curry had 28 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, Durant had 24 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, and Thompson added 23 points, six rebounds, and three assists for the Warriors.
"Just because we played well last game, you know, we might as well kee keep doing what we're doing if we are doing well," said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who is a master at moving lineups around to challenge opposing teams.
The Warriors starters combined for 32 assists, 37 rebounds, and only committed eight fouls in the game. Four of the five starters had five or more assists and four had six or more rebounds. Green finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds, and nine assists.
Green is the first player in Golden State’s history to average a triple-double in a series. He played nearly 41 minutes and collected four blocked shots in Game 5.
“Obviously, the triple-doubles look great on the stat sheet,” Durant said of Green’s feat. “But I think Draymond enjoys the small things that equal to a win that people don’t really see on the stat sheet.”
Anthony Davis had 34 points, 19 rebounds, and four blocked shots and Jrue Holiday contributed 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists for New Orleans. Rajon Rondo was limited to seven points and seven assists as he sat most of the second half due to a groin injury.
After leading by three points at the break, the Starting 5 opened with a 25-4 run in the third quarter that essentially ended the Pelicans’ hope of playing Game 6 back in New Orleans. Golden State led by as many as 26 points in the crucial third frame.
Kerr said before the game that it is always good to “be right where you want it” in a closeout game. He also mentioned that it’s never easy to get rid of a team that’s on the brink of elimination. The Pelicans showed that too.
New Orleans was behind 105-82 at the halfway mark of the fourth quarter when the team decided to go on a 17-2 run to cut the Warriors’ margin 107-100, completed by a seven-foot basket by Davis with 2:04 to play.
“We never give up,” Holiday said. “No matter what the score is, no matter what the time, whatever it is. We play desperate and I felt like we did a good job of that tonight.”
Green made an 18-foot turnaround fadeaway, Kevon Looney got a tip-in, and Draymond scored on a driving layup that put the game out of reach. The Warriors have won six-straight playoff series and own a 13-1 series record since the 2015 playoffs.
The Warriors will play the Houston Rockets on the road for a seven-game series, starting May 14. Golden State has 15 straight playoffs victories at Oracle Arena, a franchise best. The mark ties NBA record of 15 previously held by the Chicago Bulls.
The Warriors also have a combined record 24-3 NBA playoff record in the last two seasons and currently hold an 8-2 (.800) record thus far in during this season’s playoff run.
Trae Young of the University of Oklahoma was in attendance to see Game 5 played between the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. The talented point guard left the university after his freshman year to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft.
At 6-foot-2, Young averaged 27 points, 8.7 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game for the Sooners. Oklahoma finished with an 18-13 record and an invitation to the NCAA tournament. He had nine games of 30 or more points and scored a season-high 48 points in an 83-81 loss to Oklahoma State on Jan. 20.
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.