Golden State Warriors (-7, 205 o/u) at New Orleans Pelicans
You get the sense that the New Orleans Pelicans (45-40, 28-14 home) are going to look back at their first round series against the Golden State Warriors (70-15, 29-13 away) and think about what could have been. Twice the Pelicans had the No. 1 seed on their heels, yet, twice, they came away with losses. Now down 3-0, New Orleans will hope to stay alive when they host the Warriors in Game 4 tonight (8:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Pelicans’ most recent defeat was Thursday night’s 123-119 OT setback. New Orleans had a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter before the Warriors roared back.
“We’ve got to try to get our minds right for Saturday,” Anthony Davis said.
Added Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, “You can’t sugarcoat it. We’re all feeling like dirt right now, so obviously you want to build them up, but there is nothing that can build you up in a situation like that.”
Game 2 will forever be remembered for Stephen Curry’s game-tying three-pointer with 2.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Curry ended the game with 40 points and now has his team in position to move on to the second round.
“You know how big of a deal it is to come back from a deficit like that in the playoffs on the road, in a game we knew was very important for us to really take control of this series,” Curry said. “So I think we should celebrate the accomplishment. We don’t get big heads, we just enjoy what’s going on.”
Curry’s brother-in-splash, Klay Thompson, also played a major role in the Warriors comeback, scoring 28 points. Golden State coach Steve Kerr wasn’t all praise after the win – his squad was down 20 points in the fourth quarter, after all – but he gave credit where it was due.
“These guys are so confident. They are different,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr of his . “They never stop believing that they can do almost anything. Maybe it gets them into trouble. But it’s also what got them out.”
No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit, but New Orleans will continue to push the Warriors to the limit. (Even though they lost Game 3, the Pelicons still covered as five-point home dogs.) That’s why taking New Orleans and the points (+7) is the play.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)