The Golden State Warriors remain undefeated in the playoffs with a 2-0 series lead over the New Orleans Pelicans, but they had to work for their Game 2 win before pulling away at the end.
The Pelicans held a lead over the Warriors at the beginning, and they even led by double digits at the end of the first quarter.
Guard Eric Gordon had a fantastic performance in the first quarter as he scored nine points, and he ended up finishing the game with 23 total.
The Warriors proved once again how tough they are to hold off though as they exploded with 38 points in the second quarter, and point guard Stephen Curry put the icing on the cake by sinking a three-pointer with nine seconds left.
This gave the Warriors a three-point lead at halftime. The third quarter was low scoring as the teams remained neck and neck heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors continued to play solid defense against the Pelicans while shooting guard Klay Thompson took over with 13 points in the quarter.
His clutch play enabled the Warriors to pull away after they led by only four points with four minutes remaining in the game.
Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points, three rebounds and three assists while Curry added 22 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Although the Warriors have an MVP candidate in Curry and an All-Star in Thompson, the Pelicans will always be tough to beat as they possess an MVP-caliber player of their own.
Like Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, power forward Anthony Davis showed that playoff inexperience means little to nothing as he scored 26 points with 11 rebounds in Game 2.
However, the rest of the Pelicans team was unable to help Davis and Gordon pick up the slack as their lack of depth was clear.
Shooting guard Quincy Pondexter fell back down to Earth with just three points after scoring 20 points in Game 1.
The Pelicans will host the Warriors in their next two games, and this will be their only opportunity to get back in the series since the Warriors are now 41-2 at home.
Although their road record was nothing to scoff at, they have not been as threatening there despite having the league’s best road record at 28-13.
If the Pelicans can start strong and finish strong, they may be able to eke out a win or two this series as they finished 11-3 at home after the All-Star break.
However, the Warriors have too much depth for the Pelicans to match up with while Davis cannot carry the entire load by himself.
The Pelicans will need to win Game 3 if they don’t want to be forced to make history too since no team has ever come back from a 3-0 series deficit and won in NBA playoff history.
While role players like Gordon and Pondexter have shown potential, they have not been able to perform consistently enough to put the Pelicans over the hump.
Expect the Warriors to pull out another close win as they look to overcome the Pelicans’ home court advantage.
Prediction: Warriors 102, Pelicans 96