Stephen Curry returned in Game 2 of this series, getting Golden State's core rotation back on the court for the first time in two months, and their play through the first seven games of these playoffs has proven the malaise is gone now that the stakes are bigger.
Over the course of the previous two games played in the series, the Warriors had looked as though they had rediscovered their identity of a gritty, offensively fluid team. He is the first player since 2011 to tally 20 or more assists in a playoff game.
The Warriors would be the favorites to create it 3-0 and advantage nearer to advancing into the last 4 of their National Basketball Association match.
Davis and the Pelicans may not end up winning this series, but they certainly are proving that they should be taken seriously as contenders.
The game started off with an electric atmosphere in the Blender and a little bit of a sloppy start for both teams, turnovers and missed shots. The Pelicans would hold the lead heading to the half 62-56.
But pulling the strings was Rajon Rondo. Jumping out to a 13 points first quarter lead and never looking back. As in Game 2, Rondo once again had a heated exchange with Warriors forward Draymond Green.
The Pelicans could credit their lead at halftime to their superb 3-point shooting.
The third quarter is when things began to get out of hand.
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In cutting the Warriors' lead in a Western Conference semifinal series to 2-1, the Pels took a 17-point lead in the fourth period and stomped their collective foot on the accelerator.
Despite all the talk, however, the Pelicans didn't shoot a single free throw in the first quarter, yet finished the frame up nine, even while Davis scored only 3 points.
Rondo is clearly in a league of his own when it comes to racking up assists.
"I haven't been getting into it with Rondo", Green said adamantly after the Warriors' 119-100 loss in Game 3 on Friday. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points on 9-22 shooting.
Anyone predict New Orleans reserve guard Ian Clark would ring up 18 points against his old team and do a superb job in the second half to help limit Curry to 18 points? Game Four will come your way on Sunday at 2:30pm.
Davis, who had just three points, got more involved, scoring eight points as the Pelicans rebuilt the lead to 55-42.
Rondo, who finished with four points and a game-high 21 assists, volleyed the accusation right back. The former Bulls forward scored 16 and added 13 rebounds. He scored 18 points in 22 minutes off the bench, shooting 3-5 from downtown.
In front of a rowdy, towel-waving, frenzied Smoothie King Center, this is what Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry expected.
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