Pelicans vs. Warriors: How they match up in the second round of the NBA playoffs
A look at how the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors match up in the second round of the NBA playoffs:
2. GOLDEN STATE (58-24): Home 29-12; road 29-12
First round defeated San Antonio 4-1.
6. NEW ORLEANS (48-34): Home 24-17; road 24-17
First round defeated Portland 4-0.
Season series: Warriors 3-1.
Key stats: Golden State rallied from double-digit deficits in each of its three regular-season wins over New Orleans, all of which came when the Pelicans had DeMarcus Cousins, who suffered a season-ending injury in January. The Warriors averaged 120.8 points in their four meetings. … Due mostly to injuries, New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry employed 88 different starting lineups over three seasons but now has Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday at full strength for the first time. The duo averaged 60.8 points in the first-round sweep of Portland.
Outlook: New Orleans’ quick work of the Trail Blazers nearly gave it a crack at Stephen Curry-less Golden State, but Curry scrimmaged Friday and is questionable for Saturday. The Warriors obviously are far better with Curry (41-10) than without him (17-14) but he could have rust with one appearance since March 8. Golden State has dominated New Orleans, winning 24 of 25 regular-season and postseason meetings until a season-ending Pelicans win at Oracle Arena. The Pelicans have won nine consecutive games by averaging 118.2 points and shooting 52% from the field and 40% from three-point range. Davis is the highest scorer this postseason and Holiday was a two-way nightmare in outplaying Portland’s Damian Lillard. The playoff version of Rajon Rondo is a wild card. Chicago took a 2-0 playoff lead at Boston last year but lost the next four without Rondo, who fractured his thumb. He averaged 13.3 assists in the first round, but the Warriors and Draymond Green are back to form with the playoffs’ top defensive efficiency.
Paul Coro’s prediction: Warriors in five.
Game 1: Saturday at Golden State, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Note: Game 2 and beyond dates and times to be determined
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