Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo Lead Pelicans to Playoff Win

  • Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo Lead Pelicans to Playoff Win

Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo Lead Pelicans to Playoff Win

Davis sank a pair of free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining, giving New Orleans a five-point lead.

Lillard, who goes into the game averaging 26.9 points, had 41 points in the final meeting of the season with the Pelicans, a 107-103 Blazers win in New Orleans.

Up 19 late in the third quarter, the Pelicans allowed the Blazers to cut the lead to just one point in the final minute with two opportunities to take the lead.

Davis scored 17 and Holiday 15 as New Orleans carried a 45-36 advantage into halftime. "That's what you have to do in order to be a playoff team", coach Alvin Gentry said.

"It's amusing because we always put a clip on [the video edit] that says "game-winning plays" and today it actually was Jrue blocking [Connaughton's] shot in the Portland game", Gentry said. "Same guy, nearly the exact same area and he came up with another block".

Portland's rally came up short, but the Blazers vow to do better in Game 2 with regards to going after Davis.

As for the Pelicans, they were dragged kicking and screaming into this postseason by Anthony Davis, who had an MVP-caliber season.

And it didn't get much better.

Lillard finished with 18 points (on 6/23 field goals), seven rebounds and seven assists.

The Blazers (49-33) came into Wednesday night needing a win against the Utah Jazz (48-34) to secure the No. 3 seed and win the Northwest Division title.

The Pelicans still led by 13 with 5:08 left but wouldn't score again for more than 2½ minutes. With 6:29 left in the half, Portland was up 32-29. It wasn't just his outside shooting that helped pace New Orleans.

As was the case throughout the season, and particularly on the road, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday led the way, scoring 35 and 21 points, respectively. I don't think it's going to be easy.

Holiday added 21 points, outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans escaped after Portland erased nearly all of a 19-point deficit. Rajon Rondo was undeniably in playoff form as he finished the game with six points, eight rebounds, and 17 assists. Holiday is going to have to be as solid as he was on both ends for the remainder of the series if the Pelicans want to continue to give the Blazers all that they can handle.

With under 10 seconds to go, Pat Connaughton goes for a quick layup, but Jrue Holiday comes from behind and blocks the shot away. McCollum says it's on them to force the issue. The game was well under the total of 216.