Blog: Season 1

Jackson Williams, a sports enthusiast, writes about all things sports. 

Sportzball: Season 1

Warriors Obliterate New Orleans in Game One Blowout, Win 123-101

After beating the San Antonio Spurs in five games to open the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors (4-1) opened the Western Conference Semifinals against the New Orleans Pelicans (4-0) in Oakland. The Pelicans rolled through the first round, sweeping the Portland Trailblazers, and were regarded as the hottest team in the playoffs heading into Round Two. The Warriors were still without their star, Stephen Curry, but Coach Kerr said that he is likely to return in game two. The Warriors were looking to get a win without their franchise centerpiece and retain home court advantage, while the Pelicans were looking to continue their hot streak and send a message to the rest of the NBA. With Stephen Curry out for Game One, Coach Kerr tried out a new starting lineup, and it did not feature a center, and instead consisted of Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Nick Young. The Warriors went on to win the game 123-101.

Both teams opened the first quarter playing fast and looking to mirror each other. The Pelicans opened the scoring with an easy bucket from Anthony Davis, but Kevin Durant answered right back with a dunk. The two teams traded baskets for the first couple minutes of the quarter, but they were both looking solid early. Kevin Durant jumped out to an early five points and was playing solid defense, as was Draymond Green, who had an incredible defensive play on Anthony Davis during a fast break. Nick Young also drained a three for the Warriors, making an impact in his first start of the postseason. The Pelicans were moving quickly, and running in transition, allowing for some easy shots at the rim while the Warriors didn’t have a center in the lineup. Davis had an early four points, and E'Twaun Moore had six points at the time of the first timeout. When the first timeout was called after nearly six minutes, the score was tied at 14 apiece. After the timeout, the Pelicans were able to stay hot and managed to build a five-point lead, but that was not enough as the Warriors went back on an 8-2 run to grab the lead once more and force a timeout from Alvin Gentry and the Pelicans. During the play following the first time out, Anthony Davis exploded for some incredible baskets, and showed us that he is a truly unstoppable force. Luckily for the Warriors, they have their own unstoppable force in Kevin Durant, who made several tough shots, including an and-1 three. Both KD and AD had 10 points at the time of the second timeout, but the Warriors had a one-point lead. After the second timeout, Draymond Green made two free throws and Kevin Durant followed that up with a mid range jumper over Jrue Holiday. The Warriors continued to score, but the Pelicans did as well, even as Anthony Davis got rest. The Pelicans scored the last points of the first quarter with a three from Jrue Holiday. The leading scorer for the Warriors was Kevin Durant with 12 points, and Anthony Davis was leading the way for the Pelicans with 10 points of his own. Draymond Green looked great early, scoring four points, grabbing six rebounds, and dishing out three assists in the first quarter. E’Twaun Moore and Jrue Holiday were also great for the Pelicans, combining for 16 points to help Anthony Davis. Both teams shot the ball pretty well, but the Pelicans shot much better than the Warriors. The Warriors shot 46.4% from the floor and 33.3% from three, while the Pelicans shot 60% from the floor and 28.6% from three. After the first quarter, the Warriors led the Pelicans 35-34.

Draymond Green opened the second quarter with a monster slam. The Warriors then got two more points on some Shaun Livingston free throws, but the Pelicans jumped right back and tied the game on a three from Darius Miller. The three forced a timeout from Steve Kerr, as the score was tied at 39 after just over a minute in the second quarter. After the timeout, the Warriors went on a blisteringly fast 6-0 run courtesy of Shaun Livingston and Quinn Cook. Quinn nailed two free throws and a fast break layup, while Shaun Livingston ran a fast break and threw down a thunderous dunk to force Alvin Gentry to call another timeout. Klay Thompson nailed a three to extend the run after the timeout. The Warriors were just on fire, and seemingly hitting everything. While they were on this run after the second timeout, their lead ballooned to 12 points, and the last three points came with an exclamation point that is a Draymond Green three. After a third timeout, the Warriors had a 12-point lead. While Alvin Gentry may have thought that a third time out would stop the Warriors or even slow them down, he was wrong. The Warriors were still scorching hot on both ends. Klay Thompson hit a three off of an incredible cross-court pass from Kevin Durant. Draymond Green found a cutting Andre Iguodala for a dunk, and then Kevin Durant was on the receiving end of a massive lob. The Warriors weren’t just great offensively, but they were also stifling the Pelicans on the defensive end, not letting them get anything going. Klay Thompson took offense to Gentry’s fourth timeout, and came out and hit two more threes, one of which saw him make Anthony Davis look like a small child. The Pelicans were able to get five points at the end of the quarter thanks to two free throws from Anthony Davis, which were his first points of the quarter, and a 75-foot buzzer-beating prayer from Darius Miller went in to close the half. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were blazing the trail for the Warriors with 18 points apiece, and Draymond Green was right behind them with 12 of his own. Draymond not only had 12 points, but he also had 10 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and two blocks in what was his best half of the season. Anthony Davis was still the leading scorer for the Pelicans despite only scoring two points in the quarter, and he had 12 points at the half. As a team, the Warriors shot 53.1% from the floor and 46.2% from three in the first half. The Pelicans shot 45.8% from the floor and 38.5% from three in the half. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 41-21 in the second quarter, and led the Pelicans 76-55 at half.

The Pelicans started out the third quarter with four quick points from Anthony Davis, but then the Warriors woke back up and got the ball rolling again. Draymond Green continued to be incredible, turning the corner on Anthony Davis and getting a tough layup to fall, and saving the Warriors on an incredibly clumsy possession that seems doomed to wind up being empty. Kevin Durant hit a shot over Davis around the hoop, and it looked like the Warriors were trying to get this game wrapped up as soon as possible. Alvin Gentry called the first time out of the quarter after just three minutes, just after Andre Iguodala was fouled and was on his way to the line to shoot free throws. Iguodala nailed both free throws, but then Anthony Davis caught a lob on the other end. On the next possession, Draymond Green found Andre Iguodala for a three, giving Draymond a triple-double. Klay then hit another three on the next possession to keep the ball rolling for the Warriors. The Warriors kept up the pace for a while, but were beginning to get tired, and it was noticeable. As their energy began to tail off, Steve Kerr called timeout with just under five minutes left in the quarter and the Warriors lead sitting at 25 points. The Warriors then went on another run to end the quarter and further emasculate the Pelicans. They outscored the Pelicans 27-19 in the third quarter, and they had a 29-point lead when the buzzer sounded. Kevin Durant was the leading scorer for the Warriors with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Klay Thompson was close behind with 21 points, and Draymond Green had a triple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, three assists, and two blocks. Anthony Davis had 21 points to lead the Pelicans. As a team, the Warriors shot the ball at a 53.7% clip from the floor, and 50% from three. The Pelicans shot 40.8% from the floor and 29.4% from three. After the third, the Warriors led the Pelicans 103-74.

The fourth quarter was garbage time for its’ entirety, which was an incredible change of pace after the last three games of Round One. Klay Thompson hit a couple big shots, and did some nice moves on Ian Clark en route to finishing with 27 points. Nick Young got a steal and then led the break by shooting a three, and it went in. Klay Thompson finished as the game’s leading scorer with 27 points, and Kevin Durant was close behind with 26 points. Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 21 points, and sat out the majority of the fourth quarter. The Warriors finished the game shooting a combined 48.9% from the field and 407% from three. After shooting 60% in the first quarter, the Pelicans finished the game shooting 43.8% shooting and 32% from three. The Warriors won the game 123-101.

While coming into this series, many considered that Anthony Davis was the best player in this series because of how good he has been since DeMarcus Cousins go thurt, but tonight, he was not the best player on the floor, that title belonged to Draymond Green. Draymond Green picked up a triple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and two blocks. The Warriors are now 26-0 when Draymond Green records a triple double, and 4-0 in the playoffs. Since the regular season ended, and people began to express their doubts about the Warriors ability to “flip the switch”, Draymond Green has been on a mission to prove all the doubters wrong and make them eat their words.

Draymond was not the only Warrior who had an impactful performance (obviously), but a player who had a tremendous impact was Kevon Looney. He came off the bench and had a game-high +/- of +34. He was tremendous on defense and did a really nice job slowing down Anthony Davis with Draymond Green. Klay Thompson was incredible, as he has been all postseason, finishing with 27 points on 10/22 shooting with six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Kevin Durant was also stupendous, finishing with 26 points on 10/21 shooting with 11 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.

The Warriors also benefitted from having Beyonce and Jay-Z court-side, and that is clearly why they won by as much as they did and you cannot tell me otherwise. 

The Warriors outrebounded the Pelicans 57-42, which was a big reason for the dominating victory. The Warriors also did a really good job of taking advantage of sloppiness from the Pelicans. New Orleans turned the ball over 12 times, and they committed 24 fouls, which led to the Warriors shooting 32 free throws. The 32 free throws the Warriors shot were 21 more than the Pelicans shot. The Warriors just played an all-around great game, and it looks like they could dominate the Pelicans in a short series even without Stephen Curry.

Lucky for us though, Stephen Curry, the two-time NBA MVP, and only unanimous MVP in NBA history, is likely to return in game two.

The Western Conference Semifinals will continue on Tuesday, May 1, in Oakland at 7:30 p.m on TNT.

 

Jackson WilliamsComment