The New Orleans Pelicans will take a 2-0 series back to New Orleans after defeating the Portland Trailblazers 111-102 on Tuesday night. The Pelicans who many may have assumed would not be a threat when their All-Star DeMarcus Cousins went down with a foot injury ending his season are now just two wins from going to the conference semifinals.
The Pelicans who have been led by their superstar Anthony Davis almost all season long rode the back of their underrated guard Jrue Holiday. Holiday who played well in the first meeting with 21 points and 7 assist usurped that performance by scoring a playoff high 33 points and dishing out 9 assist. It wasn’t just the scoring for Holiday in this one but the defense he played on the Portland’s backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. His teammate and backcourt running mate Rajon Rondo said Holiday is a “first team all-defensive performer” and his performance in the first two games shows theirs validity to his argument.
The Pelicans starters outscored the Blazers starters 96-66, they also were 12-24 from three. The Pelicans will look to close out the Blazers at home in the next two games and the way Portland’s backcourt has been playing that won’t be a surprise to anyone.
The Blazers backcourt once again did not have a good game shooting the basketball. Damian Lillard who finished with 17 points was just 1-7 from three which makes him 5-16 in the two games. He was hounded all night by Holiday, Rondo, & Moore. They have made it tough for Lillard all night and I don’t see it getting any easy for him in New Orleans. CJ McCollum who led the Blazers with 22 points also shot the ball poorly going 9-21 from the field and the nine shots he did make most of them did not come easy. They did get help from Al-Farouq Aminu who ha d a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Coach Terry Stotts has to find a way to get his two stars better shots if they want to find a way to climb back into the series. If they ever needed “Dame Time” they need it for Game 3.
Game 3: Thursday 4/19 6:00 PT
What To Watch For: Can Lillard & McCollum make shots? Simple.
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