Spurs vs. Pelicans recap, reactions: Sliding down the playoff ladder


Saturday marked the first day of the National Basketball Association playoffs, and it saw the New Orleans Pelicans became the only one of four road teams in action to pick up a win. Game one was a very low-scoring battle and Portland's defense should play better than game one as they held opponents to 44% shooting from the field in the regular season.

The league rescheduled it and caused the Pelicans to play three games in three nights. With his team struggling to keep pace with the Pelicans, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pulled his regulars early in the fourth quarter, limiting all of his key players to fewer than 30 minutes on the court.

With Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson still in the lineup, the Warriors will be heavy favorites to win their opening postseason series, though the exact odds will depend on their opponent.

The hottest things going are the jerseys, Anthony Davis jerseys in particular.

On the season, the Pelicans are averaging 111.6 points, 44.3 rebounds and 26.7 assists per game. The Pelicans covered the spread as 5.5-point underdogs and paid money-line bettors +190. "We've got a lot of guys that have their confidence really high, making shots, but I think that most of all, especially tonight, we showed what we can do on the defensive end if we lock in". They allowed just 42.1 points inside per game this season, more than only the 76ers and the Jazz. Trail Blazers' leading scorer Damian Lillard did not play well in the defeat, sinking only 6 of 23 shots for a total of 18 points.

I am taking Portland in this one.

Holiday went back and forth between defending Portland guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum Saturday, and he did masterful job of forcing them into tough shots.

On the season, the Spurs are averaging 102.8 points, 44.3 rebounds and 22.8 assists per game.

But hey, it isn't the first time the "computer" didn't do the Pels any favors this season.

Nikola Mirotic had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Jrue Holiday added 19 points and E'Twaun Moore added 13 points for the Pelicans, who led by double-digits throughout the second half, with their largest lead topping out at 25. The Pelicans are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.

It ended close, but wasn't a close game throughout.

Davis grabbed the rebound and was fouled, and then essentially iced the game with two free throws.

Mirotic scored nine points during the run as New Orleans took a 61-43 halftime lead. McCollum hasn't been in great form and will need to lift, while Lillard will have no problems performing to his usual high standards. However, he got injured before Game 3 and the Bulls didn't win another game.

Anthony Davis was dominant from beginning to end and Jrue Holiday was a two-way terror Saturday night at the Moda Center, pushing the Pelicans to a 97-95 victory over the Blazers that flip-flopped home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.